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High-speed migration approach

The family-owned company Dräxlmaier is one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world. In the course of the Synapsis project, the company is implementing one of the largest S/4 implementations in the automotive industry in cooperation with cbs.
Reinhold Mayr, cbs
June 6, 2023
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Transformation to SAP S/4 Hana

Time is the critical factor for the global player Dräxlmaier. So the decisive question was: How can the project be accelerated? The solution: Selective Data and Process Transition - short project duration, comprehensive added value. Dräxlmaier created a new group template and developed a forward-looking industrialized migration approach for a turbo rollout in the individual country subsidiaries. This drastically accelerates the transformation. This results in clear advantages for the automotive supplier: integrated corporate planning with the goal: One Truth and One Value. The result is a gain in efficiency, speed and transparency, the integration of mass and value flows in real time, a drastic shortening of material requirements planning, and a uniform system landscape.

The Synapsis Project

The Dräxlmaier Group has a very heterogeneous system landscape with numerous SAP and non-SAP systems. At the start of the project, the original host system was already over 30 years old and was to be replaced. In the course of this, an S/4 transformation was planned. Dräxlmaier therefore launched the corporate program Synapsis. "The big goal was to prepare Dräxlmaier for the future. With the legacy systems, it is no longer possible to manage the major growth that the Group has undergone in recent years. Therefore, a completely new enterprise platform now had to be created," explains Thomas Beyer, Data Migration, BPM and MDM Lead at Dräxlmaier Group. 

For the globally active Dräxlmaier Group, the task is to transfer data from eight different non-SAP systems to one S/4 system. There have been no comparable greenfield projects on this scale to date. For this reason, a great deal of know-how is required and a lot of knowledge about procedures with other non-SAP systems.

Dräxlmaier opted for a selective approach. This approach offers the opportunity for a technology change at top speed without having to forego innovations or improvements at the process level. With the help of the standard software cbs Enterprise Transformer, the migration was finally successfully implemented. Thomas Beyer explains: "The Synapsis program is an important part of a comprehensive, company-wide business transformation. One of the core tasks here is to completely rebuild future-proof end-to-end processes." In the future, the new Digital Core at Dräxlmaier will essentially consist of three programs: Synapsis, as described, PLM Next, the engineering tool based on Siemens Team Center, and the Manufacturing Execution System, MES.

Construction site: Data quality

The biggest challenge of the Synapsis program can be summed up in one word: Data Quality. When merging many different source systems, solid master data quality is essential for the company and the ongoing core processes. It was therefore necessary to first reconcile the data across all systems before transferring it to the target system. Up to the current project phase, the team is regularly confronted with the challenge of material master design. However, thanks to the collegial cooperation and the habit of very open communication, even difficult project processes can be managed well.

"We were able to solve the data quality problem on the one hand by comprehensively introducing a master data governance tool. This involved clearly defining persons responsible for specific objects in the individual internal organizations. On the other hand, in the Synapsis project we are guided by a uniform workstream that is exclusively concerned with data quality. This includes a so-called data cleansing hub, which is currently still in the process of being set up," Beyer sums up.

Migrations in a short time

In the Synapsis program, a sound understanding of both source and target systems, between which the data is moved, was and is enormously important. This know-how can be brought to the project by cbs. Additional quality assurance is provided by data validation via an intermediate structure. The data is selected and mapped in a table before it is finally posted in the target system. In this way, they can be checked preventively to avoid subsequent error correction in the target system. For Dräxlmaier, this means a gain in efficiency, speed and transparency. Future go-lives are currently being prepared - for example at the Romanian site in Hunedoara in Transylvania. 

The task now is to industrialize the roll-out strategy in order to combine several units in one go-live. By 2027, S/4 Hana is to be rolled out across the entire system landscape. This landscape includes about 140 units in about 50 locations. Some roll-outs have already been carried out at various locations, for example in Braunau, in Leipzig as well as in Timisoara, Romania. Project manager Beyer explains: "The absolute added value of the project lies in the consolidation of our heterogeneous system landscape. Now we have to ramp up the speed and go into turbo roll-out mode. The project requires fast implementation and excellent technical skills at all levels. With our industrialized migration approach, which we developed together with cbs, we are able to carry out as many migrations as possible in the shortest possible time. This is also necessary because, after all, we can't spend 15 years on the transformation of our enterprise platform."


The Dräxlmaier Group is a German automotive supplier headquartered in the Lower Bavarian town of Vilsbiburg. Founded in 1958, the family-owned company develops and produces electrical and electronic components, wiring systems and interiors as well as low- and high-voltage storage systems for motor vehicles. In 2021, the top 100 automotive supplier achieved sales of 4.6 billion euros. Dräxlmaier operates at around 65 global locations and employs around 72,000 people. Countries with major production sites include Mexico, China and Tunisia.

The company's customers include the car manufacturers Audi, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz Group, Mini, Porsche and Volkswagen.

Reinhold Mayr, cbs

Reinhold Mayr is Senior Manager Landscape Transformation at cbs

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Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

This gives the Competence Center strategic importance for existing SAP customers. Regardless of the S/4 Hana operating model, topics such as Automation, Monitoring, Security, Application Lifecycle Management and Data Management the basis for S/4 operations.

For the second time, E3 magazine is organizing a summit for the SAP community in Salzburg to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. All information about the event can be found here:

SAP Competence Center Summit 2024


Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Regular ticket:

€ 590 excl. VAT


Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024


Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.