PRIMAGAS Energie GmbH, with its headquarters in Krefeld (North Rhine-Westphalia), has been supplying households, businesses and public institutions throughout Germany with liquefied petroleum gas since 1950 and offers customized energy solutions for a wide range of industries and applications. With more than 80,000 customers and sales of around 300 million euros, PRIMAGAS is one of the largest liquid gas suppliers in Germany. The company is a joint venture between SHV Energy N.V. (Netherlands) and the founding family Aretz from Krefeld.
Success Story: A modern finance and control system based on SAP S/4HANA at PRIMAGAS
The challenge in the S/4HANA project
As a supplier of fossil and biogenic liquefied gas, PRIMAGAS Energie GmbH supports the path towards a climate-friendly energy supply. In order to be able to make the right decisions quickly in this turbulent market environment, structured data and a corresponding level of digitalization with a high degree of automation are required. This was increasingly difficult with the previous financial system. Changes and additions in reporting and accounting became more and more of a problem. It was therefore to be replaced by a new future-proof solution based on SAP S/4HANA, which at the same time interacts with the liquid gas industry software used at PRIMAGAS and obtains data from it, which will still be managed in a stable manner in the medium term. PRIMAGAS expected the “SunRise” transformation project to provide greater analysis, control and rapid decision-making capabilities.
The project team used the SAP implementation to improve existing processes, such as document processing, monthly closings and reporting. The previous control elements in management reporting and the chart of accounts were completely restructured in the course of this, taking into account the existing group requirements.
The solution approach of Convista
The core task of the S/4HANA project was the replacement of a predecessor non-SAP system with subsequent implementation of SAP S/4HANA as a private cloud edition in a greenfield approach in the Azure cloud. The SAP modules FI, AR, AP, bank accounting, AA, CO, MM and margin analysis were implemented. An integration to an industry software for the gas industry and SAGE HR was created.
In this context, Convista had to connect over 20 systems to SAP via interfaces and used a special interface processing and monitoring tool (General Interface Processor) for this purpose. The challenge was the high volume of data to be processed, which had to be exchanged in both directions to ensure high data quality in the systems involved. The Migration Cockpit (LTMC) was used for the migration; Convista followed its own proven best-practice procedure model for the introduction of SAP FIORI. To ensure a maximum degree of automation in invoice document processing, the DMS solution from Datasec was introduced at the same time.
The highlights of realization
The go-live went smoothly and the new system achieved a high level of acceptance among PRIMAGAS employees after a short time. The prerequisites for this were extensive tests, quality controls and know-how transfer, for which more time had been deliberately invested.
With the transformation project, PRIMAGAS Energie GmbH achieved its most urgent goal: to achieve a higher level of detail for evaluations and to combine operative with analytical reports in SAP standard. The new state-of-the-art ERP system helps the company to reduce costs and work more efficiently. Convista’s proprietary interface tool (GIP) for connecting the numerous upstream systems proved to be an enormous project accelerator (and cost brake at the same time).
As an implementation partner, Convista fulfilled additional customer-specific requirements through in-house developments. Thanks to the consistent implementation of the SAP FIORI strategy, all departments now work via a modern, user-friendly user interface.
The new S/4HANA system landscape enables PRIMAGAS to improve its analysis, control and rapid decision-making capabilities. Newly introduced processes close to the SAP standard simplify the maintenance and management of master data, key figures can be evaluated in a significantly higher level of detail. PRIMAGAS has advanced and streamlined its digitization in the important core processes through the transformation project, including a new fully automated process for invoice receipt processing.
As the new SAP S/4HANA system in the Azure Cloud is fully supported by Convista and maintained as part of the application management, the customer does not incur any maintenance expenses of its own. The system can be expanded at any time and can also be used for additional units and countries of the group if required; further applications for PRIMAGAS customers can also be embedded in the future.
Why was Convista theright partner for the S/4HANA project?
As an IT service provider with many years of expertise and relevant references in the area of S/4HANA transformations and with great industry expertise in the energy services sector, Convista was the suitable partner for PRIMAGAS for this project. Convista offered professional consulting on an equal footing throughout the entire project, internalized the customer’s most important improvement potentials in advance and placed them at the center of the project work. As a result, the transformation project was brought to a successful conclusion as a subcontractor together with the management consultancy Horváth – harmoniously and with a high level of mutual cultural understanding between Convista and the client.
A key success factor for this project was the good balance between the internal and external parties involved, which then paid off especially in the hectic phases. In Convista, we always had a reliable partner who quickly gained a high level of acceptance among the Primagas workforce, which, in addition to technical expertise, was an essential prerequisite for the success of the project.