Dutch Railways is replacing its current SAP ERP systems with SAP S/4HANA. This way, the traveler company lays the foundation for greater operational efficiency and agility. In addition, the reports are unambiguous and personalized. Relevant management information is also available more quickly, according to SAP and the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen).
NS used to have a decentralized organizational structure with independent business units. These business units all had their own ERP systems with different definitions for objects. “This made it difficult to bring together data for a total overview and to extract valuable information from it,” says Hugo Mans, Finance Director at NS.
“For NS, it’s mainly about the traveler’s journey. You have to be able to plan it first time right”, Mans continues. “This involves a lot of data, for example from the maintenance company. In order to ensure good planning, you need to know when you can include trains in the planning again after maintenance, and where the trains will be located. Managing everything that is important for the customer’s journey also means that you have to be able to organize the financial information in this way. By migrating to SAP S/4HANA, we bring all the necessary data together on one platform. One version of the truth.”
NS performs the migration to SAP S/4HANA in steps, starting with the financial systems. After the switch to the new platform, NS’ finance department will have a tool for better and personalized reporting. Relevant management information can thus be presented more quickly.
“If a manager wants to have information about the revenue development of the five largest customers, the controller has to figure this out,” explains Mans. “And consult the systems again if the manager wants an explanation for a remarkable development. SAP S/4HANA offers a dashboard with the key information that managers need with the ability to ‘drill down’ to the relevant details”.
Basis for BI
After the completion of the first phase of the program in which the financial function migrates to S/4HANA, the migrations of the procurement systems and the operational systems and environments are planned. “In order to bring everything together in one standard SAP system, we need to harmonize and standardize our processes,” says Mans.
“Finally, we also need to optimize our data structure and management so that there is a clear definition of the objects we use within the NS,” concludes the Chief Financial Officer. “This makes it easier to extract business intelligence from the data we then have on a single platform. If you all look at one and the same truth, you can immediately drill down. And, for example, it is quicker to identify the cause of a fluctuation in punctuality.”