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The fashion and luxury goods industry has been undergoing tremendous change in recent times. These changes have been reshaping the value chain and affecting different parties. This has also led to an increased pressure on the top line as well as bottom-line for most companies. Moreover, customers in today’s retail environment are becoming increasingly demanding, and expect to be offered innovative styles and good quality at attractive prices.
Fashion and luxury goods manufacturers such as D. Swarovski KG therefore needed to find new ways to secure growth and profits while ensuring end-customer satisfaction. Tactics based simply on reducing product development and manufacturing costs are no longer sufficient to maintain competitive advantage in the digital era. As retailers attempt to improve profits, cash-flow and consumer loyalty, they need to continually introduce innovative concepts, as well as add value to their own private labels. Therefore a strong partnership with a reliable IT provider is a must.

Industry leaders are forced to search for innovation paths for both profit improvement and for driving efficiencies across all the functions, thus needing to deploy a wide range of IT solutions to perform these tasks with higher efficiency.

The challenges confronted by the fashion and luxury goods industry are numerous. Not only is the industry subject to slower growth rates, but retailers are reviewing many of the most basic considerations of how they do business. On the top of that, the digital transformation of businesses adds additional pressure on the fashion and luxury goods industry.

To address the challenges of fast changing industry Swarovski turned to SAP solutions and SAP Digital Business Services.

Swarovski: Facing Industry Challenges

  • Improve business process transparency and minimize IT support costs

  • Find and eliminate business transaction delays and reduce errors

  • Establish business and IT team collaboration to continuously improve execution

Swarovski: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities with SAP 

Swarovski crystal has been transforming everyday light into extraordinary beauty for over a century. To continuously optimize its everyday business processes and reduce support costs, Swarovski turned to SAP ActiveEmbedded services, a premium engagement offering from SAP, and the business process improvement service for SAP solutions.

Swarovski relies on enterprise software from SAP to innovate across the business. The company regularly receives embedded engineering and business process expertise through the SAP ActiveEmbedded engagement. The Swarovski IT team recently shared a report with business stakeholders that identified several opportunities for improving processes and reducing operating costs across several business units around the world. The business process analysis report showed particular improvement potential in sales and finance. To help get there, Swarovski once again turned to the experts at SAP

“To achieve sustained improvement, our business teams need tools to help them monitor their own processes with greater precision and clarity, so they can take the right steps to run even better.”
Swarovski KG

To run sales and finance even better, the business and IT teams at Swarovski worked jointly with the SAP team using the business process improvement service for SAP solutions. In a series of collaborative workshops, production data from Swarovski’s current deployment of the SAP ERP application was used to identify specific issues and determine next steps, including activating key performance indicator (KPI) and dashboard reports in SAP Solution Manager. Over 30 built-in and customized KPIs provided the business team with the on-target visibility they needed to optimize sales and financial transactions. Using benchmarking analysis from business process analytics and trend analysis dashboards, the team identified a wide array of process bottlenecks, gaps, and improvement opportunities. Among the many issues discovered, they found delays in invoice clearance, incomplete bank postings, missing fields in orders, and billing exceptions. In the final workshops, business and IT teams developed a step-by-step plan to resolve all of the identified issues. The plan included the establishment of a business improvement program with scheduled, recurring meetings between Swarovski’s IT and management teams across business units to pursue ongoing optimization initiatives across the company.

“The business process improvement service for the SAP solutions as part of SAP ActiveEmbedded was exactly what we needed. We have the best-practice tools to improve performance and savings for Swarovski now and in the future.”
Swarovski KG

Swarovski business and IT teams are seizing the process optimization opportunities identified during the workshops with the SAP experts to improve performance across every facet of the business. Swarovski is using automation to quickly clear transactions and to eliminate costly manual reconciliations. For example, after discovering approximately 15,000 incomplete bank postings, the IT team added automatic reconciliation logic to SAP ERP to avoid the need for manual fixes. And dashboard monitoring of overdue or incomplete orders, delivery documents, and invoices is helping business teams improve lead times for orders. The business process improvement service (as part of SAP ActiveEmbedded) is helping improve Swarovski’s overall operational efficiency. Service outages, transaction errors, and other support issues that were on the rise in previous years are now in decline. And Swarovski is able to devote more IT spend to new innovation and less to support and maintenance.

Future Plans

The Swarovski business improvement strategy also calls covers bringing teams across the company together on a regular basis to deliver process innovation and workforce training over the long term. That process is now in place, and IT project leaders meet virtually every quarter to review current improvement initiatives, resolve issues, and address training needs. The meetings are already helping Swarovski establish operational best practices along with clear, measurable business KPIs that allow business teams to better track their performance. What’s more, the meetings also help Swarovski deliver on workforce training objectives, with teams co-developing new training initiatives and evaluating new training solutions such as SAP Workforce Performance Builder software.

To see the full business transformation study, click [here]

To find out more about SAP ActiveEmbedded, click [here]