Your Most Common Questions S/4 HANA For Retail – Answered Here!

Your Most Common Questions S/4 HANA For Retail – Answered Here!

Your Most Common Questions S/4 HANA For Retail – Answered Here!

Despite the recession and inflation, the retail industry is growing rapidly. Global retail sales are expected to surpass $31.7 trillion by 2025. 

Retailers must keep pace with changing customer preferences and market trends to stay ahead of the competition. They need real-time insights to understand customer preferences and market trends. That’s where SAP’s S/4 HANA comes into the picture.

SAP’s S/4 HANA for retail provides a unified platform to improve innovation across the entire supply chain, supports scalability, facilitates customer personalization efforts, and accelerates the decision-making process. It also helps optimize supply-chain processes, manage orders and inventories, and deepen distributor relationships. 

Before you get started, let’s look at a few things you must understand about SAP’s S/4 HANA.

What Retailers Must Know About S/4 HANA For Retail?

1. How is SAP S/4 HANA for retail different from SAP’s legacy systems?

SAP has been delivering solutions to retailers for a long time to fulfill their IT needs. For example, brick-and-mortar retail stores used SAP, while brand manufacturers used SAP Apparel and Footwear Solution (AFS). However, retailers wanted a more comprehensive solution that could help them streamline their operations and supply chain needs and manage distributor relationships and inventories on a single ERP platform. That’s how SAP’s S/4 HANA for retail came into existence. 

SAP’s S/4 HANA has brought agility to the retail business, improved productivity, and revenues, and helped retail companies predict changes and keep pace with them. By 2025, SAP will replace the legacy SAP Merchandising Solutions with SAP’s S/4 HANA. 

2. What are some use cases for SAP S/4 HANA for retail?

Here are a few use cases for implementing SAP S/4 HANA:

  • Merchandise management: SAP S/4 HANA provides retailers with real-time customer, market, and sales insights to improve efficiency across the entire value chain, increase business agility, and deliver exception experience to customers. Retailers can also automate assortment management to pick and sell assorted products during a certain season and streamline the procurement process.
  • Customer Activity Repository (CAR): CAR is a powerful data platform that SAP offers to help retailers collect and centralize real-time data from all channels to forecast demand, plan for replenishments, and reduce wastage across all channels. It’s an important platform for retailers to manage their omnichannel business efficiently. It gives them a 360-degree view into customer activity and sales performance across all channels to meet the dynamic customer demands efficiently.
  • Warehouse management: SAP provides retailers with full control over the warehouse operations. The flexible Warehouse Management System (WMS) helps retailers manage a high volume of products, simplify the complexities in supply chain, and respond to changing market conditions quickly.
  • Supply chain management:  SAP’s S/4 HANA provides real-time insights that help streamline supply chain processes, reduce costs, and improve delivery times. It provides a single platform to manage inventory, warehouse, transportation, shipping capabilities, and labor.
  • Integrations: SAP S/4 HANA allows third-party integrations using modern integration technologies like APIs and microservices. These technologies integrate various systems like CM and HCM and provide real-time insights that help retailers stay agile and make informed business decisions. 

3. Who should choose SAP S/4 HANA for retail solutions?

SAP S/4 HANA for retail is ideal for retailers who do not have a retail-specific solution in their existing ERP. It helps retailers overcome industry-specific challenges like meeting demands during peak season, lack of a consolidated inventory view, complex supply chains, and unsynchronized process planning across various procurement, production, and sales. If streamlining the operations and growing business is your priority, work with a trustworthy SAP partner to get started.

They are all eligible to choose SAP’s S/4 HANA for retail. We recommend working with a trustworthy SAP partner for successful implementation. 

4. How do we begin the migration process?

Typically, the migration process is taken care of by the SAP integration partner after a thorough understanding of the business challenges and goals, maturity assessment, and other factors. However, the migration process is as follows:

  • Assessing the existing ERP system and the overall IT landscape of the retailer to determine the scope of migration
  • Determining the right approach, i.e., Brownfield, Greenfield, or Bluefield, depending on the retailer’s business needs and technical requirements
  • Preparing for migration by ensuring that the current ERP system is compatible with SAP’s S/4 HANA and upgrading to the latest SAP version to make it compatible 
  • Depending on the approach, transform the current ERP system into S/4 HANA or implement a new system from scratch
  • Testing and validating the new system thoroughly to ensure it functions as expected.
  • Training the users to acclimatize them to the new system and supporting them throughout the post-implementation phase
  • Launching the new system and monitoring the outcomes to ensure it functions as expected

5. Will migrating to SAP S/4 HANA change the omnichannel reference architecture?

Although SAP’s S/4 HANA would replace the traditional merchandise management applications, the underlying omnichannel reference architecture will remain the same. In fact, retailers will be able to benefit from the new features and functionalities and improve their omnichannel and digital strategies. 

6. How to choose the right SI for migrating to SAP S/4 HANA?

Look for an SAP partner who has experience in rendering S/4 HANA consultancy and implementation and who can deploy it on-premise or on cloud. Also, ensure they have in-depth knowledge about S/4 HANA, especially about changes in data, objects, and tables. 

7. How long will it take to implement?

75% of businesses have moved from their existing SAP business models to SAP S/4 HANA within six months of making the decision. However, it also depends on the retailer’s preparedness and strategy. For example, some retailers may choose Greenfield initiatives, i.e., reinventing their ERP, or Brownfield initiatives, i.e., keeping the IT environment the same but strengthening it with the latest technologies. In both cases, the implementation could take at least a few years.  

8. What are the best practices to follow during implementation?

Here are a few best practices that retailers can follow to leverage S/4 HANA optimally:

  • Keep the data clean, updated, and accurate to ensure there are no inconsistencies or errors during migration
  • Only include features that align with your business goals
  • Ensure the ERP system is updated regularly to leverage the latest features and functionalities of SAP’s S/4 HANA and keep the system secure
  • Utilize S/4 HANA’s innovations like SAP Fiori Apps to perform detailed simulations and manage logistics operations

How Can Sapours Help Retailers Grow Their Business with SAP S/4 HANA?

We hope you got a better understanding of SAP’s S/4 HANA for retail and are confident to migrate your existing ERP system or create a new ERP system.

 At Sapours, we combine our deep knowledge of retail industry and experience in SAP solutions and third-party integrations to deploy SAP S/4 HANA, SAP Retail and Merchandise Management, and several other SAP solutions across multiple retail outlets and geographies. We have a proven track record of streamlining operations, automating processes, and improving the overall sales and decision-making at stores. With a formidable team of retail experts, we have consistently delivered retail projects globally on time and helped improve their ROI on SAP investment.

For more details, schedule a free consultation with us. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *