VSL SAP Cloud ERP Implementation based in Best Practices

VSL deploys SAP Business ByDesign

Quick Start based on Best Practice

delivers more than expected results

VSL - Dutch National Metrology Institute

VSL is the Dutch National Metrology Institute and is an internationally authoritative knowledge institute in the field of metrology. As well as the management and development of the national primary measurement standards, VSL experts provide tailor made services and calibrations.

Early 2016, VSL launched a project to innovate organization, processes and systems with SAP Business ByDesign, the integrated Cloud ERP application of SAP. The main challenge is shifting from different customized applications to a standard solution and improving the efficiency of business processes.


We have interviewed:

Daniel Bos – Deputy Manager Calibration and Reference Materials Calibration and Project Manager VSL Cloud ERP Implementation Project

Marc Pieksma – Scientific Program Manager

Diederik van Duuren – Project Manager Scheer Nederland

SAP Cloud ERP recognized Partner

Replacing Customized Features by Standard Best Practices

After working for over ten years with mainly customized applications to support their operations, VSL has now chosen for an integral ERP system with best practices for their core processes and supporting activities.


Having access to tailor made application seems like the most ideal solution. However, the reality proved us that fulfilling additional demands lead to delays in the organization. Long delays in delivery of requested solutions and struggling with incorrect information made us yearn for a new and standardized application. Marc Pieksma

Fast responding to market developments

Like any other organization, VSL wants to anticipate faster to changing market conditions. This requires a higher level of efficiency within the organization. This anticipation is achieved by digitizing business processes from start to finish and enabling work flows to guide the users through the whole process. In addition, all necessary figures need to be available in real time and based on a single source.


VSL selected SAP's integrated Cloud ERP solution to support all its primary processes: Sales, Procurement, Project- and Financial Administration, Planning, Logistics, Inventory Management and Human Resources. SAP Business ByDesign records data just once and this data is immediately available for the different departments to perform the follow-up steps in the process. Furthermore, SAP Business ByDesign provides the necessary digitization of documents. This applies to financial, logistic and technical documents. These documents can be made available by project and by role.

Transition from Customized Legacy to Cloud ERP without obstacles

Scheer Nederland, the implementation partner, established clear standards and regulations to enable a smooth and quickly transition of the 120+ users to the new Cloud ERP environment, without any problems.


This Cloud ERP implementation project was executed under the following rules of engagement:

  • ƒƒ A clearly defined fixed scope with all primary basic functions to ensure continuation of business as usual;
  • ƒƒ Thorough planning of four months to Prepare, Realize, Verify and Go Live with the Cloud ERP Application with over 120 users;
  • ƒƒ Availability of six VSL team members representing all necessary disciplines; After implementation, they become Key User to provide primary support;
  • ƒƒ The 120+ End Users are trained by the Key Users and the standard self-learning program within SAP Business ByDesign.

The motto for this implementation was clear: All situations are handled by standard best practice solutions.

Process focus leads to successful Operations

Now, three months after the start up, we are looking back on a successful project. Key reasons for this successful implementation was the focus on the processes and how SAP Business ByDesign provides support to its users. 


The approach of Scheer Netherlands is targeting the core activities of the VSL organization and their associated processes to have detailed discussion how these processes can be optimally supported from A to Z. The focus is on collaboration between the organizational units and assigning the required functionality to a department based on the available best practice process scenarios. This approach gives the customer the desired end-to-end process support, based on standard functionality. - Diederik van Duuren


The side by side cooperation of business people and consultants created short communication lines. The process experts from VSL and Scheer Netherlands have realized an optimal standard environment to cover both straightforward and complex project concepts of the VSL service offerings.


Direct benefits from one integrated Cloud ERP solution

The direct benefit is the easy and simple way in which departments work together. The complete transparency of each process step and its related documents clearly increases the quality of VLS's business operations. In addition, communication with business partners has been fully digitized. 


For our complex projects, we see a potential efficiency improvement of 40%. For the standard projects this improvement is 20 to 25%.

The efficiency improvement found within administrative processes are reduced lead times, elimination of process steps and having one source of information. The quality of our data is significantly improved because all data is within a single and integrated system. This improvement enables us to change from a reactive towards a proactive mode of engagement with our customers. - Daniel Bos

SAP Cloud ERP makes VSL ready for the future

SAP Business ByDesign has been a strategic choice by VSL. The cloud based ERP application, provides room for further

growth and response to current and future IT and market developments: 

  • Standardization based on one system for all departments
  • Better cooperation between customer, supplier and employee in digital form; Capability of the application to required level of functionality for each department
  • Use of Mobile Apps for Approvals, Time Management and Business Alerts
  • Rapid respond to new IT/Business trends
  • Significantly lower IT costs for management and support
  • No hardware and software investments and ongoing IT-projects

Feedback from the project members

Standard versus Customization

Having access to tailor made application seems like the most ideal solution. However, the reality proved us that fulfilling additional demands lead to delays in the organization. Long delays in delivery of requested solutions and struggling with incorrect information made us yearn for a new and standardized application.

Marc Pieksma - VSL

Process Focus for Operational Excellence

The approach of Scheer Netherlands is targeting the core activities of the VSL organization and their associated processes to have detailed discussion how these processes can be optimally supported from A to Z. The focus is on collaboration between the organizational units and assigning the required functionality to a department based on the available best practice process scenarios. This approach gives the customer the desired end-to-end process support, based on standard functionality.

Diederik van Duuren - Scheer Nederland

Direct Benefits

For our complex projects, we see a potential efficiency improvement of 40%. For the standard projects this improvement is 20 to 25%.

The efficiency improvement found within administrative processes are reduced lead times, elimination of process steps and having one source of information. The quality of our data is significantly improved because all data is within a single and integrated system. This improvement enables us to change from a reactive towards a proactive mode of engagement with our customers. 

Daniel Bos - VSL