KPMG helps OLX Global

OLX Global, a leader in online marketplaces, connects buyers and sellers in local communities around the world. Driven by its mission to build tech-enabled marketplace ecosystems powered by trust, OLX faced growing challenges in its financial operations. To address these, it embarked on an ambitious journey to implement SAP S/4HANA, a move aimed at enhancing efficiency, improving strategic forecasting, planning, budgeting, and automating key processes. 

Why this request?

OLX operates at the forefront of the online marketplace industry, facilitating trade across diverse categories of products and services. With a vast network spanning various regions, OLX has become a household name in the world of e-commerce. The company prides itself on its ability to foster local communities where buyers and sellers can interact with ease, convenience, and trust. This unique selling proposition has propelled OLX to impressive heights in its industry.

Beyond its operational success, OLX’s forward-thinking approach sets it apart. The decision to implement SAP S/4HANA exemplifies the company's commitment to innovation, efficiency, and strategic growth. By choosing to upgrade their financial operations and processes with SAP S/4HANA, OLX aims to solidify its position as a leader in the ever-evolving digital marketplace landscape.

“For OLX, a successful SAP S/4HANA implementation is more than just an upgrade of our financial systems”, says Nadine Heydenrych, Global Director of Finance Systems at OLX. “It's a strategic move to enhance our operational efficiency, improve financial control, automate processes, and drive better business planning and decision-making. By standardizing processes across all entities, we aim to reduce the risk of errors and inconsistencies, leading to improved financial accuracy and reliability.” 

The right insights

As OLX embarked on the transformative journey of implementing SAP S/4HANA, it confronted an array of challenges typical of such large-scale programs. The complexity of the task at hand began to reflect in the program timeline, which started to stretch beyond the initial estimates. Moreover, the high standards set by OLX for program outcomes weren't being met, which indicated a need for a revised approach.

Governance and program management also presented significant hurdles. The absence of a robust structure with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, combined with the lack of strong program leadership and stakeholder management, started to affect the progression of the program. Such issues are not uncommon in significant transitions involving multiple entities and teams, but they required an immediate solution to prevent further escalation.

Another area of concern was complex integrations with a significant number of up-and-downstream systems and change management. With any new ERP system comes substantial alterations in processes and workflows. Managing these changes effectively is pivotal to the success of the implementation, ensuring a smooth transition of operations to the new system, and minimizing disruption to the business. However, during the early stages, OLX encountered challenges in navigating these changes effectively.

Left unresolved, these challenges held the potential to significantly impact OLX’s business operations and performance. Extended delays and quality issues could have disrupted daily operations. Weaknesses in governance and program management could have led to further delays, cost overruns, and failure to meet the desired outcomes of the SAP S/4HANA implementation. Furthermore, ineffective change management could have resulted in resistance among employees, confusion about new processes, and errors in data handling - factors that could negatively affect operational efficiency.

“At this point, we made the strategic decision to onboard KPMG, with their proven expertise in SAP S/4HANA and managing large-scale transformations, to help steer the program back on track”, says Heydenrych. “The initial partner remained an integral part of the team, continuing their technical work on the program. This strategic realignment was aimed at addressing the management-related challenges while maintaining the technical momentum of the SAP S/4HANA implementation.”


OLX’s strategic decision to partner with KPMG marked a pivotal moment in their SAP S/4HANA implementation journey. This partnership was not just a vendor-client relationship; it was a collaborative effort driven by mutual respect, shared goals, and a steadfast commitment to success.

Heydenrych: “The essence of KPMG's approach - that of a trusted associate rather than a mere supplier - echoed with our resolute commitment to the program. This harmony generated a dynamic interplay that catalyzed the momentum propelling the program towards its objectives.”

The guiding principles at the heart of KPMG's operations are transparency, quality, and integrity. These values were manifested in every aspect of the program's execution, through continuous and open communication, keeping all parties informed about the developments, obstacles, and envisioned resolutions. This commitment to excellence was evident in the program's outcomes, with each achieved goal standing as a testament to the concerted efforts of both KPMG and OLX.

KPMG's unwavering attention to OLX's business needs found an equal in OLX's staunch commitment to the program. The teams operated in seamless harmony, with the strategic goals continually serving as the guiding beacon, ensuring the program stayed its course and remained in alignment with OLX's broader objectives. The pride that KPMG holds in their work found a reflection in OLX's own sense of achievement. Every surmounted challenge and reached milestone was a shared victory. 

Concrete actions

“The journey to a successful SAP S/4HANA implementation wasn't a smooth road for us, but rather a challenging voyage navigated in alliance with KPMG”, admits Heydenrych. “The partnership showcased an unwavering determination to confront and conquer each hurdle, demonstrating resilience, adaptability, and a penchant for innovative strategies.”

One of the early obstacles encountered was the need to define governance structures and delineate roles within the program. To overcome this, they instituted a 'lessons learned' system, transforming each hurdle into a stepping stone for growth and understanding. Collaboratively, KPMG and OLX fine-tuned roles and responsibilities, thereby accelerating decision-making processes and fortifying program governance. A steering committee took the reins, guiding critical decisions through the labyrinth of implementation challenges.

The program was punctuated with strategic checkpoints called 'quality gates.' These served as assurance that each stage of the program met the predefined quality criteria before moving forward. This meticulous approach ensured that the program stayed in line with the high standards set by both KPMG and OLX, and it mirrored the broader organizational objectives.

The heart of the program pulsed with thorough planning, each beat resonating with its strategic objectives. KPMG and OLX jointly crafted exhaustive program plans, charting clear milestones, deadlines, and alternative routes. With the compass always pointing towards local business needs, these plans underwent periodic review and adjustments to keep up with the evolving program requisites. Moreover, they established an efficient system for detailed reporting and tracking. By astutely utilizing program management tools, they fostered transparency and promoted collaboration within a team spread across the globe.

Managing risks and issues emerged as vital components, with potential hurdles identified early on and pre-emptive strategies devised. Quick resolution of emerging challenges ensured they had minimal impact on the program’s progress. The often daunting task of managing change control was tackled with an organized change board, diligently managing objectives, quality, and resources throughout the program’s lifecycle.

In preparation for the momentous ‘go-live’, they carried out detailed cutover planning and exhaustive rehearsals, thereby ensuring readiness. Combined with the formation of a robust post-go-live support organization, the program was primed for success, equipping the support team with essential tools and knowledge for post-implementation system stability.

Through a relentless display of teamwork, adaptability, and scrupulous planning, the partnership triumphantly surmounted the challenges posed by the SAP S/4HANA implementation.

Real solutions

The transformative journey between OLX and KPMG in implementing SAP S/4HANA has been a resounding success, demonstrating the transformative potential of powerful partnerships. Not only did this alliance achieve remarkable results, but it also painted a vivid picture of how shared values, strategic planning, and meticulous execution can turn the inherent challenges of a large-scale tech program into a successful venture.

The SAP S/4HANA program, as meticulously planned by both parties, was delivered on time and even came in below KPMG’s budget; a testament to effective resource management and efficient task execution. The cutover to go-live, a key milestone in any implementation program, unfolded seamlessly, and the globally dispersed team facilitated its successful execution.

Once the system was live, the carefully established post-go-live support ensured smooth operation. Impressively, the absence of critical or major incidents after go-live shone a spotlight on the quality of the implementation and the strength of the support structures.

OLX and KPMG’s unyielding commitment and resilience played a critical role in the success of this endeavour. OLX’s strategic alignment with local business objectives and KPMG’s trusted partnership approach, together with their expertise in program management and SAP S/4HANA implementations, formed the backbone of this triumph.

Nadine Heydenrych, Global Director of Finance Systems: “I would like to express my deep gratitude to you and the entire KPMG team for the dedication, expertise, and commitment you have displayed throughout the course of our collaboration. The progress we have made together on the S4 program has been truly remarkable, and we are proud of the successes we have achieved.”

This transformative journey has elevated OLX’s financial processes, aligned operational efficiency with broader company goals and positioned OLX for future growth. KPMG, in turn, demonstrated its capability in managing complex tech implementations, reinforcing its reputation as a reliable partner in such ventures.

Ultimately, the successful implementation of SAP S/4HANA stands as an exemplar of what can be accomplished when companies unite under a shared vision and unwavering commitment to excellence.         

In reflecting on this successful partnership, Lydia Patterson, CEO of OLX Global, expressed their sentiments: “…you have demonstrated the utmost technical expertise and business acumen over the course of our relationship. I look forward to exploring ways that we can work together in the future.”