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Successful deployment of SAP S/4HANA at Brose Sitech

Brose Sitech: From component factory to external supplier

The Brose Sitech Group, a joint venture between Brose and Volkswagen, had to transform its procedures and technology to transition from being a VW component factory to becoming an efficient external supplier. The challenges involved in organizing the new joint venture included transitioning to a new target operating model and disentangling VW processes from over 80 VW legacy systems. The goal was to establish an independent ERP ecosystem, including a new MES, JIS processes, PLM, transport and container management, as well as integrating supplier portals, catalog systems and BI systems. MHP supported Brose Sitech in this transformation and successfully implemented the SAP system S/4HANA into the existing operating ecosystem within 18 months. 

Learn more about the successful approach, the collaboration, and how Brose, Brose Sitech, and MHP worked together to shape the future of the joint venture. 

Transforming the Brose systems to S/4HANA

In a preliminary project, different options for the system's transformation were analyzed. The goal was to build an independent, efficient, future-oriented system in a short period of time. The decision was made to adopt a proprietary S/4HANA system based on the established Brose SAP system, which provides the necessary processes for Brose Sitech through its solution kit.  

Brose Sitech, in collaboration with MHP, had a clear goal: to establish a joint ERP system for Germany and Poland capable of managing quantity and value flows in a single system. The use of shared data and processes is not just more efficient; it also makes it possible to leverage synergies with Brose without compromising Brose Sitech's independence. Thus, Brose Sitech could ensure a future-proof setup in terms of processes and systems technology, paving the way for expansion into new markets and the establishment of new locations.

The Method: Achieving success with the Fit2Template approach

MHP and Brose decided to adopt the Fit2Template approach to achieve a transformation from a Brose Empty Shell S/4HANA system setup to a fully functional environment that precisely meets the requirements of Brose Sitech. By adapting the existing system's "twin brother" to work on the new platform, they were also able to ensure that the software will be able to handle a future transition at Brose. The Brose SAP ECC system, which is used in over 50 factories worldwide, was copied as a system template. The transition to the custom S/4HANA system was then carried out according to the Brose Sitech criteria.   

Using the Fit2Template workshops, all departments carefully evaluated the existing processes to determine their applicability. This ensured the implementation of efficient processes. Lastly, a shared target vision laid the foundation for the necessary adjustments to the processes and systems. 

"The successful implementation of the new SAP system at our first site is a crucial step for the future development of Brose Sitech. We have not only laid the foundations that will allow us to operate flexibly and be a reliable partner; we have also gained a digital advantage. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to our Brose Sitech employees, as well as the entire project team from Brose and our partner MHP, for their outstanding collaboration."

Thomas Spangler

CEO, Brose Sitech Group

Deployment in Wolfsburg including JIS and parallel operation in Emden

The biggest challenge at the Wolfsburg site was to ensure a smooth transition without disrupting the Just-In-Sequence production operations. This involved migrating processes and data from 40 non-SAP systems to a unified quantity and value flow by the target date. To make things more complicated, there was the integration of the parallel operation of the facility in Emden which continued to operate with interfaces in the "old world", right up until the rollout in the S/4HANA system. 

The teams successfully overcame these and other challenges during the transformation through excellent communication, methodical program and change management, and comprehensive training and workshops.

MHP’s Role: Adding value with synergistic expertise

Thanks to their expertise, MHP proved to be the ideal partner for the implementation of this project. Together with the Brose IT & ERP team, the project approach was conceptualized and executed as an "Empty Shell Brownfield Procedure," which served as a great example of how MHP and the Brose ERP team provided support in terms of methodology and execution.  

Coordinating between Brose and Brose Sitech required care and expertise. Within the time-constrained scope of the M&A separation, MHP played a crucial role in ensuring the successful implementation of the methodology. They provided valuable support to Brose Sitech, offering targeted expertise in execution, technical implementation, project management, testing, training and workshops, as well as change processes, migration, and cutover.

"We deliberately introduced S/4HANA based on our proven Brose SAP R/3 system. The strategic decision to use shared data and processes while maintaining our independence has proven beneficial for Brose Sitech. The synergy between Brose and Brose Sitech allows us to benefit from the advantages of shared resources. At the same time, our own SAP system provides the opportunity to implement selective processes as needed. This has laid the foundation for a lean, scalable support concept that considers the specific requirements of Brose Sitech. I am looking forward to taking the next steps in the development of the Brose Group towards S/4HANA together."

Christian Ley

CIO, Brose

Successful cooperation between Brose, Brose Sitech and MHP

Through the collaboration with MHP, some noticeable and notable successes were achieved at Brose and Brose Sitech beyond the project itself. 

Project achievements at a glance:

  • Implemented S/4HANA in just 18 months, including transitioning to a new joint venture 

  • Replaced over 40 VW legacy systems 

  • Integrated processes and data from over 40 non-SAP systems 

  • Connected and developed SAP BTP, MES, JIS, PLM processes, SRM/catalog systems 

  • Created a robust template with Brose best practices from over 60 factories worldwide 

  • Outstanding team, change, test, and cutover management 

  • Group effort with over 200 project members

The largest IT transition in Brose's history

The transition that MHP collaborated on was the largest IT transition in Brose’s history. It included:

  • Extremely extensive process modeling 

  • Complex migrations, cutover and, in some instances consistent “just in sequence” supply  

  • Deployment of cutting-edge technology with S/4HANA, BTP etc. 

  • Implementation of numerous interfaces 

  • Staggered project start in the Emden factory

Comprehensive Roadmap: Emden and other rollouts to follow 

The introduction of S/4HANA into the operational ecosystem at Brose Sitech is more than just a technological innovation. It is also the first step into the future for the entire Brose Group. 

By implementing the SAP platform S/4HANA and SAP BTP, Brose Sitech has further strengthened its digital advantage in terms of processes and technology, laying the foundation to become a global key player. The implementation in Wolfsburg was just the beginning; further rollouts in Emden, Poland (Polkowice, Głogów, Września), and Portugal are to follow.

"The successful start of operations with S/4HANA at Brose Sitech in Wolfsburg demonstrates how skillfully Brose carried out the transition – a process that can typically be expensive and risky for many companies. The new technology will undoubtedly shape the future success of Brose Sitech. My special thanks go to all those who contributed to the project. Despite the challenges, the team managed the transformation through good communication, methodical management, and comprehensive training. The new processes and changes were very positively received by all Brose Sitech employees."

Martin Seidenstücker

Program Director Brose Sitech and Head of ERP Systems

Conclusion: A transformation with a view to the future

The collaboration between MHP, Brose, and Brose Sitech demonstrates how companies can achieve ambitious goals with the right expertise and methodology. The S/4HANA implementation at Brose Sitech in Wolfsburg and in terms of the central functions was executed within 18 months, on schedule, without any disruptions for the clients, and within the allocated budget. From transforming a VW component factory into an efficient external supplier to migrating various systems and processes, this collaboration highlights the competence and commitment of all companies involved.  

The approach that was taken, and the use of SAP S/4HANA—particularly in such a complex project as part of the establishment of a joint venture—can serve as a blueprint across multiple industries. This blueprint can support companies in efficiently and securely managing their digital transformation. 

If you are also looking for a partner to guide you through complex digital transformations and deliver measurable results, MHP is just the team you've been looking for. Get in touch, and let's write your success story together. 

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