SAP, with sponsorship from Intel, held a glittering ceremony yesterday at Heidelberg Castle for the 2018 regional SAP Quality Awards.

Special guests, Brian Duffy, president of EMEA North at SAP, and Hartmut Thomsen, president of Middle and Eastern Europe at SAP, announced the 12 award-winning customers followed by an evening of celebrations.

“It’s wonderful to celebrate successes with our winning customers and see proof that SAP software delivers significant business benefits to their organizations,” Thomsen said.

The regional SAP Quality Awards have been shining a spotlight on the best of the best SAP implementation projects across Europe, Middle East, and Africa since 2005. In 2018, more than 280 customers from 15 SAP market units nominated their successful projects, which impacted more than 21 million users.

Local gold winners went on to compete at the regional level and presented their projects to an independent external jury, which included previous years’ winners. The jury evaluated the projects’ adherence to the 10 SAP principles of quality, as well as whether the business benefits the projects set out to deliver were achieved.

Winners of the 2018 regional SAP Quality Awards
Winners of the 2018 regional SAP Quality Awards (© Carina Kircher Fotografie)

Find out more about the award-winning projects here.

Business Transformation Category

Abdul Latif Jameel Motors

Abdul Latif Jameel is one of Saudi Arabia’s leading private businesses, with a diversified portfolio of companies across sectors, operating in more than 30 countries around the world. The foundation of the business is Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, an authorized automotive distributor and retailer for Toyota as well as a number of global automotive brands in Saudi Arabia for over 70 years. It has more than 100 facilities throughout the country that offer wholesale, marketing, sales, servicing, personalization of vehicles, and spare parts supplying.

Abdul Latif Jameel Motors embarked on a major transformational program to unify its IT landscape and eliminate process silos among five core subsidiaries, leading to strategically integrated operations and management processes.

Conducted with implementation partner Britehouse, the “JSAP” digital transformation project introduced an integrated SAP platform across the business, replacing a host of aging legacy systems in sales, after-sales, customer relationship management (CRM), human resources (HR), and finance. With the new platform, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors lowered overhead costs, improved data quality, and accelerated internal processes considerably; for example, reducing delivery lead time of B2B vehicle sales by 57 percent and expanding the base of golden customer records by 12 percent.

The size and complexity of the existing landscape and the transformational objectives tested the team’s abilities and motivation to the limits, according to Abdul Latif Jameel Motors. Faced with these challenges, the project team put a significant focus on effective organizational change management (OCM), nurturing confidence and commitment within the company and team to help ensure success. From awareness roadshows, change agents, extensive communication through newsletters, social media, and help desks to team building activities to comprehensive training curricula for each business stream, nothing was left to chance. The OCM team developed a plan at an individual and group level to drive adoption and minimize resistance. For this impressive project, the judges awarded Abdul Latif Jameel gold.

Vestas Wind Systems A/S

Founded in 1898 as a blacksmith shop in western Denmark, Vestas Wind Systems A/S started manufacturing wind turbines in 1979 and is now a global leader in sustainable energy solutions operating in 65 countries globally with more than 24,000 employees.

The Vestas OneERP program was rolled out to 10,000 users in 22 factories in nine countries and provides one integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform across the full Vestas value chain. The system enhances the engineering change management process and created a new time and attendance solution for manufacturing as well as improved master data management processes.

The judges awarded Vestas silver and were especially impressed by its robust quality plan. Vestas and partner HCL Technologies Ltd. made sure quality assurance was an integral part of the program. Quality standards such as code quality, functional/integration mapping, documentation, and others were set at the beginning and clearly articulated and understood by all stakeholders involved. In addition, the key quality assurance components were SAP assurance and compliance software to validate the health of Vestas’ SAP landscape; a series of independent internal audits carried out by internal Vestas COEs to help ensure that design and build standards were followed; and  external audits completed by a third-party (PwC). By following these steps Vestas could ensure the quality of the solution and the success of the project.


Regional Bronze winner HOERBIGER Group, headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, is a global leader in the fields of compression technology, drive technology, and hydraulic systems operating in more than 50 countries worldwide.

HOERBIGER launched Project STREAM, a global implementation of SAP S/4HANA covering 269 end-to-end business processes in 2015 with implementation partner CNT Management Consulting AG. By standardizing processes as well as transforming the entire IT landscape to state-of-the-art technology, HOERBIGER succeeded in increasing efficiencies and fostering operational excellence.

For the judges, the secret weapons for HOERBIGER’s project success were the strong commitment of the top management, the project governance and program organization with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, a functioning steering committee, and an experienced mixed team that brought both business and IT perspectives together for the best results.

Fast Delivery Category


Regional gold winner Kellogg’s is a global food manufacturing company with a head office in Battle Creek, Michigan, and products made in 18 countries and distributed in more than 180 countries. The company is a household name across the globe, with iconic brands like Kellogg’s Cornflakes and Pringles.

In a bid to balance customer requirements and the ability to supply in the most efficient way, Kellogg’s implemented the cloud-based SAP Integrated Business Planning application for inventory, together with partners SAP UK and Wipro centrally across Europe in order to become more automated and data driven. SAP Integrated Business Planning offered best-of-breed capabilities in safety stocks optimization, scenario planning, and supply chain visibility. As a result of this implementation, Kellogg’s supply chain could deploy the right stock, at right location, in the right quantities, at the right time. This will directly improve customer service, which is the basis of working jointly and successfully with a customer.

The key to the success of this project according to the judges was how Kellogg’s achieved production readiness. Kellogg’s proactively managed the various moving parts in the program and did not lose sight of the end or what they wanted to achieve at any point in the journey. Kellogg’s had a soft go-live one month before actual go-live. This meant that the results of the new solution could be compared to the existing system, ensuring confidence and buy-in to the solution by the end users.

“This is a breakthrough moment for Kelloggs and our objective to deliver world-class customer service to our partners,” said Rodrigo Lance, vice president of Supply Chain Europe, Kellogg’s. “We know the fundamental need and the strategic importance for the highest customer service standards in our industry, and this development will undoubtedly help us toward this business objective.”


Belgian railway operator NMBS, transported 230 million travelers in 2017. However, rail services have been severely affected by frequent strikes in the last years. Commuters are frustrated as they do not know which trains will run. Due to the Guaranteed Rail Service law, NMBS is now obliged to deliver a guaranteed rail service during a strike. NMBS implemented simple digital SAP Fiori apps with implementation partners Ypto and bridgX for its employees to register strike participation 72 hours in advance of a strike. The railway operator can now create a revised timetable for its passengers in the event of a strike. The first big test for the solution was the two-day train strike in June 2018, where one in three trains were running, all major rail lines were operational, and, more importantly, travelers knew in advance which trains would be running during the strike — something that had never been the case before.

The judges awarded the project Guaranteed Rail Service silver because the project team used the appropriate project organization and methodology, including design thinking, to collect requirements. Leveraging standard elements floor plans of SAP Fiori during the design and development phase, together with rapid prototyping, saved energy and budget and helps ensure the project was delivered in a record three months to 11,000 users.


TANNPAPIER GmbH, part of the Mayr-Melnhof Group, is an Austrian company and world leader in developing, converting, and distributing tipping paper for more than 100 years. For its Swan program, the judges awarded TANNPAPIER bronze in the Fast Delivery category.

Together with implementation partner CNT Management Consulting AG, TANNPAPIER launched the SAP S/4HANA implementation project covering logistics and financials. The business case for the project was to be fit for the digital future and reduce complexity by replacing outdated isolated solutions. The business benefits achieved include improved business processes, such as a fully integrated paperless approval workflow in procurement and simplified transparent reporting.

The judges were impressed because SAP standard was defined as a strict project rule in the requirement and scoping phase and there were no deviations to the scope during the project, ensuring that it was completed within budget.

Cloud Innovation Category

Herfy Food Services

Founded more than 37 years ago, gold winner Herfy is one of the largest restaurant chains and food services companies in the Middle East, with over 370 restaurants and 200 van sales trucks in Saudi Arabia, as well as its own facilities for the production of bread, pastry, meat, and dressings.

Partnering with Arete Global, project Synergy used the ASAP methodology and Herfy’s internal project management tools to implement and roll out SAP S/4HANA to all its restaurants, direct store delivery for the management of van sales, SAP Ariba software for commerce automation of supplier communication, as well as SAP Analytics Cloud.

One of the major key performance indicators (KPIs) for the project was minimization of physical inventory variance. In the first two quarters after go-live with SAP S/4HANA, Herfy realized a reduction in physical inventory by 50 percent, which also means that the project self-funded itself. The judges were extremely impressed with Herfy’s Synergy project, as the team had an excellent approach from vision to achieving business benefits, including outstanding change management and excellence in execution. One thing that stood out was how Herfy safeguarded the quality of the go-lives by using a two-month pilot with six restaurants to solve 100 percent of the issues before rolling out to 370 restaurants.


DEE GmbH is Germany’s leading B2B supplier for mass customized corporate wear, providing sportswear, corporate fashion, and corporate workwear for 28 of the 30 DAX-listed companies in Germany.

DEE GmbH was looking for an IT solution that would offer business insights in real time, anywhere, on any device, and was flexible and scalable enough to support the integration of acquired companies and future growth. DEE GmbH chose SAP S/4HANA Cloud covering the finance, purchasing, and sales functions, which was rolled out in a record time of 16 weeks in Munich, Böhmenkirch, and Unterriexingen.

The “innovagil” implementation methodology, based on SAP Activate, was recommended by partner innovabee, as short sprints could be run simultaneously to ensure the tight deadline could be kept, as well as using SAP Best Practices Explorer for process flows to avoid costly customization. Increased transparency up to the management and more efficient processes have already resulted in increased customer satisfaction. ​

DEE won silver for its outstanding project management, involving all users from different areas in all project phases, embedding risk management such as quality gate checks and status reports so that potential risks were identified early on, and an excellent communication strategy. As one judge said, if you want to include a project run by the book in a university course, take the DEE GmbH project.

Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht

The bronze award went to Belgian First Division football team Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht (RSCA), the most successful Belgian football team in European competitions.

In 2016, RSCA started a strategic program both on a commercial and a sporting level. ​With more than 400,000 sales of single tickets per year, in addition to season tickets, RSCA wanted to implement an intelligent enterprise platform and improve the customer experience for fans and B2B customers. This included a new ticketing system and combining all platforms — customer identity access management, event ticketing, mobile applications, and cashless payment options — to reduce overhead, have extensive real-time reporting, and ensuring GDPR compliance. The old system lacked the essential functionality of online ticket sales and sales via secondary markets.

The 10-month project deadline was set to March 2018, which left RSCA room for extra testing and issue solving before the operational go-live in May, the start of ticket renewal period for the 2018-2019 football season. Implementation partner Domani Business Solutions used the SAP Accelerated Implementation methodology, which meant that the project started with a blueprint that was then the basis for the development plans, budgeting, and project planning. ​​During the entire project, all key users were involved in the implementation. With extensive testing during separate phases of the project, in separate systems and after a partial go-live, there were zero errors in the ticket sales process at go-live!

This award was given to RSCA for its clear quantified business case, testing approach, project KPIs defined at the start of the project and achieved, and for internal collaboration and cooperation with six different partners. The project remained completely in line with the strategic vision and goals.

Innovation Category

LC Waikiki

With more than 931 stores in 45 countries, global fashion retailer LC Waikiki sells fashion, shoes, cosmetics, and home accessories. With the philosophy that “everyone deserves to dress well,” LC Waikiki decided to launch an e-commerce platform for sales operations outside Turkey, enabling people to enjoy accessible fashion through quality products at affordable prices.

The SAP Commerce solution was the platform of choice launched across 27 European countries, supporting nine languages, five currencies, and five payment options. The business objectives, which the project met, were to improve the customer experience, decrease shipping costs, reduce time-to-market, and to test markets where there are no physical stores. In the first year, LC Waikiki managed to increase sales by US$8 million.

The judges awarded LC Waikiki the gold for the complex project with teams spread across 18 companies and 27 countries. The success of the project lay in the focus on change management and transparent communication, with daily or weekly meetings as needed, all documentation available online, and bringing the teams together at the Waikiki headquarters before important milestones. Other important factors were the effective governance, leading to quick decision making, and adapting the project management methodology (agile ccrum and kanban) according to business and project needs. With experts from SAP Turkey and extensive use of SAP Best Practices and SAP Model Company,  LC Waikiki reduced risk effectively, increased quality, and reduced time-to-market.

Metinvest Holding LLC

Metinvest Holding is a vertically integrated group of steel and mining companies with more than US$11.88 billion in annual revenue as well as a complex production chain that includes 17 production sites in the mining, coke-making, and steel-making sectors located in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Italy, UK, and the U.S. Metinvest produces a diversified range of products, including iron ore products, coke and coal products, and semi-finished and finished steel products, including rolled products and pipes, and exports it to more than 100 countries.

The “Coal-Coke-Iron” project implementing the SAP Sales and Operations Planning application aimed to develop a planning system to manage the company’s end-to-end production chain that includes four metallurgical plants, five coke plants, and more than 70 external and internal coal suppliers. The solution developed within the project was going to be an integral part of the Metinvest global sales and operations planning system.

Everything the project set out to accomplish was achieved, including reduction in production costs as well as coal stock balance and the introduction of an online planning tool with what-if analysis to replace the cumbersome manual planning. Overall, the positive impact of the project is approximately US$20 million annually. ​​

Metinvest won silver in the Innovation category for the Coal-Coke-Iron project. A number of things caught the judge’s attention, including collaboration with the Ukrainian State Research Institute for Carbochemistry to develop a mathematical model for coke plant production program planning; combining ASAP with agile implementation methodology as an effective approach for innovative project tasks; and the open communication with SAP experts and industry leaders at SAP conferences and summits, where escalation issues and project deliverables were discussed to jointly identify the best solution using SAP technology.

wasl LLC

One of the largest real estate management companies in Dubai, wasl Asset Management Group was established by the Dubai Real Estate Corporation to oversee the management of its assets and grow its real estate portfolio. Through its three subsidiaries — wasl properties, wasl hospitality & leisure and dubai golf — wasl operates in various real estate, lifestyle, leisure, hospitality, and business sectors.

The ultimate strategic objective of this project, which implemented SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, was to plan and manage corporate cash flow and overall strategic business planning and budgeting for all the group of companies. CPM Consulting Pte Ltd and a well-defined wasl project management standard based on PMI, ASAP methodology, and IT governance based on COBIT 5, all helped to execute this complex project successfully. The benefits are now evident as budgeting and planning effort has been reduced by 70 percent; historical contract data used for planning, forecasting, and budgeting is near to 100 percent accurate; and fully automated corporate cash flow and business planning, which was means that corporate cash flow planning, has decreased from three months to 10 days.

A key highlight of this project was the development of a multi-disciplinary feasibility study for real estate projects — investment planning, including joint venture and financing debt/equity ratio). Reporting on financial key performance indicators like IRR and payback period by real-time calculations. Such a solution for real estate and infrastructure investment planning has never been designed or developed for such as big industry before on SAP Business Planning and Consolidation.

The bronze award went to wasl Asset Management Group for a well planned project with executive management engagement and drive across the company in order to achieve innovation and KPIs. Product usage was maximized for innovation purposes and total cost of ownership reduction and clear benefits and return on investment were demonstrated.

Feature image by Carina Kircher Fotografie

Congratulations to all local and regional SAP Quality Award winners and their partners for their outstanding implementation projects. Have you successfully implemented an SAP project in the last 18 months? Apply for an SAP Quality Award here.

Top image via © Carina Kircher Fotografie