The energy industry is undergoing a massive transformation, one sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shifting consumer behaviors and fluctuating world markets that have taken shape in its wake. Midsize North American energy operator Delek is tackling these changes head on — by placing technology at the heart of its corporate strategy.

In fact, the company has now reached a critical moment in its history of unprecedented growth, with over 300 stores and four refineries on the continent, in addition to the separate companies currently leading its logistics and innovation development.

This made it a perfect time to sit down with Delek’s vice president of Enterprise Information Management, Nir Yatziv, to better understand how technology — and SAP S/4HANA — will help position the company for future growth.

Channeling Acquired Assets Into a Single Source of Truth

Delek has been an SAP customer for more than 11 years, and made a series of strategic acquisitions in that time. While each addition has positioned the company to accelerate its growth, each acquired asset also came with a unique set of SAP systems and customizations. “Years of acquisitions had created a system with different standards and more than 6,000 objects to consolidate,” Yatziv explained.

As a result, Delek’s strategy focuses on maximizing utilization and standardization to achieve new efficiencies across the organization. SAP S/4HANA quickly emerged as the solution of choice, as the refinery team felt it was the best solution presented and could handle such a large integration of systems.

“All of the members of our team carry more than 30 years of SAP experience, and they very happy with what they were seeing with SAP S/4HANA,” Yatziv said. “When we compared SAP to the competition, it quickly became clear why SAP has succeeded in the energy sector: the industry speaks the language of SAP without even knowing it sometimes, something the competition couldn’t contend with.”

SAP CEO Christian Klein’s RISE with SAP announcement could not have come at a better time.

The Case for RISE with SAP and SAP S/4HANA at Delek

As an SAP veteran, Yatziv evaluated the new RISE with SAP offering and immediately saw benefits, from simplifying the order processing process to better navigating complex implementation scenarios. However, making such a transformational change is not a trivial decision. So, why should an SAP customer make the move now?

“Most companies that use SAP are large data companies, and SAP S/4HANA has an in-memory database that provides quick calculation capabilities,” Yatziv said. “SAP S/4HANA brings unparalleled ease of use, flexibility, and user experience.”

Going Forward: The Importance of Standardization

Today, Yatziv and his team are preparing for first phase of their SAP S/4HANA greenfield implementation, which is set to begin in July and continue through the end of 2021. The Delek team is itching to get started.

“SAP best practices work,” Yatziv said. “Challenge yourself to be humble with your approach. We committed to achieving the standard, even though it meant changing our working processes. If your SAP system doesn’t match the way you work, check your processes. Because SAP best practices have been well-established – and have been proven to be highly successful.”

The SAP S/4HANA Success series features content by leaders from SAP North America focused on highlighting customer success with SAP S/4HANA. Learn how customers in this region manage successful implementations with the partner ecosystem and SAP Services as well as leverage the platform to transform their industries.

John Tully is senior vice president and managing director of the South Region for SAP North America.