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Client story

Takeda standardizes global business processes to drive growth

Move to single instance of SAP platform connects business data

Client: Takeda
Region: Global
Industry: Life sciences

Client challenge: Two major acquisitions changed the composition of the company but led to disparate work processes and systems, so it could not operate as a truly global organization.
Solution: Takeda developed a business-process reengineering program to create harmonized business processes and simplify the IT landscape to a single-instance SAP.


  • Integrated, consolidated financials from all its locations around the globe
  • Better intercompany planning and supply-chain capabilities
  • A common system of record and backbone has allowed for the massive acceleration in RPA implementations across the company
  • Takeda is a patient-focused, values-based, R&D-driven global biopharmaceutical company. Its purpose is “Better Health for People, Brighter Future for the World.” It has a strong focus on highly-innovative treatments with a dedication to patients, putting them at the center of all its efforts.

    Founded in 1781, Takeda is a Japanese company with a global presence in more than 80 countries. Recently, two major acquisitions changed the composition of the company, resulting in significant global growth, a larger network of locations, and a considerable impact on its international healthcare delivery. However, this also meant that various Takeda operations had disparate work processes and systems, so it could not truly operate as a global organization.

    Connecting a global organization

    The company was operating in many different silos – not an ideal situation. In 2014, Christophe Weber joined Takeda as President and Chief Executive Officer with the goal to connect the company. Creating a global organization would bring it together into one cohesive unit. He launched a number of initiatives, including a business-process reengineering program, to create harmonized business processes and simplify the related IT landscape.

    When the project started, Takeda had a number of technology platforms to integrate, which included more than 72 different SAP systems. This impacted all areas of the business, including financials consolidation. The decision was made to overhaul the system by designing a new template to support global business processes but with minimal disruption to operations.

    Rebecca Kaufmann is Head of ERP Product Management at Takeda and responsible for ensuring it has best-in-class, integrated ERP systems that support every employee and partner.

    “The first phase was a major feasibility assessment to see if we could do this,” explains Kaufmann. “We pulled together representatives from approximately 15 countries to really evaluate what counts as best-in-class versus what’s best-in-Takeda.”

    The second phase addressed the global process model, which was largely design based, to determine where end-to-end processes should be initiated, how operations worked, what should be globalized and harmonized, and what pieces needed to remain local. Phase three was two pilot implementations, first Austria and then Ireland. The rest of the 54 countries adopted the harmonized global template in 2018 and 2019.

    Choosing a partner to support globalization

    Takeda chose to work with Capgemini on the project following an extensive RFP process. The company was impressed by the personal approach, professional proposal, and the real commitment to achieving the project’s objectives. The scope included the project-management office and technical aspects, with the support of global Capgemini resources.

    “We evolved as we progressed through the program and identified where the template needed to be improved and where it needed to be enhanced,” says Kaufmann. “In April 2018, we had a series of countries going live, including a manufacturing facility in Germany. We had some challenges with the implementation at the plant, so we made the decision to pause and reflect for three months. During this time, we looked at our deployment methodology, approach, testing, and readiness criteria before continuing with other countries.”

    The pause paid dividends as the work at other manufacturing facilities progressed towards 45 further successful deployments.

    “Through each implementation, we perform a full lessons-learned (evaluation) and make sure that we feed back into the methodology from the scope of the template,” says Kaufmann. “The template has certainly grown beyond where we started, with more benefits being identified as the feedback has come in. Once the benefits are identified, the capabilities have grown further.”

    Takeda also decided to engage Capgemini for application management services (AMS) to support the global system. Previously, the company dealt with upwards of 40 different companies as well as contractors and internal resources to support applications. Moving AMS support to Capgemini meant a single team could focus on the project.

    Accelerating the transformation mindset

    Takeda also took advantage of an Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE) session with its Japan-based team. The implementation process meant a considerable cultural shift in the workplace, and there were naturally some skeptics and push back to the level of change. The ASE session brought the team together for multiple days and worked to have everyone understand how the process would positively impact the business.

    “The objective of the ASE session was really to get everybody on the same page and develop a clear mission statement,” Kaufmann explains. “After the session, everyone was committed to the same goal and it dramatically turned around the engagement level of the teams impacted.”

    Business processes for growth

    The benefits impact both financials and operations running on an integrated suite of SAP. Now Takeda has integrated, consolidated financials from all of its locations around the globe. Operations has better intercompany planning and supply-chain capabilities. Establishing a common system of record and backbone for the company has also allowed for the massive acceleration of RPA (Robotics Process Automation) implementation across the company.

    “Previously, with everything operating in different systems, if Ireland was taking raw material from Japan, it would have to send an external EDI message into cyberspace before it was received in Japan,” Kaufmann says. “Now, all of that planning information is in one system, so Ireland can provide immediate, real-time planning requirements to Japan and see the availability of stock.”

    The consistent approach and cadence driven by Capgemini has delivered a globalized system to support Takeda’s growth plans.

    “We were successful because we developed a clear scope and had our stakeholders engaged and on board for the process,” she says. “We spent nine months in preparation and planning – time well spent to ensure the execution was successful.”

    “Capgemini was 100 percent the partner to support our globalization project – it would not have been possible without them. It is important to make sure you select the right implementation partner and that they have the right resources in the right location to deliver.”

    Rebecca Kaufmann
    Head of ERP Product Management