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ERP changeover at electrical engineering company HUBER+SUHNER in Switzerland

Case Study


The Swiss technology firm HUBER+SUHNER decided to install SAP throughout the entire company group, in order to get all the administrative and operational divisions on the same system. But the large number of complicated internal processes initially led to the initially planned time schedule not being able to be kept to. Several attempts to complete the implementation failed to result in lasting success. That was when the management decided to commission Atreus with the management of the project. 


Atreus, represented on the steering committee by its Managing Partner Rainer Nagel and an IT project management expert, recommended a change of strategy. A strict standardization of the processes across three autonomous company divisions couldn’t work. The management went along with the proposal can decided to change course. Processes were harmonized and standardizations derived from them. The roll-out in Switzerland acted as a successful blueprint.  

Interview with Urs Ryffel, Member of the Executive Board at HUBER SUHNER

The project for installing a group-wide ERP systems was at a crossroads. How did the Atreus Manager give it a fresh start?

First of all by listening, combined with a keen understanding of the situation and analytical ability. He made it clear that we had to further define the concepts if the implementation was to be a success. In contrast to the plan, he recommended not piloting the SAP installation in Germany, but in Switzerland. The production share is much higher and more complex there – and that was where it was best to start aligning the processes. 

Key goals of the global ERP changeover

  • Efficiency in sales
  • Flexibility in production
  • Transparency on inventories and resources
  • Basis for innovations

You want to know what Atreus can do for you in a similar situation?
Contact Rainer Nagel, CEO.

+49 89 452249-400 Rainer.Nagel(at)

More than three years’ work wasted?

No, and that was the first big success of the Atreus Manager, that he didn’t let that impression arise, not even among the people on the project. It goes without saying that they were pretty frustrated and demotivated at the time. 


After two years and two postponed go-lives in Germany, the people responsible for the project, headed by Urs Ryffel, made an uncomfortable decision – they changed course with an Atreus project manager at the helm.

How did the Atreus manager structure the project?

A project team of around 150 employees and external experts was established as the central decision-making unit for managing and coordinating the project. All the jobs that needed to be done were allocated to four work streams. 

The four work streams of the project

  • “System readiness”: creating the template and configuration of the SAP system
  • “Business readiness”: changing the corporate processes and preparing the organization
  • “User readiness”: training our staff
  • “Operation readiness”: fine-tuning the IT infrastructure, configuration management and support after go-live
Urs Ryffel is Member of the Executive Board at HUBER+SUHNER and since 2007 as COO head of the business unit fiber optics. Ryffel is sponsor of the project “Stratos”.

Urs Ryffel

Urs Ryffel is Member of the Executive Board at HUBER+SUHNER and since 2007 as COO head of the business unit fiber optics. Ryffel is sponsor of the project “Stratos”.


"We have 60,000 articles in our range. That makes things immensely complex."

After go-live, the contract was extended in Switzerland. Why?

After the successful launch, we also entrusted Atreus with a partial implementation of the system in China – the biggest milestone in the global rollout. Go-live in China went according to schedule and the Atreus manager even succeeded in staying well below budget with his team. Both of these accomplishments were extremely important in building confidence in the project throughout the entire organization before the big rollout.

Atreus is the leading interim management provider in Germany and one of the largest in its field in Europe. We solve difficult operational management and transformation problems quickly and reliably. Contact us and find out how we can help you master your situation with management expertise that is available at short notice and that is the perfect fit for you.

Atreus is a co-founder of Globalise – the market’s leading and largest provider of international interim management. Accelerating change and delivering success. Worldwide. Structured as a global group of leading interim management firms, Globalise has the reach to support you in solving your company’s most important issues around the world.

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