Global consulting company, Westernacher Consulting, celebrates the 15th anniversary of its presence in the Chinese market. This milestone marks 15 years of Westernacher being a trusted business and innovation partner in Asia.
Founded in September 2007, Westernacher China has come a long way – from offering a handful of services to foreign companies, to partnering with numerous local, international and stated-owned customers today. As a pivotal office in the Far East, Westernacher China has been expanding possibilities not only for mainland China, but also for the whole of the Asia Pacific region, helping customers innovate and grow.
“15 years ago, China was expanding rapidly as the manufacturing hub of the world and developing a strong internal market. It was clear to us that China would become a dominant player,” explains Westernacher Group CEO, Benjamin Dewilde, on why he decided to take the big step of opening an office in Shanghai one and a half decades ago.
In those days China was in the final stages of a massive 30-year development, lifting 750 million people out of extreme poverty and building a very strong middle class. As a result, China was catching up and, in many areas, overtaking the West in terms of technology, modernization, and infrastructure. Rising as a global market player, China became critical to the supply chains of Westernacher’s customers and the source of many innovations. “We need to be where our customers need us, as well as where the innovation is. China, therefore, was the place where we needed to be,” says Dewilde.
“It is an amazing journey to build the success in China,” says Frank Hua, current Head of Westernacher China and Regional Operations Head for East Asia. “Westernacher is not only a company bringing the innovations and values to our clients but also a platform to help you better yourself. We feel like we belong to a family that takes care of each other. I am very proud to be part of it.”
“Our valued Chinese customers choose us as their business partner owing to the recognized expertise of our consultants, the long track record of successful rollouts and implementations, the service partnership with SAP China and last but not least, the excellent reputation in the Chinese and Asian markets. This is the achievement of our great Chinese team,” adds Martin Weiss, Managing Director of Westernacher Consulting.
“Since Westernacher China’s establishment in 2007, we have learned lessons, had many successes and a few failures,” says Guenter Dortmann, Head of Westernacher China in its first decade and current Head of Westernacher Japan. “Westernacher China turns 15 this year. We would not have been as successful without our past and present staff. To all our staff who have been part of the Westernacher China journey, I would like to say ‘Thank you’”.
The go-to innovation partner in China
China was one of the first countries where Westernacher became the number one consultancy in a certain SAP space – SAP S/4HANA, Extended Warehouse Management (EWM), Transportation Management (TM), Yard Logistics (YL) and Integrated Business Planning (IBP). Westernacher China today is the most important SAP digital supply chain implementation partner in China and the whole of Asia Pacific, with most of the digital supply chain implementations in this region. Meanwhile, our projects in China are at the forefront of innovation with, for example, the world’s first SAP EWM-based warehouse with autonomous mobile robots (AMR) and with many of our SAP S/4HANA projects originating in China.
“We are bringing our global experience, specialist knowledge and innovations from the West to China to help drive the digitalization of China,” says Hua. “With our 15 years of experience in China, we know the market and clients very well. We are creating innovations in China and providing innovations and success stories from China to the rest of the world.”
End-to-end digital transformation partner
In response to the growing demand in China and its neighbors such as Japan and South Korea, Westernacher established offices in Chengdu and Taipei. Today, Westernacher China is a crucial delivery hub, not only bolstering businesses in the local market but also in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
Looking back at his first visit to China, Dewilde reminiscences: “I was blown away by the millennia-old culture that one still feels and sees despite the rapid modernization. What also struck me, was the fact that almost without us in the West even realizing it, China had already long overtaken the West in many areas. Our Chinese colleagues feel like brothers and sisters to me. We have built a fantastic practice in China through many years of ups and some downs. Through it all, we have always trusted each other and valued the incredibly hard and successful work of the team.”