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How do you ensure that all the subsidiaries within your investment group are speaking the same “language”? The German AnalytiChem Group opted for SAP S/4HANA as a common ERP platform for all existing companies and future acquisitions.
The goal of AnalytiChem Holding, founded in Germany in early 2021, is to deliver high-quality analytical chemical and reference materials to laboratories around the world. This investment company has now acquired several chemical companies (including the Belgian Chem-Lab group) and has ambitions to expand their portfolio further in the next few years.
When doing so, it’s very helpful if every subsidiary speaks the same “language”, says CEO Raoul Biskupek. “If you want to drive the business forward together and grow through collaboration, it is essential that you use the same names for products, raw materials and processes and that everything is qualified in the same way – especially given that our companies work with hazardous substances on a daily basis. That’s how the plan to use a single ERP system for all group companies came about, so we could streamline our collaboration as much as possible.”
SAP S/4HANA was the choice, explains Raoul. “Look, there are plenty of ERP platforms out there. But there are very few systems that are used internationally on this scale. When we’re looking for people for our subsidiaries in Australia, Canada or the US who can work with SAP, it’s easy to find them.
The initial, current implementation phase is for a Greenfield implementation of S/4HANA at a German and Belgian subsidiary of AnalytiChem. Two partners were in the running for this implementation, recalls Raoul. “The fact that we ultimately chose Ctac was mainly due to us sharing a language and a culture. Your technical knowledge is off the charts; you know SAP inside out. But in an implementation like this, it’s also essential for all parties to be able to communicate well, and also be able to make compromises if the situation demands it. You need a skilled moderator who understands how to get and keep all stakeholders on board. With Ctac, we immediately had a good feeling about this. The other implementation partner we initially had in mind was structured rather more hierarchically. Belgians are more used to consultation and compromise, which appealed to us. Ctac also understands better than anyone why we want to stick as close as possible to the standards; not just from a cost-saving perspective, but also with an eye to future expansion.”
AnalytiChem chose to run its S/4HANA application on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform. Raoul: “the AWS platform offers us the scalability we want. This is naturally ideal in view of our future growth. The platform also has a wide range of standard functions that will help us get started easily.”
The collaboration between Ctac and AnalytiChem was initiated in record time. From the first contacts in April, we reached the point of a confirmed collaboration in September. Raoul emphasises that so far they’ve enjoyed it greatly. “Ctac is supporting us very well on this journey. This allows us to focus on our core business: expanding our portfolio with interesting chemical companies.”