Bild mit leeren Bierflaschen und dem Trinks Logo

Case study

From a critical system environment to a manageable solution at a beverage logistics company

I can sleep better now that I know the system is back in support.

Roberto Fabiano CFOTrinks GmbH

The company

Trinks is a leading beverage logistics company with an impressive turnover of 1.5 billion euros, a strong workforce of 1700 employees and an impressive fleet of 350 trucks. The company manages approximately 300 trade creditors, 9,400 debtors and handles the delivery of an impressive 244 million crates and 1.5 billion bottles per year. In addition, 30 million EDI orders are processed annually.

Review and current challenges

The initial situation was challenging, as the relocation of the company headquarters led to a massive loss of system knowledge. The IBM i-based in-house ERP software became an operational risk and there was no longer a developer in the company. The IBM i-based ERP has been in use at trinks since 1996 and is based on the RPG programming language. In 2006, the source code rights were acquired from the initial software house and have been further developed in-house since then. Today, the IBM i applications are critical systems for all business processes at trinks.

This resulted in a not untypical initial situation


Internal IT resources were scarce; valuable knowledge had been lost due to the relocation of the company headquarters.

The modernization of the ERP was no longer the focus of an IT strategy due to the strategic objective towards SAP.

The ability to act in the existing system was critical due to the shortage of resources and had to be addressed at short notice.
LKW mit Trinks Logo






The solution: Stabilize the system and seek support

Various measures were taken to tackle the problem, including reactivating employees who had left the company and freelancers. However, manual familiarization with the program code was not possible. The real solution was to implement eXplain from PKS, including developer support. The application was successfully stabilized in just a few weeks and the number of non-compilable artifacts was significantly reduced. Obsolete artifacts were also identified and cleaned up. This led to a significant improvement in system consistency and now ensures the ability to act.

The procedure is based on a tried and tested 4-phase PKS model:

Numerous improvements have been realized through this development partnership

PKS took over the application operation and the further development of the IBM i individual software.

PKS implements the relevant RPG interfaces for a controllable and consistent changeover to SAP.

The internally scarce resources were supplemented by the PKS team.
Bild von PKS Mitarbeiter

The start was challenging. We had around 14 days to get to know the system environment and processes with the existing developer. Even at this early stage, a very good working relationship developed between the Trinks departments and PKS, which continues to this day. The build-up of expertise is not yet complete (December 2023), but we have the business-critical processes under control and have already been able to optimize some of them. At the same time, we are also providing support with issues relating to the introduction of SAP.

Peter Kuliberda Team & Project LeadPKS Software GmbH


The company plans to optimize its data center in the future. This is to be achieved through the use of private cloud options at SVA. In addition, the company will continue to rely on application development support from PKS. These measures will remain in place until the SAP implementation has been successfully completed.

By supporting PKS, we have minimized our risk for the existing ERP and can concentrate our internal resources fully on the SAP conversion.

Sebastian Markl Head of ITTrinks GmbH

The advantages of Trinks through partnering with PKS

  • Security

    The implementation of eXplain from PKS provided the company with much-needed security in its critical system environment. Stabilizing and cleansing the system significantly reduced operational risk and provided confidence in system integrity. Employees could rely on reliable processes and data, which significantly improved operational security.

  • Orientierung:

    The provision of a competent PKS development team including an experienced project manager created clarity and orientation in the technical and organizational structure of the changeover to SAP. By cleaning up outdated artifacts and identifying undefined statuses, the company was able to regain an overview of its system landscape. This enabled better planning and alignment for future development processes and the switch to SAP.

  • Identity:

    The successful collaboration with PKS helped the company to redefine its technological identity. By stabilizing and modernizing the system, it was able to position itself as an innovative and future-oriented company that is able to respond to the changing requirements of the industry.

  • Retention:

    The PKS solution strengthened the bond between the company and its employees. Creating a reliable and efficient working environment increased employee satisfaction and motivation. This helped to retain skilled professionals within the company and attract new talent.

This illustrates how the implementation of eXplain by PKS not only brought technical improvements, but also had a positive impact on corporate culture, trust and employee satisfaction.

Bild von PKS Mitarbeiter

The cooperation between Trinks and PKS is very positive and productive. Our source code analysis tool eXplain makes it easier for us to permanently analyze processes and dependencies quickly and helps us to continue to see success in the shortest possible time and to facilitate processes sustainably. At the same time, we are documenting processes and establishing documentation as a central source of information for Trinks.

Peter Kuliberda Team & Project LeadPKS Software GmbH

Tools and procedures

  •  eXplain - The mastermind for IBM applications
  • Software Clean-Up
  • Development partnership with PKS