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Leonhart goes to the cloud – switching to SAP S/4HANA

The J. Leonhart Group – a French sand, stone, and concrete products company – has completely rethought its information system and opted for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, supported by a dedicated application deployed on the SAP Business Transformation Platform (BTP, formerly SAP Cloud Platform). The goal: a standardized and homogeneous ERP system that is also reliable and scalable.

Leonhart Group is a company that has historically specialized in the extraction and recovery of sand and aggregates. It markets aggregates, natural stones, ready-mix concrete, and various concrete products for heavy and light precast construction, among other products. The Alsatian company also has its own transport and construction equipment rental business. It celebrated its 100th birthday in 2020.

The group generates annual sales of 120 million euros and employs 600 people spread across some fifteen sites in France. It has experienced strong growth over the past 20 years. “As a result of this growth, we had a very heterogeneous IT landscape including numerous, very specific tools that were more or less interconnected,” explains Nicolas Battesti, administrative and financial director.

The company wanted to implement a standardized and structured ERP system covering all business processes and allowing quick access to data. “We needed a common platform for all the companies in the group, continues Nicolas Battesti. Our CIO defined precise and detailed specifications for our future solution, then we approached integrators.”

An SAP ERP in SaaS mode

The tender was launched at the end of 2020 with the aim of conducting a comprehensive study of the solutions available on the market and the proposed deployment methods. Leonhart Group studied the advantages and disadvantages of an on-premises or cloud deployment and ultimately decided on a SaaS model.

“What we liked about SaaS was the cost control, explains Nicolas Battesti. But also the ease of upgrading and evolving. Previously, we were working with tools and systems that were no longer suitable because they could not adapt to changing business processes. So it was important for us to have solutions that would evolve over time. We wanted to focus on a long-term offering.”

Based on the company’s specifications, Nagarro ES proposed the SAP S/4HANA Cloud ERP system, which addressed the specific business needs, with the ability to connect to the rest of the company’s IT through the SAP Business Transformation Platform (BTP, formerly SAP Cloud Platform). The only part not natively covered by the ERP is the weighing of trucks entering and leaving sand pits. Nagarro ES used its innovation lab for a specific development based on the SAP BTP and innovative technologies such as visual recognition and IoT. The result is a weighbridge connected to SAP with technology that enables international license plate recognition, truck weighing and automatic receipt generation.

Starting from scratch

Leonhart Group was impressed by the solution’s functionality, but also with SAP Activate’s methodology, fit-to-standard approach and Nagarro ES’ ability to meet specific business requirements. “This partner seems solid to us in terms of size, financial capabilities and expertise of the team,” said Nicolas Battesti. “So far, we have always dealt with competent and experienced consultants and felt that our needs were well understood.”

The company wanted to rethink its ERP from scratch, with a fairly broad range of functions, from business management and finance to production, customer relations and logistics. Analytics capabilities were also considered, “We really liked the integrated BI because it’s easy to use and powerful.”

The workshops started at the beginning of March 2021. Leonhart Group’s desire to adhere as closely as possible to the standards and the clearly defined project path in advance are good prerequisites for project implementation. The production start of SAP S/4HANA Cloud ERP is planned for January 2022.

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