Projektstory chemische Industrie

Chemical industry project story – Interim sales manager as an experienced pilot in difficult waters

SAP optimization in sales and employee motivation in the chemical industry – Find out how our HANSE Interim Manager got the internal sales department back on track

The initial situation

At an international market leader in the chemical industry, SAP S4/HANA was introduced hastily and not well enough prepared, which clearly overwhelmed the organization. The business processes were not clearly defined and many SAP system settings were not completed and implemented in time before go-live.

The interface between sales and supply chain / production did not work, which led to a lot of manual crisis management and goods allocation outside the ERP system (Excel) etc.

The Head of Customer Service was dismissed at short notice after the failed SAP implementation. This led to a high level of uncertainty and dissatisfaction among the department’s employees. Further departures were to be expected. In addition, there were many telephone complaints from dissatisfied customers, so there was also the threat of customer losses.

The task

The HANSE Interim Manager had two main tasks:

  1. Project manager optimization of the internal sales department
    • Leading the optimization projects in the department ad interim until a new Head of Customer Service is found.
    • Ensuring the functionality of the internal sales department, e.g. through personal support for strategically important key accounts.
    • Induction of the successor and orderly handover at the end of the mandate.
  2. Project management SAP optimization Sales & Distribution
    • Identifying and solving SAP problems in sales as quickly as possible.
    • Process and system optimization together with the key users and SAP consultants

The solution

As an internal sales optimization project manager, the key lies in managing and motivating employees and preventing the department from falling apart due to staff turnover.

Among other things, this is achieved through

  • Clear and reliable communication
  • Supporting employees in operational decisions
  • Motivating employees by promoting team spirit with individual and group discussions
  • Coaching employees in dealing with the new SAP system
  • Shifting tasks within the department for a more even workload distribution
  • Relieving employees by solving SAP problems at short notice and creating functioning processes
  • Order backlog management in close coordination with the supply chain
  • Support for customer service employees with delivery date information
  • Improving customer and employee satisfaction

The solution for the main task as Project Manager SAP Optimization is initially to take stock of all open SAP issues in the sales area.

This is followed by prioritization according to importance and urgency and addressing the requirements of the sales department with the SAP consultants.

This is followed by

  • Identification of cross-functional issues with other areas (e.g. Procurement, FICO), in particular supply chain management / production.
  • Initiate task force teams to solve the cross-functional issues
  • Identification of omitted customizing requirements and application for additional SAP consultant resources
  • Allocation of the reduced availability of goods due to the failed SAP implementation and additional production problems (high order backlog). This resulted in the prevention of significant losses of customers and market share.
  • Shifting the manual allocation of goods (Excel) back into the merchandise management system (SAP), implementing an automatic availability check (ATP Check) and delivery prioritization in SAP.
  • Completion of missing and correction of incorrect master data as a prerequisite for the smooth functioning of the ERP system.

The result

✓ Maintaining a functioning internal sales team despite high levels of frustration was achieved through motivation and staff turnover was prevented.

✓ The minimum supply of goods was ensured through professional allocation management.

✓ All key account customers were retained.

✓ The induction and orderly handover to the successor took place properly.

✓ The rapid identification and targeted addressing of SAP problems led to the solution of the most important and urgent open issues together with SAP key users and SAP consultants.

Key Account Management


Crisis management on a difficult and highly complex scale can be successful if an experienced pilot knows how to navigate the troubled waters.

HANSE Interim Manager A. Torster ensured a lasting transfer of know-how into the company by further developing the sales team in terms of processes and competencies and optimizing the SAP order-to-cash.

With best regards
Your HANSE Interim Management
Andreas Lau

DDIM kongress

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