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cbs Innovation Award: Transforming Challenges into Real Added Value

The cbs Team America around Joseph Gaiennie and Johannes Semel realized the SAP S/4HANA transition at JBS Foods.


JBS Foods, founded 1953 in Brazil and headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, is the second largest food company in the world after Nestlé. Today, the company has more than 250,000 employees worldwide and generates global sales of 50 billion US Dollars annually. JBS is the leading beef producer in the world, with operations in the United States, Australia and Canada. The company moreover is the second largest pork producer in the world, and a significant global producer of value-added and branded protein products.

What were the main challenges JBS was facing before the SAP project?

Mainly two issues. First, moving a 25 TB ECC system to the new S/4HANA world with minimal downtime requirements. Second, there was a need for a data harmonization, a data reduction in a two year time slice, and a replacement of IS-Oil CWM with new S/4 Catch Weight management, Fiscal Year Change, from Classic to New G/L into ACDOCA in one step, etc. All in all it was no simple project!
But in the end it was a resounding success. What the project team has achieved in a short time period is really outstanding. In a few words: They moved portions of the multi-billion-dollar JBS business onto a new S/4HANA platform, left years of data behind, renamed Chart of Accounts, adjusted Fiscal Years, merged material numbers, implemented an extremely challenging and robust Near Zero Downtime approach, lived up to the name of Near Zero Downtime with a 4-hour downtime for the global business, jumped from Classic to New-GL into Universal Journal (ACDOCA) in one step, all with the new S/4 functionalities. All those people involved did a great job!


The innovations:

cbs used the Near Zero Downtime approach for the migration to S/4 for the first time for a large industry customer in the United States, so that system downtime could be minimized, allowing all business critical operations including shipment and invoicing to continue as normal and avoiding revenue losses.
Moreover, the project team has used a wave-based approach grouped by relevant company codes.

This wave-based approach is made possible through the use of the cbs Enterprise transformer migration tool, which allows the team to migrate selective datasets during each wave. The result is that each wave has its own Go-Live, rather than one “Big Bang” Go-Live which would undoubtedly exceed the business down-time requirements. The whole transformation includes six waves and a ONE Finance conversion. In wave 1 for example, 800,000 materials and 335,000 sales orders were migrated to S/4. At least, the replacement of IS-OIL CWM with new S/4 Catch Weight Management was also a novelty.

The cbs team acted as an extension of the customer core project team. The standard software cbs Enterprise Transformer has been a critical component of the S/4 migration strategy, allowing to manage a very complex global project with a minimum amount of risk.