ZOL chooses fit-to-standard S/4HANA transformation

When digitally transforming their business, modern companies are increasingly choosing to harmonize business processes based on best practices. One such example is Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg (ZOL), which successfully switched to SAP S/4HANA based on a proven template solution.

SAP S4 HANA standardization business transformation ZOL 5

By adopting a fit-to-standard template approach, ZOL was able to prioritize business transformation over excessive software development and configuration efforts. Flexso's business transformation team supported ZOL's key users and advised them on their SAP roadmap.

Toward a standard long-term IT-solution

More and more organizations prefer proven, standard IT solutions to custom applications – and ZOL is no exception. “We decided to replace our previous ERP, HospitalAX, when Microsoft announced that it would stop supporting Dynamics AX,” says IT Program Manager Joris Thys. “We looked for a standard, futureproof alternative with intelligent reporting capabilities and reliable performance. Above all, the new system had to be user-friendly, as our end-users are not all IT-minded. Their focus is on delivering top care to our patients.”

The benefits of a template implementation

If ERP isn’t part of your core business activities, as is the case for the healthcare sector, then a template implementation is a smart choice. Being based on best practices, it minimizes the time and effort required to ‘keep the lights on’, i.e. to keep your organization and processes up and running.

A template provides you with a proven, scalable solution with a simple setup, so you can:

  • Streamline your processes based on best practice flows
  • Always rely on the latest, state-of-the art software
  • Focus on the transformation of your business

Support from Flexso's business transformation team

ZOL engaged Flexso as an experienced SAP partner to prepare and coordinate the transformation. First of all, the Flexso team leveraged their S/4HANA expertise to advise on potential changes and opportunities for ZOL, leading to a customized proposal on the best design of datamodel and processes for the organization to incorporate. Afterwards Flexso offered support on the implementation process. Functional Consultant Katrijn Fransen: “We first mapped the state of affairs: what functionalities does ZOL already use now, which ones will they need in the future, and, most importantly, how will we fit all of this into the standard template?

Katrijn Fransen

"We used our experience to help ZOL get both the functional and technical setup right, identify and challenge fits and gaps, and understand the consequences of decisions."

Katrijn Fransen - Business Transformation Consultant at Flexso

After a thorough preparation and overseeing the key design principles in S/4, ZOL and Flexso could pass on to the realisation phase. “Driving early key user adoption was our main focus,” says Katrijn. “After each sprint, one of our consultants gave training, followed by a testing session. During these sessions, key users were in charge of unit testing. We took a ‘train the trainer’ approach, making key users responsible for certain processes so that they could then train the end users.”

SAP S4 HANA cloud implementation benefits

“In addition, we also focused on business transformation. Together with ZOL, we created phases, defined milestones, set up workshops, and so on. This assured not only the quality of the solution, but also a qualitative project approach and timely go-live. Everyone had to learn to think in terms of the new system to ensure a successful outcome.”

Into the ERP4HC2.0 template

ZOL used ERP4HC2.0, an S/4HANA-based template for the healthcare industry built by ZORGI. This template covers the 5 core processes – finance, controlling, procurement, logistics (EWM), and master data – plus interfaces and infrastructure. It comprises 5 building blocks:


  • The core: best practices from +50 hospitals.
  • Modularity: applications specifically designed for small or large hospitals.
  • Interfaces to support specific processes, e.g. billing, invoice validation, etc.

Tailored modules to meet specific needs

  • Innovation gaps: features that are useful to other hospitals and are added to the template so that other hospitals can benefit
  • Change requests: specific customizations that are only relevant to the hospital in question and therefore not added to the template.

Ready for the future

ZOL’s new ERP system went live on 1 January 2023. “With SAP S/4HANA, we have a modern platform that will support us for years to come,” Joris concludes. “Today, we’re already reaping the benefits with streamlined processes and improved, intelligent reporting. Moreover, S/4HANA is more reliable and easier to work with compared to our previous system, allowing us to focus our full attention on what matters most: delivering the best care to our patients.”

Foto Joris Thys ZOL

"With SAP S/4HANA, we have a modern platform that will support us for years to come."

Joris Thys - IT Program Manager, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg

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