Henk Arts: Ms. Middelberg, you’re currently in the midst of rolling out SAP S/4HANA at ContiTech. What’s the scale of the project?
Leonie Middelberg: The roll-out is to the whole of ContiTech – in other words, the entire Group sector. We will ultimately have around 16,000 users working with the system at over 120 sites in more than 20 countries worldwide.
H. Arts: What stage are you currently at?
L. Middelberg: Last year, our main focus was on defining processes, and we completed the templating procedure. We started the roll‑out phase at the beginning of 2022. We’re currently going live with the new system at three pilot sites, so staff there are receiving the relevant training at the moment. However, there’s still a long way to go. Including the pilot sites, there will be a total of eight roll-out waves over the next five years.
H. Arts: What does the switchover mean for your employees?
L. Middelberg: As things stand at present, there are still more than twelve different SAP solutions and versions, plus third-party solutions, in use at ContiTech – and the communication between them isn’t always ideal. In practical terms, that means a huge increase in workload for our staff, as they regularly need to perform interim steps manually. That will be a thing of the past once everything has been consolidated. In the future, practically all processes and procedures will be standardized. That will make a lot of things easier for our staff. However, there will also be a fair amount for them to learn. Rolling out SAP S/4HANA is therefore more than just an IT project – it’s also a transformation project, where our focus is on change management and open dialog.
H. Arts: What training concept are you using to prepare your staff for these changes?
L. Middelberg: We want to cater to our employees’ training needs in as personalized a way as possible, so we’ve opted for a blended learning approach. In total, we’re offering five different training formats. Two are conventional formats that we offer as in-person or virtual training sessions – classroom training and info sessions with system demonstrations. The other three are self‑learning units that directly support employees in their day-to-day work – we’re talking about performance support. This includes web-based training, documentation and editorial guides.
H. Arts: What role does the digital adoption solution – the tts performance suite – play when it comes to creating training materials?
L. Middelberg: Continental has been using the tts solution for quite some time now. Our experience of it has been really positive, which is why we decided to use the tts performance suite as our central learning platform. The digital adoption solution enables us to create training materials in different formats – so we can meet end user and key user needs really precisely.
What’s more, the solution is available 24/7 and licensed throughout the Group. For example, we in the central team can provide training materials in English, and local key users can then use these to produce versions in whichever languages are needed. So far, we have trained around 100 authors internally and externally, and created 300 documents. Ultimately, the aim is to produce around 650 to 800 documents.
The digital adoption solution enables us to create training materials in different formats – so we can meet end user and key user needs really precisely.
H. Arts: How do you organize the creation of content within the context of the SAP roll-out?
L. Middelberg: For each topic, ContiTech has a content owner and somebody who’s responsible for the quality check. In addition, there’s an external content creator who also works with the tts performance suite.
H. Arts: How can the digital adoption solution help you achieve your objectives in terms of the SAP roll-out?
L. Middelberg: The most important point is that, thanks to the tts performance suite, we are creating one central port of call for all open questions – in other words, a single source of truth. Everybody knows they’ll find an answer there, without having to give it much thought or spend ages searching through SAP help or other sources. As soon as it’s clear to users that they can find the right solution by simply clicking on the orange*, then the digital adoption solution will be supporting our objectives – for instance, when employees don’t have the knowledge they need for a minor process step or when they’re not sure what type of number they need to enter in a particular screen or whether they need to tick a box.
H. Arts: Are you also expecting to see a positive impact on knowledge management at ContiTech?
L. Middelberg: Yes, definitely! In the future, it will be much easier to share knowledge and extend our SAP knowledge base in house. We recently connected the tts performance suite to our LMS, so we can now easily embed content by means of a link. What’s more, we can assign personalized training to staff and track to see whether training has been completed. There are other advantages, too. By monitoring KPIs, for example, we can see which content has been clicked, and how often. As a result, we can quickly see how well particular content is going down and where there is room for improvement.
H. Arts: Even though it’s still a way off in the future, what role will the tts performance suite play after the pilot go-live?
L. Middelberg: We’re going to be using the digital adoption solution for the industrialized go-live, too. The performance support function will then be available in every digital workplace and used for the onboarding of new members of staff – whether that’s at end user level, local key user level, or in the central team.
My hope is that we’ll be able to invest even more time and effort into creating and optimizing learning content. We haven’t used voice over, animations and many other features of the tts performance suite to their full potential yet. Nonetheless, I think we’ve already achieved a really high level of standardization, and we’ll worry about the rest later.
*Editor’s note: The orange is the context-sensitive support offered in the tts performance suite, providing rapid access to the organization’s entire knowledge.