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  • Fried Kunststofftechnik GmbH

    S/4 HANA: The right step at the right time

    Southern German family business demonstrates how IT-based progress works. Leading plastics technology supplier relies on user-oriented ERP system. Partner selection beyond image and rocket science.

    Evolutionary. Accurate. Uncomplicated. 

    What one would expect from a Southern German family business is practiced at Fried Kunststofftechnik in the third generation. Values such as open-mindedness, a down-to-earth mentality, reliability, and trust were and continue to be the foundation for the company’s success story going back more than 40 years. With over 250 employees at the company headquarters in Urbach, Fried is today one of the leading suppliers of plastics technology and coatings. As an innovation-oriented company, Fried not only makes ongoing investments in the latest production equipment, but also in its own IT infrastructure. “We don’t have abstract visions of digitalization, we make benefit-oriented decisions. We invest in what demonstrably helps us and makes us better. Flexibility and the speed of decision-making clearly set us apart from many large enterprises – even when it comes to occasional larger investments.” So says Johannes Thomas, Head of IT and Controlling at Fried. “I would describe our method as logical and evolutionary as well as highly accurate but uncomplicated. That is exactly the approach we took in reaching our decision in favor of S/4.”

    ERP with perspective. A clear decision. Also in choosing a partner. 

    As the hub for all important processes, a central ERP system has always been closely linked to manageability at Fried and therefore to the company’s success. In 2018, company management and the IT department came to the shared realization that the existing ERP system – which had been in use for 19 years – could no longer cover the existing and future needs of Fried, despite numerous releases and improvements. “One thing was entirely clear to us at that point – we didn’t want a solution comparable to the previous system. We wanted a solution that would grow with the business over the medium and long term and correspond as closely as possible to market conditions. From our perspective, this meant there was no alternative to SAP with S/4 HANA,” Thomas sums up, looking back on the initial situation at the time. “What we initially lacked was a suitable IT partner to support and assist us with a project of this magnitude. We then chose the pragmatic approach and asked SAP for corresponding recommendations based on our needs.” 

    A fair selection process followed with two of these recommended partners, which was decided in favor of Sycor. “Both SAP partners described their existing competencies with absolute credibility. Ultimately, the decision in favor of Sycor was made based on the conviction that the participating Sycor colleagues genuinely spoke our language. We definitely wanted to avoid the much-cited “rocket science” and thus all unnecessary complexities. With and at Sycor, we found partners of exactly this sort. To sum it up, Sycor met us on an equal footing regarding S/4 HANA. That is not a matter of course. I’m convinced that this interaction as equals is often lacking in medium-sized enterprises. For us, it was exactly what we needed,” Thomas says.

    Customer feedback
    • "I am very thankful to Sycor because replacing our software with SAP moved us forward overall and opened new doors. From my perspective, Sycor set a standard in this project with regard to understanding medium-sized enterprises, both for the market and for the other aspects of the Sycor portfolio."

      Johannes Thomas, Head of IT and Controlling, Fried Kunststofftechnik GmbH

      Project sequence 

      Complexities notwithstanding, the S/4 HANA project itself was streamlined, uncomplicated, and went as planned. All departments – Sales, HR, Production Planning, Maintenance, Logistics, etc. – were represented by key users for each department, who were actively involved and fully committed. Fried company management, Mr. Thomas, and Dietmar Lohr as the contact for Sycor made up the central steering committee for the entire project. Corresponding efficient communication and lean decision-making contributed greatly to the rapid implementation and establishment of S/4 HANA, along with the structures at Fried that are generally not very hierarchical. The Fried departments, now connected even more closely through the new system, quickly reaped the benefits of the resulting synergies. When complications did arise, “Sycor consistently conjured up a graceful solution,” Johannes Thomas comments. “It was also important to us that the right contacts were always available. Sycor has exactly the right size to fill all relevant positions so that we consistently feel well looked after.”

      Review and classification 

      “From today’s perspective, the decision in favor of S/4 HANA and Sycor as our partner has absolutely been validated. The departments at Fried work together better and more closely on this basis. We benefited from strong teamwork during the project, which made up for smaller mistakes quickly and very effectively. With Sycor, we implemented our first private cloud solution with this system migration and are reaping great benefits. No hardware investments or service and maintenance costs – just SAP on demand!  

      In the future, we will be even more ‘strict’ in reviewing whether potential partners ‘speak our language’. The human factor and trust play a role that must not be underestimated at such times,” Thomas summed up.

      Your contact person

      Do you have questions about implementing SAP S/4HANA? Then get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you!

      Dietmar Lohr

      Head of SAP S/4HANA
      +49 551 490 2026

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