Design to Operate – A holistic digital process chain


Anyone who stops improving has stopped to be good. According to this quote by German entrepreneur Philip Rosenthal, the industry has been engaged for years with continuously implementing improvements in order to permanently gain competitive advantages on the already saturated buyer’s market.

Especially in manufacturing companies, either the product or the (manufacturing) process is in the center of attention. After SAP had concentrated the focus to the product lifecycle with SAP PLM in the era of SAP ERP and thereby has put the product from the cradle (concept idea) to the grave (scrapping) to the center of (IT) optimizations, in the era of SAP S/4HANA the focus shifted to (manufacturing) processes.

According to SAP, the processes in a company can be roughly subdivided into four business processes:


Source to Pay

Processes in procurement and finances

Recruit to Retire

Processes in the HR environment


Lead to Cash

Processes related to customers


Design to Operate

Process chain from the development to the operation of innovative products


Ideally, these four key processes are based on a consistent technology platform, the “Intelligent Enterprise Suite”, which contains the central component SAP S/4HANA.

The Intelligent Enterprise Suite can be used either with the traditional operating model (on premise) or with innovative operating models (cloud or hybrid models).

DesignToOperate Präsentation3

Design to Operate – Consistent end-to-end process

In the era of industry 4.0, the importance of an intelligent and resilient value chain becomes more and more apparent. Only this way, companies are able to act in a future-oriented manner and to fulfill the increasing market demands.

Design to Operate processes are – as the name states – about mapping all necessary process steps on a consistent platform – from the design to the operation of a plant or the usage of a product. Anyway, for production processes especially, this consistent end-to-end solution is not given in most cases. Often, the steps of the product lifecycle are not completely interconnected digitally. Therefore, design, planning, manufacturing, logistics, and operation / usage work as isolated solutions. Thus, the potential for streamlining processes and thereby saving time and costs remains unexploited.

BDF EXPERTS supports you with realizing your Design to Operate process consistently to the operation or usage phase and therefore with creating a future-proof digitalization approach

Gerd Hartmann


Design to Operate does not end with delivery

The interaction of the single process steps is essential for a profitable process from Design to Operate. In reality, many engineering companies and plant engineering enterprises do not fully exploit their potential for process optimization. The SAP standard is often not enough for a holistic mapping of complex customer orders with highly variable products. Therefore, it is not unusual that data is maintained twice. Information for maintenance and service in the phase of operation or usage – the last element in the Design to Operate process chain – is often created manually and from scratch without automated access to already existing data.

At BDF EXPERTS, we therefore took the processes one step further and developed SAP Product and Process Governance by BDF | SAP PPG. SAP PPG makes it possible to integrate all data of the product lifecycle in SAP into a data model, as well as to maintain and access this data. For example, objects such as Functional Locations, Equipments, and Maintenance or Service BOMs for the operation or usage phase can be created automatically from SAP PPG structures. This ensures an optimal support of the entire Design to Operate process, according to our motto: BDF EXPERTS – We optimize and digitize complex data and processes.


BDF provides EXPERTS for SAP consulting and software development in Product Lifecycle Management, Supply Chain Management, Maintenance & Service, and Corporate Finance & Treasury based on SAP S/4HANA and SAP ERP. We consult for middle-sized enterprises to global corporations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

As a team of digitalization experts, we digitize and optimize our customers' data and processes. With our SAP product, SAP Product and Process Governance by BDF | SAP PPG, we support the digital business processes from product development to product service. With the BDF Cash Position Cockpit (BDF CPC), we optimize the Financial Supply Chain. This way, together we get the most out of your SAP world

Learn more at:


BDF EXPERTS //+492113015550

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