WALLDORF — Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading global pharmaceutical research company, is driving its digital transformation forward — in collaboration with SAP SE (NYSE: SAP). The family-run company is migrating its global ERP systems to SAP S/4HANA, a key element of its strategic initiative for developing a digital core for the areas of finance, supply chain, retail, operations and quality.
The new system went live in late October — at more than 80 companies with 21 production sites in 41 countries, from New Zealand to South America. The ongoing global transformation is taking place in stages in different markets and will be completed by 2025.
The go-live in these countries was executed nearly simultaneously, in just four days. More than 600 employees were involved worldwide, running more than 3,400 test scripts. The brownfield approach posed a special challenge to the project: completing a 1:1 conversion of the existing ERP system “GBS” to SAP S/4HANA within the regulated processes. Due to the myriad documentation requirements in the pharmaceutical industry, it is especially important to build on the existing ERP system without reimplementing or disrupting ongoing business processes.
“With SAP S/4HANA as our digital core, we have created the foundation for using additional innovations like predictive analytics, AI-based automation, and SAP® Asset Intelligence Network, combined with a new user experience. As such, Boehringer Ingelheim remains an early adopter in the industry,” said Markus Schümmelfeder, CIO at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Alexander Kläger, managing director, SAP Germany SE & Co. KG., also emphasized the importance of the partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim: “We need the courage to innovate to meet the challenges in the healthcare system. Boehringer Ingelheim is moving key innovations forward as part of its digital transformation, and our technologies are creating the foundation. We see partnering with companies from the healthcare sector as a societal obligation, not just an important area of business.”
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