Arlanxeo streamlines consolidation with SAP BPC

‘s-Hertogenbosch, 14 October 2019 – Arlanxeo – a world-leading synthetic elastomers company – has greatly simplified the consolidation process with SAP BPC Optimized for S/4HANA. In addition, company benefits from a real-time insight into the financial figures. SAP partners Finext and Plainwater supervised the implementation.

ARLANXEO’s core business is the development, manufacturing and marketing of synthetic high-performance elastomers for use in the automotive and tire industries, the construction industry, and the oil and gas industries. The company was founded in 2016 as a joint venture between the Saudi Aramco  and the Lanxess chemical group. End of December 2018 Saudi Aramco took over all the shares and became 100 percent owner of Arlanxeo.

This development had major consequences for the IT landscape. Until then, Arlanxeo had been using Lanxess’ systems. A complete ‘rip and replace’ of the existing infrastructure was therefore necessary.

Opportunity

Arlanxeo saw this situation as an opportunity to modernise the IT environment from the ground up, completely according to their own  needs and insights. The company opted for SAP S/4HANA on-prem as a basis, hosted in  SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC). This modern ERP platform acts as a catalyst for all relevant business processes. It also provided an ideal basis for accelerating the consolidation process. It recently completed the implementation of SAP BPC for this purpose. With the new solutions, Arlanxeo is also embracing the standard processes that go with it, and is saying goodbye to the old, historically grown landscape, with  many customised solutions.

Faster and simpler

After a smooth implementation process, Arlanxeo benefits from a highly simplified BPC environment. The increased speed of the process is also an important advantage. “Currently we need eight days of legal entity closing, whereas our new parent company requires a consolidated report at the sixth working day. Thanks to SAP BPC, we have an excellent starting point to meet this  in the future. In addition, due to the integrated, simplified environment, we were able to reduce three profit and loss (P&L) statements to one single P&L report,” says Manfred Wicker, head of finance and controlling platforms at Arlanxeo.

“By using the latest HANA technology, we were able to virtualize the calculation as much as possible. This has a positive effect on the total process time and reduces data duplication,” adds Bastiaan Sanders, Senior SAP BI Consultant and founder of Plainwater.

Real-time insight

Performance and simplicity are not the only advantages of the new IT environment. Due to the close integration of the special SAP BPC version with S/4HANA, Arlanxeo benefits from a ‘single source of truth’. “Changes and business transactions in S/4HANA are directly available for BPC. Providing postings in almost real-time to our new consolidation engine makes us much more agile and enables us to make better decisions,” explains Wicker.

Close cooperation

For the implementation, Arlanxeo relied on the knowledge and experience of Finext and Plainwater. Thanks to the close cooperation and an agile/scrum approach, the new environment was up and running within a few months. “Because we were able to build an entirely new IT environment, agile/scrum was a logical choice. You can then quickly assess the impact of new processes and changes together,” says Sanders. “With a waterfall method, such large changes would not have been possible, or at least would have taken longer.”

Arlanxeo also has a close cooperation with SAP. Wicker: “We are in direct contact with SAP’s S/4HANA development team. That way  we benefit from their knowledge, experience and most recent or even planned developments. Moreover we can provide them hints for potential improvements or bug fixing.”

Future plans

Mid of 2020 the S/4 HANA roll-out will be concluded and this way full integration in the new IT system landscape will be achieved. Arlanxeo will then focus to gain user friendliness and further process improvements by implementing more Fiori Apps and taking use of RPA (Robotic Process Automation).  “With our new IT infrastructure, we are prepared for the future”, concludes Wicker.