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How can the Intelligent Enterprise Impact Retail Merchandise Management

We have arrived in the age of digital transformation where everything is connected. Retailer CEOs need to keep up with innovation cycles that are becoming 5x–10x faster and answer tough questions: How to build a customer experience that new competitors cannot easily replicate? How to conquer new segments or markets? How to create new business models to outpace existing competitors that change how to make money?

Following are three important aspects of driving your digital transformation.

First, rethink your business model and try out new territories. Retailers are leveraging their customer proximity to add services to products and to market banking and insurance products. They are extending the manufacture of private-label products, generating revenue from parking space with fuel stations, or turning into network providers for consumer health and lifestyle information. The opportunities are numerous yet often prevented by prescriptive industry practices in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems – here we need a new dimension of flexibility and agility in the core systems. SAP S/4HANA – SAP’s new-generation ERP suite designed specifically for in-memory computing – follows the “industry to the core” principle, meaning that various industry solutions that in the past technically excluded each other now run on one platform. This allows new capabilities and practices that extend the traditional value map and process framework – the basis for running vertically, like many fashion companies, or operating an oil and gas business on the same instance with fuel station convenience shops. Such a platform can enable a future proof strategy.

Second, become more data driven to create insights that improve your business – for example, introduce the ability to connect, record, and report live on your business. SAP S/4HANA allows real-time insight into operational data and combines analytics with transactional capability. It removes the dichotomy of transactional versus analytical systems and allows for better decisions every time.

Third, reimagine your business processes with the power of in-memory computing. Accelerate mission-critical operations, run simulations, and use embedded science to gain better control over your core processes. Move away from traditional batch processing to dialog processing and eliminate decision cycle time to take action in the moment. Overcome siloed information and fragmented business process within the same system (in the core, finance, inventory management, and valuation components of SAP S/4HANA are harmonized into common journals), allowing supply chain people to have real-time insights into inventory and finance people to control intercompany profitability with real-time inventory evaluation.

SAP S/4HANA Retail for merchandise management is the industry-specific version of the SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management solution, the new merchandise management platform providing previously unavailable agility and flexibility that enables you to reinvent your business. Make it the digital core of your future value network and start to connect your workforce, suppliers, consumers, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in real time to capture every opportunity and leverage digital transformation for increased business value.

Responsive Merchandise Management with SAP S/4HANA

  • Developed natively on the SAP HANA platform with all options for real-time analytics, integration, and application services

  • Redesigned with highly simplified data models and processes in key areas such as inventory management, stock valuation, and even closer integration into the SAP S/4HANA Finance solution, leading to high throughput and fast reporting in key processes

  • Consistent user experience and launchpad access across all functional areas, allowing new ways of working for business users

  • Empowerment of store associates and store managers with everything they need for better customer service and shop-floor operations

  • Omnichannel order execution and fulfillment based on real-time sales and inventory information to keep up with customers’ expectations of world-class shopping experiences

  • “Industry to core” – one platform that unites various industry solutions using harmonized data models and objects, thus opening up potential for synergies and cross-scenarios

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