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SAP at the core of S Group’s €100m IT renewal

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Finnish retailer S Group is putting SAP at the core of its IT transformation, which will be complete by 2021

Finland’s largest retailer, S Group, has embarked on a €100m IT system overhaul, which will put SAP at the core.

The retailer is seeking efficiency benefits and preparing for new digital services with a complete renewal of its key systems by 2021.

The project covers all S Group retail processes. These include a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, assortment planning, pricing and procurement, as well as basic financial systems. The retailer is also renewing its point of sale system as a separate project, which will run simultaneously.

“We realised our current IT base doesn’t offer us the opportunity to develop our business to meet future challenges,” Raimo Mäenpää, CIO at S Group, told Computer Weekly. “It doesn’t adapt to our needs for dynamism, transparency and the ability to predict. [The conclusion] was we should have an extensive operations management renewal.”

The retailer launched its renewal project in late 2016. In addition to modernisation, the project aims to unify S Group’s scattered IT architecture. The group has grown through company acquisitions and consequently runs dozens of different, partly overlapping, IT systems. A significant part of its IT costs relates to the maintenance of ageing systems.

S Group will address this with a new IT architecture based on the latest version of ERP from SAP, SAP S/4 Hana Retail. S Group has used various SAP systems since the 1990s.

“When you start to build ERP of this size in Finland there aren’t many alternatives [to SAP],” said Mäenpää. “In addition to technology, the availability of expertise is a factor. Also, we needed to have a Finnish-language user interface and support process [which SAP offers] for our store staff to use.”

S Group will supplement the ERP system with specialised services, such as predictive analytics software from Finnish firm Relex.

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Article Credit: CW

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