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SAP S/4HANA Roadmap: Bauer takes the next step toward innovation

Tradition and innovation go hand in hand at J. Bauer GmbH & Co. KG. This family-owned company, founded in 1887 as the "Bauschweizer Käsewerk," consists today of five subsidiaries with locations throughout Germany that offer a wide range of products. Its product lines include classics such as "Der Große Bauer" and "Der Kleine Bauer" fruit yogurts and Mövenpick premium specialties, as well as many innovations and a variety of milk, milk alternative, and convenience products for industrial and commercial customers. The company's greenfield migration to SAP S/4HANA marks the next milestone in its further development. By harmonizing its process landscape and system environment based on a central ERP innovation platform, the Bauer Group will ensure its competitive capability for the future.

Young woman holding milk canister while watching over cows on field

Challenge

Redesign of the process landscape and IT environment: Extensive standardization and harmonization of systems, master data, and business processes to increase group-wide efficiency

Consulting approach

valantic SAP S/4HANA Roadmap Assessment to define the main project guidelines and introduce the project methodology; greenfield migration to SAP S/4HANA as a central ERP and innovation platform

Customer benefits and solution

The SAP S/4HANA transformation will enable the entire Bauer Group to take a technological and digitalization leap, reducing manual processes that do not add value and creating a basis for uniform planning and control  

The company

Aerial view of the Bauer Group site in Wasserburg

J. Bauer GmbH & Co. KG

In 1887, Franz Seraph Bauer laid the foundation for an almost 140-year success story with the establishment of his “Bauernschweizer Käsewerk” in Wasserburg am Inn. Today, J. Bauer GmbH & Co. KG is not just one of the leading yogurt producers in Europe, but it has also expanded its product range beyond classic dairy products with its dairy, delicatessen, and retail divisions. Under the umbrella of the Bauer Group, five subsidiaries offer a wide range of products for use in the wholesale and retail sectors and in industry: In addition to dairy products, desserts, and cheese, there are also plant-based alternatives, spreads, dips, dressings, sliced fruit, fresh salads, and ready-to-eat vegetables, as well as soft, sports, and vitamin drinks. At the company’s headquarters and at the various locations in Germany, Bauer employs a total of more than 1,500 people.

An overview of the transformation project

Filling line 2 at the Bauer Group

The challenge: Efficiency leap thanks to standards

From the Upper Bavarian family dairy to the Germany-wide company group – continuous development combined with tradition is J. Bauer GmbH & Co. KG’s recipe for success. Strong growth in past decades created a complex IT environment. In-house developments, stand-alone solutions, and various SAP and non-SAP systems with heterogeneous data models and inconsistent business processes slowed efficient workflows and made effective planning and control more difficult. In order to secure its long-term competitive capability and exploit efficiency potential, the company decided to take the next step toward innovation: System harmonization based on SAP S/4HANA. Following successful preliminary projects in production and logistics and an S/4HANA Roadmap Assessment, Bauer and its project partner valantic are currently winding up the greenfield migration to the future-oriented ERP platform.

Solution & results in detail

SAP S/4HANA transformation with the greenfield approach; redesign and extensive standardization of the system, process, and data landscape within the Bauer Group

  1. 1

    valantic SAP S/4HANA Roadmap Assessment for preparing for transformation

    Early definition of major project guidelines with cost estimation

  2. 2

    Preliminary projects in production and logistics

    Development and implementation of S/4HANA compatible interfaces for provider-independent connection of warehouse management and production systems

  3. 3

    Group-wide implementation of SAP S/4HANA as an innovative ERP platform that is fit for the future

    Initially at the headquarters in Wasserburg am Inn, then roll-outs in the subsidiaries

  4. 4

    Extensive return of operational processes to the SAP standard

    Use of best practices, establishment of a common process understanding within the Bauer Group

  5. 5

    Creation of a reporting-enabled shared database, consistent master data processes, and unified data governance structures

  6. 6

    Optimal exploitation of efficiency potential

  7. 7

    Reduction of non-value-added manual activities through automation, evaluation of further innovative technology

  8. 8

    Use of uniform planning and control options

  9. 9

    Reduction of transaction, maintenance, and administration costs

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Learn more about the successful migration to SAP S/4HANA as an enabler for growth and digitalization!

 

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Bauer writes the next chapter of its success story

Backlight view through apple tree, summer meadow in bavaria, germany

The next step in innovation

With the greenfield implementation of SAP S/4HANA, the Bauer Group has embarked on a demanding project – and is thus laying the foundation for the continuation of its successful history. This traditional company from Upper Bavaria has selected the very best path for transformation. Working with its project partner valantic, it is testing all business processes and redesigning them in a future-oriented and uniform manner throughout the group: Simplifying, standardizing, and automating them as much as possible based on best practices with the aim of improving the business across the boards. 

 

For Bauer, the implementation of SAP S/4HANA is far more than just an IT project; the company expects to take a leap in efficiency and innovation and safeguard its future viability thanks to added value at all levels of the organization. This includes greater attractiveness as an employer, integrated effective business management, additional capacity for value-added tasks, and optimization of customer and supplier relationships.

Business persons talking in the office

Experienced partner by their side

With all this, Bauer had increasingly reached its limits with the existing IT environment. The group’s growth around the subsidiaries Immergut, Elsdorfer Molkerei und Feinkost, Märker Fine Food, and Frikoni Food had created a heterogeneous environment with SAP and non-SAP systems, stand-alone solutions, and custom developments; inconsistent processes and data models slowed the development of the family-owned company.

 

For the redesign of the system environment and process landscape, Bauer brought valantic’s experts into the project as partners. The digital consulting, solutions, and software company valantic won Bauer over with its proposal to start the transformation with a comprehensive roadmap assessment. Furthermore, valantic has been assisting the company with its SAP environment for years and has a lot of experience in the food and beverage industry, especially in the area of milk processing.

 

Florian Keller, Bauer Gruppe

Florian Kellner
Chief Financial Officer at Bauer

”The SAP S/4HANA transformation is a large, future-oriented project for the Bauer Group and will be a major concern for us over the next few years. In valantic, we have a strong partner who is familiar with the big picture, and, thanks to the roadmap assessment, a sound common knowledge base for all those involved.“

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Bauer Group's production facility

Well-prepared for the start of the project

valantic’s SAP S/4HANA Roadmap Assessment enabled the thorough preparation of the transformation program even before the actual project start. In workshops and with tool-based analyses, a joint team quickly identified key pillars of transformation, such as project organization, scope, and methodology. A comprehensive results document lists all relevant in-house developments and additional solutions as well as the necessary preliminary projects for their integration into the future system environment. It also includes a roadmap and a detailed estimate of effort at the scope item level.

 

Lukas Bächle, valantic

Lukas Bächle
Manager at valantic and project manager of the Roadmap Assessment

”The Roadmap Assessment enabled everyone involved to gain important insights into the system and process landscape of the Bauer Group at an early stage. At the same time, it offered the opportunity to jointly discuss specific requirements, evaluate solutions, and set up a targeted and transparent schedule and do some financial and organizational project planning.“

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Portrait of smiling, confident mature businesswoman, in modern office.

A springboard to success

The smooth start of the transformation project was also ensured by the fact that key users from all Bauer divisions were involved at an early stage and will work closely with the joint project team on the implementation of the ERP platform in the coming years. This also helps with change management, an essential part of greenfield projects.  

After the kick-off, the S/4HANA implementation has started at Bauer’s headquarters in Wasserburg am Inn; when that is finished, the roll-outs in the subsidiaries will follow.

Markus Ruelmann, valantic

Markus Ruelmann
Senior manager at valantic and head of the S/4HANA project

”With the SAP S/4HANA transformation, Bauer will secure its competitive capabilities and it has created an ideal springboard for this with the Roadmap Assessment. We are proud of the results thus far and we are looking forward to helping the Bauer Group take its step into the future.“

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SAP S/4HANA Roadmap: Bauer takes the next step toward innovation

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Image of Rüdiger Hoffmann, Managing Director valantic ERP Consulting

Rüdiger Hoffmann

Managing Director
valantic ERP Consulting