The transformative power of SAP technology

How EY helped Northern Gas Networks with its business transformation, to get more out of SAP S/4HANA.

Creating a more rewarding place to work

Northern Gas Networks (NGN) provides gas to 2.7m homes and businesses in the north of England, with hundreds of fixed and mobile assets and millions of moving parts. It wanted to improve both employee and customer experience and contribute to regional growth.

NGN chose to build on its heritage technology systems with a refresh centered around SAP S/4HANA, to allow real-time analytics, automated workflows, centralized master data and fully integrated cloud services.

In awarding the contract to EY AgilityWorks, NGN cited our collaborative approach, technical experience, agile delivery and overall commercial offering. The task of deploying SAP S/4HANA, re-engineering a business and moving infrastructure to the cloud – while minimizing rework – would take a huge amount of planning and teamwork.

Integrating SAP S/4HANA seamlessly

NGN’s on-premise ERP wasn’t flexible enough for its future way of working, so EY AgilityWorks guided NGN to follow a ‘revert to standard’ approach to gain the full benefit of SAP S/4HANA.

In a traditional ERP implementation, we customized NGN’S core ERP solution, to deliver unique functionality that seamlessly integrates with the original core much faster, with the flexibility of the cloud to improve innovation.

Mathew Little, NGN’s director of innovation, improvement and information (3iG), said: “What stood out was EY AgilityWorks’ passionate belief in a holistic approach to people, process and technology, and their understanding of, and willingness to participate in, our business evolution programme, rather than focusing on the technology delivery”.

Transforming ways of working

NGN is already realizing the benefits, with apps providing value to business users even before the system was fully operational. Work Execution Apps are being used by over 700 field-based engineers, and are continually enhanced and updated.

Using image recognition, machine learning and robotic process automation, the platform helps NGN constantly innovate to keep ahead of competition and delight customers and stakeholders. Today the NGN team enjoys real-time reporting on gas pipe repairs, parts/inventory requirements and other essentials.

Alongside the SAP S/4HANA core, the addition of SAP SaaS products has a made a big difference. NGN is now completing Smart Information program, along with greater use of SCP as a mobile application platform, SAC for analytics, while continuing to develop the Digital Board Room.

This digital transformation shows how EY AgilityWorks helped NGN embrace technology to drive genuine business change and unlock value for customers and employees.