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Success Story: Malaysia SAP HR Payroll Rollout in 4 months

Synthomer managed to implement SAP Payroll for their Malaysian subsidiary in a challenging schedule with the help of iProCon consultants.

Favourite View in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Favourite View in Kuala Lumpur

The Customer: Synthomer Group

Synthomer develops and markets polymers that are used in a wide range of industries to create and enhance everyday consumer products.  The company is headquartered in Harlow, UK, operational centres in Marl, Germany and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as sales offices in Shanghai, Dubai and Atlanta. Synthomer employs over 2000 people in over 100 countries.

The need for the solution

With expanding operations in Asia, Synthomer recognised the need for their Malaysian payroll to be integrated with their global SAP system, currently running payrolls for its operations in Germany, UK and the Netherlands. The previous payroll system was also reaching end of life on the implemented version and would require a new version to be implemented. With a wealth of experience of using SAP, the choice to move to SAP was a clear winner for the flexibility the SAP solution offers.

iProCon have had a relationship with Synthomer for 11 years, providing expertise across projects including: international payroll rollouts and support, data migrations and consolidation projects, so iProCon were the natural choice for Synthomer to embark upon an SAP Malaysian payroll implementation with.

The Project

The daily rain shower at Synthomer's Kluang office: a welcome refreshment
The daily rain shower at Synthomer’s Kluang office: a welcome refreshment

The project kicked off in September 2015 quickly followed by a workshop week held in Kluang, Malaysia with the local payroll team, to outline the scope of requirements. The project structure included Synthomer Corporate IT representatives, the local Synthomer Malaysia Payroll team  and consultants from iProCon UK. This project structure presenting a pivotal challenge for duration the project; three different teams, across three time zones with three different primary spoken languages.  This challenge was overcame by all members of the project showing great flexibility in their working times when required, and using the most common language spoken, English, as the project language.

The aim of achieving a live payroll in only four months presented a tough commitment for all parties, however with experience of previous projects between Synthomer and iProCon, all were confident of a high level of success.

iProCon engaged with a local partner in Malaysia, as local knowledge being as irreplaceable resource complementing the rollout and technical experience of iProCon’s consultants.

A training workshop was held in December for the local Synthomer Malaysia payroll team, being a steep learning curve with the team having no previous experience of SAP.  This challenge further compounded by the team also managing with relocation from Kluang to Kuala Lumpur.

Solution in Action – January 2016 Go Live!

Starting the new year with a new payroll process provided a clean cut over to SAP from the previous payroll system, and a new year enthusiasm for the new the processes.  iProCon were on site in Kuala Lumpur with the Synthomer team and local partner for the lead up and January payroll run.  A busy period with data migration, testing and process queries being identified and resolve right up to the payroll deadlines with some extra challenge thrown in from issues with legacy system data exports.  Including a critical issue with incorrect income PCB tax calculations in the payroll be,ing quickly and accurately identified, and managed by iProCons’ Lead Payroll Consultant back in the UK.  Such a flexible support distribution enabling iProCon to manage the project go live on an almost round the clock basis.


Group Software Administrator Frau Clages says: It is now much easier to have all the payrolls on the one SAP systems, especially with the FI integration. Also, it gives us superior reporting for global HR.

The first stage of implementation of a standard SAP payroll was fully successful despite a number of high risk challenges facing the project. Given the challenging deadline and availability issues this was a great achievement for all parties involved. Looking ahead, the way has been paved in Malaysia for Synthomer to consider their next priorities for enhancements of the solution including applying the most recent Payroll enhancements for MY, SAP absence processing, integration with the global OM structure and developments using SAP PT.

The Consultants:

iProCon Ltd is a SAP Service Partner in the UK with head office iProCon GmbH in Germany. iProCon UK works with customers on implementing and improving SAP HCM on-premise solutions (including payroll and international rollout), SuccessFactors Core HR and Talent Management, and Concur Travel&Expense.

1 Response
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