Go-live of SAP S/4HANA conversion at SAGAFLOR

27th December 2023

SAGAFLOR AG is a group of various garden centres and pet shops in German-speaking countries. The corporation comprises more than 700 locations with about 10,000 employees. SAGAFLOR AG supports its partners with all relevant services in the areas of finance, category management, marketing, sales and IT. These comprehensive services are geared towards sustainable success and, in addition, SAGAFLOR offers its garden and pet sector partners a continuously growing range of digital marketing services and exclusive own brands under the trademarks ZOO & Co., Tier Total, grün erleben and "... da blüh' ich auf!".

November 2022 marked the start of consenso's activities for the SAP S/4HANA conversion of SAGAFLOR with a focus on financials – starting with the implementation of consenso's readiness check incl. SAP S/4HANA custom code analysis. Thus, all essential information on the objectives and tasks of the migration to SAP S/4HANA was provided at a very early stage.

SAGAFLOR had opted for a brownfield approach, i.e. the extensive transfer of existing processes and functions from the Business Suite into the new S/4HANA world.

Of course, there was still a need for changes and innovations – including the necessity to switch to the new SAP Business Partner, the introduction of SAP Fiori, the migration of SAGAFLOR's accounting system to the new SAP S/4HANA world as well as the implementation of necessary adjustments to existing customer developments as an essential prerequisite for the technical conversion to the SAP HANA database.

To ensure a go-live as error-free and therefore stress-free as possible, "test transformations" were carried out in advance – starting with one in a sandbox system in March 2023.

A second conversion followed in May 2023 – still on the sandbox system, but now with the clear goal of time-based planning. In addition, the knowledge gained from the second test transformation also served to validate the necessary adjustments to the development objects.

From July 2023, the conversion was implemented on the operational system landscape with COT3. Beforehand, SAGAFLOR's test system was provided with a fresh copy of the production system to allow the S/4 conversion to be trialled again. Intensive testing initiated by SAGAFLOR ensured that all business departments were already able to carry out their daily work under S/4 at this stage.

In September 2023, the last test run prior to go-live took place under almost real-time conditions. The error rates for the pure SAP Finance conversion were almost consistently at zero and the overall runtimes for all parts of the transformation were also very good, so everyone involved – both at SAGAFLOR and at consenso – was positive ahead of the go-live weekend.

On the first weekend of October 2023, the time had come – SAGAFLOR's productive system was transformed. Starting on Friday evening at 9 p.m., the first step was to block all users in the system followed by a preliminary check and a data backup. During the subsequent downtime, the system was technically upgraded to S/4.

The FI conversion was scheduled for the following day from 6 p.m., but the runtimes were somewhat surprising. After a controlled interruption of the conversion and a system restart, the processing times were back within the expected range. The time-based delay could not be made up, but as the overall planning was still valid, the success of the conversion as a whole was not at risk – except for the sleep of the consultants involved that night.

In about 17 hours, in the Material Ledger, 785,344,055 data records in CKMLCR (period totals records values) and 755,885,506 data records in CKMLPP (period totals records quantities) were migrated to S/4HANA, as well as a total of 914,867,800 posting document items. An impressive volume!

Upon successful completion, FI reports were checked, necessary development adjustments and Fiori settings implemented and initial departmental tests were conducted. By Monday evening, the system was officially released again by SAGAFLOR – 1.5 days earlier than originally planned!

Even the days following the go-live were calm throughout, so we can summarise as follows: Mission successfully completed!

Many thanks to all those involved at SAGAFLOR for their consistently good and cooperative partnership, that finally made this project a success. We are already looking forward to further exciting challenges!

Photo: SAGAFLOR AG, Kassel (www.sagaflor.de)


From our Competence Centre Merchandise Management
Categories: Digital Transformation | SAP S/4HANA | SAP S/4HANA Conversion