DSM - Niaga - Stick to the standard with SAP S/4HANA Cloud

DSM-Niaga® Implements S/4HANA Cloud

Done within 16 weeks | Stick to the standard! ... again and again

Introduction to the DSM-Niaga® Case

Niaga (“again” - spelt backwards) is a DSM start-up offering innovative solutions for recycling in the manufacture of carpets and mattresses. 

Niaga has its own manufacturing facility in the Netherlands, but also delivers technology under license that in combination with adhesives enables circular recycling solutions for the industry.

To manage its operations Niaga needed a full scope ERP solution with the flexibility to scale for growth and implement new business models within the shortest possible time frame. Adding Niaga business entities to one of the existing DSM SAP ECC systems was not the preferred solution so DSM selected S/4HANA Cloud as the new platform for onboarding new initiatives.

DSM wanted to prove that Cloud ERP systems for new businesses can be implemented quickly and successfully. The new platform supports all of Niaga’s end-to-end processes from sales, direct procurement, production, quality management, warehousing, logistics and finance with an SAP Fiori user interface.

Involved Project Members

Nicole Peters - GiS Business Partner DRF/DAM & Workstream Lead Digital DRF2022

Margreeth Klein - Customer Services Benelux Niaga

 Remco Smeets - Project Manager DSM

 Jeroen Steginga - Account Executive SAP Netherlands

Kim van der Put - Project Manager Scheer Nederland

S/4HANA Cloud as a scalable platform for DSM-Niaga®

Remco Smeets (Project Manager DSM) says; “Starting a new business in a short time frame and within the framework of a long-term international operation is a real challenge when following existing ERP support pathways. With this in mind we selected SAP S/4HANA Cloud as a scalable platform for Niaga”. 

It is a tremendous opportunity for DSM to gain experience running an ERP system in the Cloud using a Software-as-a- Service Model. The cloud solution enables a cost-efficient, business-oriented implementation compliant with DSM’s “fit- to-standard” objectives and one designed to ensure a future- proof solution which minimizes IT costs.

S/4HANA Cloud is SAP’s flagship solution for running full scope ERP systems in the Cloud. It is built based on best practice processes and functionality with the aim of digitizing the entire business with embedded analytics, insights to action and predictive capabilities. Leveraging SAP's agile implementation methodology, SAP Activate, it can be implemented and deployed within 3-4 months by following the “fit-to-standard” approach.

From Discovery to Sprints to define the right scope

Scheer was invited to conduct the initial Discovery workshop together with representatives from Niaga and DSM IT. In just one day, we were able to identify those business processes (Scope-Items) core to Niaga’s business and concluded that S/4HANA standard functionality supports the business models within the project scope:

1) Selling the technology under license with the machines and adhesives needed

2) Tolling model for the manufacture and export of carpets

After the Discovery workshop the project plan, planning and budget could be agreed based on the Scheer PerformanceReady Approach, which consists of:

  • SAP Activate methodology with accelerators for configuration, testing, change management and documentation;
  • Agile and process focus to  ensure a solution fully integrated across all the departments involved and the management of its implementation;
  • Detailed “fit-to-standard” workshops to validate the fit of S/4HANA Cloud;
  • Sprints to configure and validate an entire end-to-end process.

A Finance Sprint was added to ensure the integration with DSM Finance Shared Services.

Implementing a full-stack ERP solution within a few months, and one based on standard practices, was a unique experience for DSM. The main advantage of cloud solutions over on- premise implementations is the availability of a starter system. From day one of the project (and without any involvement from IT or long waiting times!) everyone had direct access to all the functionality within scope (items within scope were identified in the Discovery workshop) and the learning content. The platform includes a significant number of scope-items, each with its own configuration, test scripts, and documentation.    A scope-item activates functionality to support an  end-to-  end process or a specific scenario within a process. Above all, DSM needed an experienced partner with the right approach to ensure success.

The process-oriented approach leveraging SAP Activate

ensured a quick implementation but also a rapid learning curve in standard best-practices for the DSM organization internally.

Margreeth Klein (Customer Services Benelux Niaga) says; “Scheer was very keen, structured and systematic in their approach to on-boarding team members and explaining S/4HANA’s end-to-end processes. The flexibility of their support readiness and the continuous dedication to solving problems made it a pleasant and constructive journey”.

At Niaga, S/4HANA Cloud has been implemented to include sales (including export and third party sales), procurement, manufacturing (make-to-order and assembly), quality management, logistics and finance functionality (including profitability reporting, product costing for insight into costs and profitability per product, customer, region and business model).

As in any other project we have learned valuable lessons. The essential lessons learned from this project are:

  • Spend enough time exploring Best practices processes in the “discovery” phase;
  • Make sure that the project’s key participants are fully dedicated to the project;
  • Major lesson learned: the business needs to be convinced that it is able to stick to the standard offering, otherwise managing a project such as this in a short time-frame is not possible;
  • Align Global IT Support with the Cloud ERP initiative early on;
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud works!

Kim van der Put (Project Manager Scheer) emphasizes the importance; “One of the major lessons learned is that in a “fit- to-standard” implementation it is critical to reserve enough time early on in the project to explain and explore the standard best practice processes; both for configuring the best solution and for knowledge transfer to the customer’s organization”.


Using S/4HANA Cloud Niaga is now ready for the future and  is an excellent reference point for other business units with unique business models or fast-growing businesses. The new digital platform for growth provides DSM with real-time insight into its physical and financial positions across the entire supply chain and an open environment for collaboration with partners. End-users have their dashboard with KPI's for monitoring the business in real-time and with direct insights into exceptions. Niaga operates with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, a compliant, secure environment in which to fulfill their governance requirements.

Nicole Peters says: "This specific use case within DSM was a great starting point and opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the S/4HANA Cloud platform. Together with Scheer, we achieved something previously regarded as impossible within DSM: deliver an ERP implementation during a Dutch summer in only 4 months".

A word from SAP

In May 2019 SAP and Scheer Nederland concluded the Digital Discovery Assessment and Brand Guardian process for the S/4HANA Public Cloud. In mid-June the implementation started with a small DSM/Scheer team and further supported by SAP Preferred Success throughout the summer holiday season. Regular steering committee meetings showed the project’s healthy progress and revealed solutions to minor issues as they arose. Niaga went live on October 1st, according to plan! With the results proven in this project it is anticipated that other DSM business units will make the move into S4HANA Cloud too.

Jeroen Steginga (Account Executive SAP) says: “I think success was achieved because both the business unit and IT were willing to adopt SAP standard functionality which enabled Niaga to implement sales, finance, purchasing, manufacturing and logistics within a short time frame and without  any managing a project such as this in a short time-frame without customizations"..

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