Berner Group develops SAP architecture for a digitised future

11th October 2018

The challenge

Berner Group was planning to modernise its IT landscape, whereas the focus was explicitly not on IT matters. The objective framed by Berner Group’s executive board: the definition of a flexible and adaptive target architecture not only withstanding the high demands of a technical wholesaler with enormous logistic challenges, but also offering sufficient strategic options plus operative excellence for the future competition with growing digital players.

Thus, the executive board has determined IT as a classic support function to be a core function of the commercial enterprise – a core function especially serving the automation and optimisation of existing processes, the definition of new processes and the rapid development of data-driven services.

In detailed workshops consenso was presented with the existing as-is IT architecture. Some of the most important questions were:

  • How can the business requirements of the field service in the areas route planning, product presentation, pricing etc. be considered in the context of a holistic IT architecture?
  • How will the customer be informed about delivery capability and order status across the channels?
  • How can we meet the future information requirements? How can various tools be used in this context?
  • What is the long-term architecture of the financial systems?
  • There is a need for action in the LVS field (warehouse management system) in the logistics area. Do we have to consider an LVS separately or will it be integrated end-to-end in the process landscape?
  • Will supplier and forwarder management require more transparency and optimisation opportunities?
  • What can a holistic, future-proof concept for master data management (i.a. product data) look like?

The approach

In a state-of-the-art approach, consenso defined the setup of the business-demand-oriented architecture management in order to frame the focus for the digital future from the business requirements, and not from the existing IT functions and deficits.

Based on an integrated methodology, the business department describes the requirements in detail, while IT designs the suitable systems – in this way business demands and IT development are perfectly aligned. Effectiveness of IT is maximised as the focus is on the highly prioritised business demands. Efficiency of IT is increased due to quicker decisions and avoidance of redundancies and maldevelopments.

With the development of the architecture management, the future roles and processes have been introduced and lived so that they are optimally implemented and functionable after completion of the project.

The approach consisted of the following phases and artefacts building the result of the demand-oriented architecture:

  • Definition of the strategy and derivation of the business domain model,
  • Development of the business capabilities together with the business departments and documentation in form of a capability map,
  • Construction of a business architecture with a corresponding business object model,
  • Definition of a target compliant to-be IT architecture,
  • Development of a roadmap for the to-be IT architecture (rough),
  • Fit-gap analysis of to-be architecture and project portfolio,
  • Project preparation with project plan (time, scope, budget)

The results

In the context of the project, we gathered and documented the business requirements in form of capabilities, defined a target architecture supporting the capabilities at best, and developed a roadmap necessary for the implementation of the architecture. Furthermore, we assigned capabilities to architecture components that continue to be updated. As a result, Berner Group disposes of a continuous architecture management, well and firmly established in the company and organisation, the so-called “Customer Centricity Architecture (CCA)”.

In coordination with Berner Group, we discussed and evaluated the implementation approaches (green field vs. brown field) for the architecture components, determined the implementation order, estimated the necessary project resources and other efforts and also finalised the project management methodology and program governance.


From our service area IT Strategy
Categories: Architecture Management | Merchandise Management | Supply Chain Management