LogiMAT 2024: SWAN presents its portfolio expanded to include SAP DM

Geschäftsleitung der SWAN GmbH

Project House for SAP Logistics Sets Course for the Future and Looks Positively into 2024.

Augsburg, December 19, 2023 – After a year rich in investments, SWAN looks optimistically towards 2024 with promising forecasts. Successful implementations, especially in the retrofit area, intensified customer and partner relationships, as well as a consolidation of the product and service portfolio, leave SWAN satisfied with 2023. Further milestones include the re-recognition as Great Place to Work® and the revision of the corporate values. With a clear view to the future, SWAN plans further growth for 2024, the expansion of the service portfolio, and entry into the field of SAP DM (Distributed Manufacturing).

Although the logistics industry still feels the negative global economy and ongoing crises, SWAN is looking optimistically towards 2024. A reorientation both in content and structure, along with good forecasts, keep the SAP logistics consulting firm confident for the coming year. As a specialist in digital transformation, SWAN continues to benefit from the automation and digitization boom.

“2023 was a challenging year for our industry in many ways. We experienced a hesitant logistics industry that often had to postpone large investments due to the global economic and political situation,” says Alexander Bernhard, Managing Director of SWAN GmbH. “As SWAN, we have known how to take advantage of this to position ourselves for the future and make necessary investments for our future. Thanks to structural and strategic adjustments, we enter 2024 strengthened and can offer our customers even better services with our revised portfolio.”

Customers Primarily Implemented Retrofits with SWAN in 2023

In 2023, SWAN successfully implemented SAP-EWM intralogistics solutions in many global companies, especially in the automotive, pharmaceutical, fashion, and food industries. In addition to intralogistics solutions for new warehouse constructions, their focus increasingly shifted to retrofits – the modernization of existing facilities. “Many companies are cautious due to the global economy and are delaying investments in new constructions. The modernization and optimization of existing warehouses are therefore becoming increasingly important for us,” emphasizes Kai Starke, Prokurist and Director SAP Realization at SWAN. “Also, since we promote digital solutions with our SAP EWM and TM know-how, automate processes, and streamline them. This creates more transparency and helps businesses operate more efficiently and counteract the shortage of skilled workers in logistics.”

Another driver for companies relying on SAP for warehouse management is the discontinuation of old SAP EWM 9.5 systems. By the end of 2027, they must migrate to the new SAP S/4HANA suite to be prepared for the future. Kai Starke adds: “The transition to S/4HANA also offers companies the opportunity to optimize their structures and processes and realign them to their individual requirements. Our experts help find the best solution.”

Outstanding Long-term Customer Relationships Lay the Foundation for New Projects

SWAN is characterized by close customer ties and continuous support. Last year, the SAP project house focused more on expanding the service portfolio, which should also grow beyond customer support in 2024. Thanks to high customer satisfaction, many follow-up projects emerged after successful go-lives. An example of this is the ongoing collaboration with Migros Genossenschaft Ostschweiz. After the initial successful implementation of SAP EWM in 2019, in 2023, further assortment areas switched to SAP EWM. Due to excellent collaboration and modular solution, SWAN is currently in talks to introduce a national SAP EWM template for other Migros cooperatives. The third warehouse commissioning at automotive supplier Brose and the commissioning of three plants for plastic manufacturer Pöppelmann in 2023 also emerged from successful previous projects.

Successfully Completed Project in the Middle and South American Target Market

Also noteworthy is the completion of the first project in Central America. SWAN optimized the supply chain of Mexican food retailer La Costeña. “Central and South America are growth markets where we see great potential. Therefore, we continuously invest in the training of our employees in Mexico to ensure the usual SWAN expertise and quality there,” emphasizes Andreas Brand, Prokurist and Director SAP Realization at SWAN.

Corporate Values 2.0

A lived corporate culture plays an important role at SWAN. With the merger with the SSI Schäfer Group in 2021, not only did the number of employees double, but the number of branches also increased. “With the immense team growth, our spirit has changed. After twelve years, it was time to question the original values and develop them together,” emphasizes Alexander Bernhard, founder and managing director of SWAN. In workshops, all employees elaborated the four central values of SWAN: trust and transparency, flexibility, respect and appreciation, as well as team spirit. These four principles not only characterize the identity of SWAN but also reflect the attitude of all team members.

Double Great Place to Work® Award Again

The high satisfaction of SWAN employees was also reflected in two employer awards. The SAP intralogistics project house was recognized for the second time in a row as one of the top employers in the ICT industry both at the federal and Bavarian levels. In the “Bavaria’s Best Employers” category of the Great Place to Work® competition, SWAN achieved an excellent 20th place among employers with 50 to 250 employees. Within Germany, SWAN is among the top 29 ICT employers. With the Great Place to Work® award, the renowned international research and consulting institute honors outstanding employers annually.
Continuous Investment in Employees

The ongoing success of SWAN has led to an increase in the staff to over 140 people at seven locations. In early 2023, the Altenstadt an der Waldnaab location was relocated to Weiden. There, the team moved into a larger and energy-efficient new building. The modern spaces match the flexible work culture and deliberately offer areas for personal collaboration and communication. “We notice that colleagues are seeking direct, personal exchange again and are coming to the office more frequently. We are pleased with this development and invest in state-of-the-art working environments,” says Yvonne Oehme, Prokurist and Director Business Administration.

Training and development also play a fundamental role at SWAN. The in-house SWAN Academy is not only aimed at apprentices and dual students but at all employees. In order to be able to support even more apprentices in the future, SWAN has brought another trainer on board. Additional benefits such as language courses, reimbursement of childcare costs, flexible workation offers, and contemporary company car models are available to all employees.
Strategic Realignment of the Product Portfolio: Focus on SAP Extensions

In 2023, SWAN took the opportunity to revise and streamline its own product portfolio. With their consolidated portfolio, SWAN will focus more on SAP-related products and collaboration with partner companies in the future. For the development and consolidation of these SAP add-ons, the “Products & Innovation” department was restructured. The currently three-person team is responsible for researching and evaluating solutions and ensuring process security behind product development.

“Since our foundation in 2011, we have developed smart solutions for logistics for and with our customers,” emphasizes Alexander Bernhard. “With the merger with the SAP division of the SSI Schäfer Group, our product portfolio expanded even further beyond original SAP solutions. Last year, we streamlined it and focused on SAP extensions. This way, we offer clear benefits to our customers in the SAP environment for their logistics.”

Outlook for 2024: Further Growth and New Business Fields

The new year brings promising orders and digitization projects for SWAN. In addition to the core topics “Values” and “Consolidation of the service and product portfolio,” which will continue to be strategically accompanied, a further expansion of the service portfolio is at the center. After adding the Transportation Management (TM) area in 2022, SWAN now also wants to venture into the field of “SAP Distributed Manufacturing (DM).” By connecting production machines to SAP systems, companies can further optimize their processes. SWAN’s experts want to use their technical expertise in this area in the future as well.