Through a research period of four months, Eventful Conferences has conducted extensive interviews with 50+ chemical industry companies, and held two roundtable events in key chemical industry locations – Philadelphia, PA and Houston, TX. The intention of the research is to summarize the most common and critical challenges that the industry must address – crucial to their success. These pain points have been identified by the industry during the roundtables and throughout the interviews. The Best Practices for Chemicals Conference will strive to address each challenge, pain point and trend by providing solution-oriented presentations, backed by specific evidence and packaged to provide the audience with clear takeaways on how to achieve similar results.
In this issue we will discuss the key questions revolving around a migration to S/4HANA as the foundation or core for a digitally enabled chemical company. If you missed or would like to revisit the previous entries in our series, please follow the links below.
The value of any IT migration is not only in its use case, but also in its business value (ROIs) and its sustainability over the long-term – the ‘why’. While the use case may be clear, many companies worry that the cost of the migration will not lead to an ROI by the time that a new investment or a new migration is needed; many also worry that their current investments have not leveraged to their fullest extent and want to ensure that the answers to their business needs aren’t lying within their current systems.
Further, EventfulGroup research found that many in the chemical communities wanted to better understand the path pre-migration and post-migration that would allow them to make the transition with limited disruptions to their business – the ‘how’. While the system is reconfigured, much of the output – analytics, dashboards – will still need to be reliable to maintain current production levels, and many have concerns that loss of functionality will occur and cause major disruption.
The chemical community was clear in expressing their interest in understanding both aspects – the why and the how – in their path forward with SAP products, and the implications of S/4HANA on their own IT roadmap. Like changing the engine in a car mid-race, our chemical industry representatives want to know – “how can we do this without impacting the race?”
Is S/4HANA ready for the Chemicals industry? What is the business value for us specifically, and where is the proof of that value?
What is the long-term roadmap for S/4HANA, and how do I know what my future investments will need to be? In other words, what is the sustainability of this investment?
How does this impact my current IT investments?
How do we know if we are ready for S/4HANA?
Can SAP Best Practices help me through this transition? How do I best leverage these?
How do we migrate with the least impact to my business?
How do I deal with the customizations or workarounds I already have in place? Should I reconsider my processes and make them better meet the software, instead of making my software meet the process?
How can I maintain my dashboards and analytics until the whole system is ready?
What are the implications on our staff needs? And what are the impacts on our IT needs – will we need to retool our IT department with new skills?
What standards for use should be in place for these new tools?
What sort of change management will need to be facilitated to make this implementation as powerful as possible?