Rémy Cointreau switches the 1,300 users of its SAP ECC ERP to SAP S/4HANA with PM from VISEO Group
The Rémy Cointreau group compounded the challenges it faced when modernizing its IS, by merging two SAP ECC ERPs, building a single core model, harmonizing its financial and logistical processes, and switching everything to SAP S/4HANA on cloud infrastructures. An ambitious and ultimately successful project.
Customers around the world are looking for exceptional experiences; customers for whom a wide variety of regional producers means a variety of flavors. Their standards are commensurate with the Remy Cointreau Group’s expertise and refined knowledge handed down from generation to generation. It is for these men and women that Rémy Cointreau, a French family-owned group, protects its lands, cultivates exceptional centuries-old spirits and is committed to preserving their timeless modernity. The group’s portfolio includes high-end and unique brands, such as Rémy Martin and Louis XIII cognacs and Cointreau liqueur. Rémy Cointreau has one ambition: to become the world leader in exceptional spirits. To achieve this, it relies on the commitment and creativity of its 1,850 employees and its distribution subsidiaries located in the group's strategic markets. Rémy Cointreau is listed on Euronext Paris.
SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA: Business Process Harmonization and IS Modernization
In 2018, Rémy Cointreau launched a major project aimed at harmonizing its business processes and modernizing its information system. The company’s two ERPs were being used by more than 1,300 users in no fewer than 12 countries. The project’s first objective was to merge the two SAP ECC ERPs into one, and then migrate to the SAP S/4HANA intelligent ERP in cloud mode. A transformational project for the group, supported by a strong commitment from Management.
“To support us in implementing this major international project, we chose the VISEO group company, Progress Management (PM), which has supported the group with its SAP solutions since 2007,” explains Olivier Ruault, ISD at Rémy Cointreau. “PM teams carried out all of our deployment projects, and are responsible for maintaining SAP solutions. They have genuine knowledge of our business, our systems, and the challenges facing the Wines & Spirits sector, and they have demonstrated their extensive experience in implementing SAP integration projects with S/4HANA.”
A comprehensive review of the information system
The Cap One project was launched in October 2019, and was completed in May 2021. For 18 months, Rémy Cointreau and Progress Management teams worked to develop a core model, which was completed at the beginning of the first lockdown in 2020. This core model capitalizes on the settings and specificities of the previous solution, while integrating several major innovations:
- Return to standard for certain processes, which reduced the number of specific objects by 80% during migration.
- Integration of new concepts, such as business partners, and the material ledger, which is used to develop brandy stocks subject to complex operations and aging over several decades.
- Merger of the two systems led to the merger of the two account plans, now replaced by a single international format plan, with dedicated books for local specificities.
- Implementation of an inter-company invoicing and transaction reconciliation process that facilitates the management of complex routes to market.
- Redesign of the analytical structure to enable P&L monitoring by business, brand, customer, etc.
- Implementation of Fiori tiles when they represented a gain in terms of portability, for specific functions, in the interest of reduced change management.
- The use of the universal log to provide reconciled follow-up statements to financiers and management controllers.
The first deployment was carried out in April 2020, with a broad scope that included France, Switzerland, Belgium and Barbados. Cap One was subsequently deployed in other regions, including the United Kingdom, United States and 6 Asian countries, continuing until April 2021. Work performed entirely remotely, due to the Coronavirus crisis. “Our deployment methodology had to undergo an in-depth review,” Olivier Ruault explains. “But what began as an obstacle became an opportunity, as working remotely forced local teams to mobilize. Ultimately, the health crisis was a commitment accelerator.”
In terms of infrastructure, Rémy Cointreau moved from a system which was fully hosted on dedicated servers to a cloud IS. The SAP S/4HANA ERP is deployed on the Google Cloud Platform and other SAP tools are hosted either on GCP, AWS, or on SAP cloud infrastructures.
An evolving solution
“The project went very well; it was a success,” summarizes Olivier Ruault. “Few business or technical impacts were observed during the migration.” The choice to keep the ECC system’s historical data (a scenario known as Hybrid scenario or Shell conversion) minimized business impacts in areas where few changes were required. However, the change will require guidance to support the system’s development over time. “We are establishing user communities, training platforms to integrate new employees, and KPIs to track usage of the system.”
Rémy Cointreau plans to update Cap One three times per year. “This is a faster rate of renewal than previously. Our challenge will be to mobilize a sufficient number of teams to maintain this pace. The next version of our ERP, scheduled for November 2021, will incorporate approximately 70 improvements. In 2022, we will focus on new features and innovations, most likely through a version upgrade of SAP S/4HANA and wider utilization of Fiori.”
ERP is also at the heart of Rémy Cointreau’s e-commerce solution, encompassing order, financial and logistics flows. Lastly, Cap One will have to adapt to certain ongoing transformations, such as the direct resumption of distribution of several brands, and the integration of new entities, such as Maison Telmont, which was acquired by Rémy Cointreau in October 2020.
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