Success Story: Imperial Logistics

Integrated warehouse and transport processing with SAP S/4HANA

At a glance

      Imperial Logistics
      Logistics service provider
      Duisburg, Germany
      3,5 billion (2018)

The company

As one of the world's leading logistics providers, Imperial Logistics employs a total of more than 30,000 people at 340 locations. The company, which is headquartered in Duisburg, Germany, has expanded increasingly through several acquisitions in recent years. The Group's business activities are divided into the two divisions Imperial Transport Solutions and Imperial Supply Chain Solutions.

„Thanks to the dedicated efforts of abat AG, a successful interaction of warehouse and transport processes in SAP S/4HANA could be realized and implemented.“

Sandra Constantin
Imperial Logistics

The challenge

As a result of various company acquisitions, the data processing infrastructure has grown continuously and is now extremely complex. The challenge now was to standardize this heterogeneous landscape. In 2015, the company therefore began to rebuild the IT network. SAP plays an important role here as a strategic partner with its standard product SAP S/4HANA. The SAP S/4HANA roadmap targets the areas of finance and logistics, and the German and Chinese companies already started using SAP S/4HANA Finance on Release 1511 in mid-2016.

As part of a corporate restructuring at the beginning of 2016, two divisions were created under the umbrella of Imperial Logistics International.

While one specialized in transportation, with the business units Shipping, Road and Express Freight, the other focused on supply chain services. The problem was that the Transport Division did not have any SAP application in use until then.

The solution

A logistics template was implemented for the Chemicals division. This was to cover the areas of warehouse and transport logistics in particular. SAP promotes the two supply chain products SAP EWM and SAP TM as partial solutions for managing and optimizing the digital supply chain. However, with the S/4HANA 1610 and 1709 releases, embedded EWM has now been delivered for the first time and subsequently SAP TM has also been integrated into the overall S/4HANA solution. With the implementation of Embedded EWM and TM integration in S/4HANA on release 1709, Imperial Logistics was thus one of the pioneers in the use of the software, which was still new at the time.

Solutions in Chemistry Template:

The project

The S/4HANA Greenfield implementation of the logistics template was based on a classic business blueprint in its implementation.

The main objective of the project was basically to develop a rollout-capable template that could be applied in accordance with the requirements of the warehouse in Rieste (Lower Saxony), which went into operation at the end of 2018. The decisive factor here was the requirement to map storage and transport processes in compliance with the official restrictions on hazardous substances.

In the course of completing the blueprints, initial adjustments were already made to the pilot system. At the end of 2018, the first go-live in the area of goods receipt (inbound) was scheduled. The inbound activities were carried out exclusively in S/4HANA EWM.

The transport planning and processing activities mapped via the S/4HANA TM only came into play in the outbound area.

At the beginning of calendar year 2019, the first outbound processes in the area of goods issue took place via the newly implemented system. These activities included both warehouse and transportation planning specific activities.

Billing activities (warehouse, transport and forwarding billing) then went live as part of a second "soft go-live" by the end of May 2019, ultimately completing the overall solution.


Uniform user interface for warehouse and transport
Interlocked storage and transport processes

The results

The pilot implementation of the logistics template at the Rieste site laid the foundation for the logistics template. By creating it, a further step was taken on the way to digitizing and harmonizing the IT structure.

In addition, the implementation of embedded SAP S/4HANA EWM and TM processes sustainably improved the connection of warehouse and transport processes.

„By implementing the S/4HANA Embedded EWM and TM integration, logistics users now have only one user interface in which to perform all activities.“

Björn Paz, Imperial Logistics

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