SAP S/4HANA has a couple of modules specifically for the retail industry. Through these solutions, business owners can choose particular services that suit their needs. Although adapting to technology is one thing, the end-user experience is a different consideration—and both are equally important for sustaining long-term growth.
This article will help you identify SAP S/4HANA retail best practices you can consider replicating in your own retail/fashion business, starting with an overview of the platform and a couple of SAP retail solutions that work.
What Is S/4HANA?
SAP S/4HANA is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform built around the SAP HANA in-memory database. It is considered the successor to SAP R/3 and SAP ECC, developed based on SAP Fiori, which focuses on improving the user experience by streamlining the app functionality.
While it retains most features for automating business processes, S/4HANA changes how it approaches them. Instead of technical and functional modules, it now groups functions based on the lines of business they cater to. It is ideal for large enterprises, supporting companies with over 500 users.
Smaller enterprises can start with SAP Business One (SAP B1), which is lower in cost and function, and adopt an SAP S/4HANA migration should the need arise.
Using SAP in Retail and Fashion
Below are some documented SAP retail best practices provided by SAP S/4HANA customers using the cloud-based retailing ERP platform. Most of these adapt to the new ERP platform, originally developed as a part of the now-retired SAP Service Marketplace. In some ways, the open-source SAP Industry Cloud replaces it.
By setting up a business process monitoring scheme, you can streamline the management process that concerns various aspects of your supply chain and ensure that you never run out of raw materials or consumer products to offer. SAP can help you with planning production schedules.
One SAP retail module to help you achieve this is the Advanced Available-to-Promise business function. It generates commitment dates for purchase orders based on predetermined business rules. It also considers your current stocks and makes appropriate allocations, including backorder processing.
POS Data Management
Using a point-of-sale (POS) machine is essential for most businesses—with a third of them planning to shift to the cloud. However, deploying the right retail business process, either with SAP S/4HANA or SAP B1 modules, could help you improve your bottom line, improve POS loyalty data collection, and gain actionable sales insight.
Credit: Korie Cull
By leveraging embedded analytics, SAP B1 and SAP S/4HANA customers can extract more value from their POS machines. You can accelerate it, though, using the SAP POS Data Management tool powered by machine learning to help you take control of this key retail business process.
Rapid Workforce Management
A modern retailer ERP usually includes a human resource management module, which lets you manage PTO and shift scheduling. With SAP’s cloud-based platforms, you can exercise the same workforce management capabilities across multiple sites without having to visit and manually encode them on each on-premise software.
SAP offers a Rapid Workforce package integrated with S/4HANA and SAP SuccessFactors to offer unprecedented insights into four areas: company, job classification, cost center, and location. For multi-site enterprises with varying levels of responsibility, staying on top of your HRM needs helps take care of your customer, business, and employees simultaneously.
Over the years of supporting the industry, SAP and its growing customer base have developed a set of best practices for the retail sector. While not all solutions have been adapted to the HANA-centric SAP S/4HANA cloud platform, the SAP retail best practices listed above are among those you can implement in your enterprise.
Depending on your particular business logic, you can further customize these solutions to meet your unique needs. In doing so, you need a reliable partner like Ameri100, whose innate understanding of the system equates to optimizing the platform towards a personalized experience.Contact Ameri100 today, and let’s plan your SAP-driven retail strategy.
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Featured Image Credit: Ketut Subiyanto