Arlanxeo enhances its financial processes with SAP BPC

10 December 2019 Consultancy.eu

Arlanxeo, a multinational manufacturer of synthetic rubber, has successfully adopted SAP BPC to bolster the efficiency and accuracy of its financial processes. 

Founded in 2016 as a joint venture between the chemical groups of Saudi Aramco* and Lanxess, Arlanxeo is a producer of synthetic elastomers (rubber) for use in the automotive, construction and the oil & gas industries. The company, headquartered in Maastricht, Netherlands, generates revenues of around €3.5 billion globally, serving its customers through 20 production locations in nine countries.

Up to 2016, Arlanxeo had been using the IT systems of Lanxess, however, following a carve-out, the company needed to develop a new IT infrastructure. Manfred Wicker, head of finance and controlling platforms at Arlanxeo: “We choose SAP S/4HANA as the core system of the new landscape.”

As part of the SAP S/4HANA implementation, Arlanxeo decided to adopt SAP BPC Optimized, a module which helps financial planners and controllers with the consolidation and reporting process. According to Wicker, SAP BPC provides the “ideal basis” for accelerating the fast-close process.“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,” he said. 

The transition has also enabled the rubber manufacturer to say goodbye to its legacy landscape, which consisted of many customised solutions, resulting in sub-optimal processes. By using one integrated system, “there is no need any more to harmonise for example finance and controlling,” said Wicker, paving the way for quicker delivery of performance improvement initiatives. 

Furthermore, due to the close integration between SAP BPC and S/4HANA, Arlanxeo benefits from a ‘single source of truth’. Wicker: “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.” 

External partners

The roll-out of SAP BPC was delivered in close cooperation with SAP, consultants from Finext and Tribers, and system integrators from Plainwater. On the back of an agile/scrum approach, the implementation of the ERP system – notorious for its complexity – went smooth; up and running within a few months. 

Bastiaan Sanders, founder of Plainwater, unpacked; “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. With a waterfall method, such large changes would not have been possible, or at least would have taken longer.”

Meanwhile, the implementation of SAP S/4HANA is still underway, planned to be completed mid-2020. “With our new IT infrastructure in place, we will be prepared for the future,” concluded Wicker.

*At the end of last year Saudi Aramco took over all the shares of Arlanxeo and became 100% owner.


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