PFC Brakes

PFC Brakes Builds a Stable, Scalable System By Implementing SAP S/4HANA on AWS

Who is PFC Brakes?

Performance Friction Corporation (PFC) Brakes is a leading manufacturer of brakes and parts for automotive motorsports, cars, motorcycles, fleets, trucks, buses and emergency vehicles. PFC Brakes’ products can be found on fleets throughout the country, including police cars in North America, NASCAR, and emergency response vehicles. 

The Challenge

 As demand for PFC Brakes’ products continued to grow, its aging SAP R/3 solution could no longer keep up with the increasing pace of business. PFC Brakes struggled with decades of custom code, an insecure middleware vendor, and an SAP system that kept crashing due to faulty integration. Oftentimes, this meant rebooting the SAP system multiple times a day. This put significant strain on the company’s small IT staff, who spent a majority of their limited time fixing recurring issues—time that could otherwise be spent building new products and processes. PFC Brakes felt the negative effects of its outdated system, which was starting to slow down weekly business-critical processes and transactions. To get ahead, PFC Brakes knew it was time to finally invest in a major SAP upgrade and move to a cloud-based environment that could keep up with daily demands. But with PFC Brakes’ IT team already at capacity, making that kind of infrastructure change seemed complex, resource intensive and outside of their expertise. 

By leveraging Navisite’s application expertise and managed cloud services solutions, we are no longer at the mercy of outdated systems. We are back in control of our future.
Scott Sprouse
Vice President of Information Technology | PFC Brakes

The Solution

PFC Brakes selected Navisite as its managed cloud services provider to help with the company’s immediate goal of improving performance and reliability, while simultaneously meeting a longer-term IT growth strategy to replace antiquated manufacturing execution systems. These goals, in addition to a requirement to reduce TCO, would be best achieved with an SAP S/4HANA upgrade and implementation on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

As PFC Brakes’ managed cloud services provider, Navisite provided a full-stack solution. This included Managed Application Services, an S/4HANA conversion, and a Greenfield implementation on AWS. Understanding PFC Brakes’ growing business demands, Navisite also promised to expedite the digital transformation, with a goal to complete the S/4HANA implementation in less than a year—all with zero business disruptions.

Selecting the Right Cloud Platform to Lower TCO

Navisite’s first task was to help facilitate the selection of AWS as the best long-term solution for PFC Brakes. A proof of concept was built and presented, including an integration to the existing manufacturing execution system, which was pivotal in gaining C-level approval. The ability to scale up and scale out on-demand and the introduction of disaster recovery capabilities helped PFC Brakes realize the immediate reduction in TCO.

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Upgrading the Legacy SAP Application to a Cloud Environment

With a cloud platform selected, the next step was to leverage Navisite’s cloud application management platform to ensure a seamless implementation. Navisite also upgraded PFC Brakes’ outdated software by deploying a Greenfield implementation of S/4HANA on AWS. This strategy involved a total re-engineering of PFC Brake’s system: All the cumbersome custom code and processes were left behind, giving PFC Brakes a clean slate to implement new technology. PFC Brakes’ entire SAP S/4HANA upgrade and Greenfield implementation was completed within 11 months.

Creating a More Scalable and Resilient System

With Navisite’s help, PFC Brakes upgraded to S/4HANA and executed a Greenfield implementation on AWS, integrating its entire solution with shop floor manufacturing execution systems. PFC Brakes now has a scalable, resilient, and stable system that enables a substantial reduction in capital spending, while increasing reliability and performance. Navisite’s Managed Application Services also provided the SAP expertise both functionally and technically, enabling the PFC Brakes IT staff to focus more time on tactical projects related to manufacturing.