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Leogistics Augments SAP to Excel in Supply Chain Execution

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Meet the Authors

Key Takeaways

⇨ Within the SAP ecosystem, SAP S/4HANA facilitates blending SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) and SAP Transportation Management (TM) to streamline logistics processes

⇨ Leogistics Leogistics GmbH – a division of Corporate Business Solutions (CBS) – is a consulting and solution provider in supply chain execution and provides comprehensive services ranging from early-phase consulting to strategic process design and architecture studies.

⇨ In both cases, Leogistics and CBS stand out distinctly due to their industry and process expertise, coupled with a high level of technological proficiency by providing comprehensive end-to-end knowledge in supply chain execution

Within the SAP ecosystem, SAP S/4HANA facilitates blending SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) and SAP Transportation Management (TM) to streamline logistics processes. However, this poses a significant challenge for companies, particularly during new implementations, system conversions, and complete landscape transformations.

Leogistics GmbH – a division of Corporate Business Solutions (CBS) – is a consulting and solution provider in supply chain execution, focusing on SAP EWM, SAP TM, SAP Business Network for Logistics (BN4L), and SAP Yard Logistics, providing comprehensive support throughout the transformation journey, addressing all inquiries and specific challenges inherent in transitioning to SAP S/4HANA. The company’s core focus is transitioning to SAP S/4HANA TM and SAP S/4HANA EWM and to address customers’ other migration needs, they partner with CBS to create customized pathways for transitioning to SAP S/4HANA.

As Christiaan Carstens, Executive Board Member, Leogistics, emphasizes, “Since 2014, Leogistics has been part of the CBS Group. However, Leogistics operates as an autonomous legal entity with its own brand identity. We maintain a distinct focus on operational logistics, specializing in supply chain execution, warehouse management, transportation management, and yard management. When it comes to larger transformations such as S/4HANA, Leogistics collaborates with CBS, particularly in areas concerning transportation, warehouse, or yard management. While Leogistics retains its independent brand, culture, and business operations, it leverages the synergies within the CBS group. Approximately 30% to 40% of Leogistics’ business involves joint ventures with CBS.”

Leogistics’ portfolio consists of two main components, each offering distinct solutions. The first component involves implementing SAP standard products like transportation management, extended warehouse management, and newer additions like Business Network for Logistics. The second component consists of Leogistics’ own tailored solutions for site operations and yard management. Developed around eight years ago in collaboration with key innovation customers in Germany, this solution is renowned for integrating multi-modal transport management within a single platform. It handles various transport modes, including rail, truck, trailer management, and harbor operations. In addition to software implementation, Leogistics provides comprehensive services ranging from early-phase consulting to strategic process design and architecture studies. This includes planning, implementation services, and application management support, leveraging the resources and expertise of the broader CBS group to deliver holistic solutions to clients.

Innovation Leaders in SAP-based Yard and Supply Chain Management

Leogistics relies on SAP as its primary technology supplier but has developed its own solutions with unique logic and business objects. While basic SAP technology is utilized in certain areas such as user management and authorization, a significant part of the solution is built independently.

Amid the rapid transition to SAP S/4HANA, users must navigate significant changes, particularly those using the Logistics Execution System (LE-TRA) or SAP WM. Migrating to SAP S/4HANA often entails a shift from SAP WM to SAP S/4HANA EWM, unless users opt for temporary compatibility mode. This transition is not just a simple move; it requires a complete rebuilding of processes. Leogistics excels in this area, offering preconfigured services and solutions to seamlessly transfer existing data, configurations, and customizations to the new system. Additionally, Leogistics specializes in migrating customers with existing NetWeaver-based EWM or TM solutions to SAP S/4HANA EWM and TM, providing extensive experience and tools to ensure smooth transitions.

Particularly in Yard Management, the company emphasizes providing customers with SAP technology solutions, even in their most intricate operational logistics areas. While SAP standard solutions offer extensive capabilities, they may not suffice for customers’ specialized needs, especially in complex logistics execution. Leogistics takes advantage of this opportunity by tailoring solutions to meet unique customer requirements, ensuring that no potential SAP logisticsclient is lost due to their specific needs.

Built on SAP technology, the Leogistics Yard Management solution efficiently coordinates and oversees carrier and transport activities both within and beyond plant premises, along with tracking their statuses. The SAP add-on empowers organizations to streamline processes and extends to managing site-specific locations like parking areas and loading points, and in the orchestration of transport equipment (such as cranes, forklifts, and reach stackers) for loading and unloading operations.

Carstens emphasizes, “Leogistics Yard Management is built on SAP technology. This platform serves as an operational solution for managing complex yard processes across multiple modes of transportation. It particularly focuses on handling specific yard management tasks such as site internal transport management, Trailer/SWAP Management, Rail Yards (including switching optimization and rail load management), and high-volume yards with extensive automation needs. For simpler truck yards, the company deploys SAP YL.” Carstens also highlights that their focus lies in maximizing the capabilities of SAP TM, SAP EWM, as well as SAP YL and SAP BN4L. Leveraging these tools, Leogistics, in collaboration with CBS, are spearheading additional innovations to improve or refine existing standard solutions. This includes harnessing the new opportunities and possibilities offered by SAP BTP, with CBS and Leogistics being early adopters and strong supporters from the outset.

Mastering the Transition with SAP

Leogistics provides a wide range of expertise, complemented by CBS’ focus on fundamental ERP functions, alongside robust business intelligence capabilities, delivering comprehensive end-to-end logistics solutions. While many competitors claim to offer similar capabilities, Leogistics distinguishes itself by providing tailor-made solutions without relying on external partners for niche areas. This unified approach presents a significant unique selling proposition for Leogistics, particularly in the service domain. For example, when it comes to the larger SAP S/4HANA transformation or migration projects, where SAP TM or SAP EWM are often involved, Leogistics together with CBS competes against larger system integrators or other SAP ERP consulting firms.  Additionally, for isolated implementations of TMS systems based on SAP TM or warehouse management systems based on SAP EWM, Leogistics encounters other specialized consulting agencies in the market.

In both cases, Leogistics and CBS stand out distinctly due to their industry and process expertise, coupled with a high level of technological proficiency by providing comprehensive end-to-end knowledge in supply chain execution, spanning all pertinent processes and applications such as SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP), SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud (DMC), SAP TM, SAP EWM, SAP YL, BN4L, SAP Global Trade Services (GTS), and their own yard management solution. This expertise extends from broad strategic perspectives to intricate process-level details, even in niche areas like Rail, ensuring comprehensive coverage across all supply chain operations.

In scenarios where organizations adopt defined SAP strategies, such as with SAP TM and EWM implementations, SAP YL emerges as the preferred solution for its seamless integration and minimal interface dependencies for data communication. This integration fosters continuous data synchronization, pivotal for optimizing logistics networks. However, in domains like rail, multimodal, or complex yard management, no comparable solution in the market offers the same breadth of functionality and adaptability straight out of the box.

Especially in Europe, Leogistics distinguishes itself as a leader in addressing intricate yard management challenges by leveraging established SAP technology and remains the exclusive provider of a holistic yard management platform that accommodates specialized requirements within configurable modules tailored for industries like steel, chemical, and oil and gas.

What it means for SAPinsiders

Identify the problem: Dive deep into the specifics of the problem and prioritize understanding the core issue before initiating any digital transformation efforts. This ensures that solutions directly address supply chain challenges rather than superficially treating symptoms.

Assess organizational readiness: Clearly define your organization’s maturity level across various aspects such as skills, experience, and culture. Avoid the trap of setting unrealistic expectations or attempting transformations beyond your capabilities.

Design a feasible transformation plan: Develop realistic scenarios for transformation based on your organization’s assessed maturity level. Embrace the philosophy of incremental progress, opting for smaller, value-driven Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) over ambitious overhauls.

Embrace end-to-end thinking: Adopt a holistic perspective when approaching supply chain digitization. Understand the interconnectedness of various processes and systems, even if implementation occurs incrementally. Comprehensive analysis ensures that solutions align with broader organizational objectives. Additionally, involve relevant end-users from the outset to ensure buy-in and alignment with user needs throughout the transformation journey.

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