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Last month, SAP, in collaboration with ASUG and The Eventful Group – along with 19 partners, headed by Capgemini – welcomed more than 200 industry professionals at the 2015 Best Practices for Consumer Products Conference in Atlanta. Over 100 senior executives from 37 customer companies joined us to participate in this experiential event built around learning, innovation, and peer collaboration. The attendees enjoyed several inspiring keynotes as well as more than 35 informative presentations led by leaders from Energizer Holdings, Inc., Colgate-Palmolive Company, Estee Lauder Companies, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, and Coach, Inc.

On arrival day, Ulrike Solander, chief solution expert, Consumer Products, SAP, delivered an opening keynote address on digitizing, simplifying, and monetizing with SAP S/4HANA. Acclaimed speaker and life coach Christine Hassler then spoke about bridging the generational divide and connecting, leveraging, and inspiring a multi-generational workforce. Later that evening, attendees enjoyed the company of their peers at an exclusive networking reception. Lori Mitchell-Keller, senior vice president/global head, Consumer Industries, SAP, kick-started day one of the conference with a rousing keynote on enabling the digitization of the consumer-driven enterprise. Digital strategist, management consultant, and award-winning syndicated blogger Brian Vellmure then spoke about the digitization of everything and the pursuit of the ideal customer experience, while E.J. Kenney, global head, Consumer Products, SAP, presented “Understanding the Consumer Products Market.”

Day one of the conference also included enlightening finance, sales and marketing, technology, and supply chain presentations on:

• Creating efficient finance operations with the SAP S/4HANA Finance solution

• Building a next-generation e-commerce and Web platform

• Driving value and rebuilding the enterprise resource planning foundation

• Gaining real-time visibility into the consumer demand network

The second and final day of the forum focused on procurement, data/analytics, people and productivity, and operational excellence, with sessions devoted to:

• Automating your material master maintenance process using the SAP Workflow mobile app

• Building consumer trust during phases of digital transformation

• Using software from SuccessFactors, an SAP company, to drive global HR process standardization

• Tackling Big Data in manufacturing

In addition, attendees were treated to inspiring keynote presentations from Tony Bender, CIO/vice president, Global Business Services, Edgewell Personal Care, on Energizer’s SAP-enabled corporate restructuring journey, and Jerry Wolfe, CEO, Vivanda, on digitizing taste and empowering the network of food to meet consumer needs.

More importantly, attendees raved about their experiences at the forum:

“[The conference] was very well thought out and very timely for me as I start planning for the move of my organization to [SAP] S/4HANA and some of the other new SAP solutions. It was also great to catch up with some old friends and contacts as well as network with new people from both SAP-using consumer goods companies and vendor partners. I am looking forward to the 2016 event already!” – Jon Harding, Conair

“I learned something from every presentation. Excellent keynote speakers and really good networking apps. Very valuable experience!” – Jeff Wagner, Kraft Heinz

“This was my first time attending a conference like this. I very much appreciated the mix of user-based knowledge sharing, senior leader insights, and vendor engagement.” – Mindy Pollock, Hallmark

“Overall Great show. The content was valuable and meeting new colleagues is always the key benefit.” – Michael Ortiz, KPIT “Overall very informative conference. The facilities, exhibits, refreshments, and evening events were great.” – Sandy Raman, Estee Lauder

We, at SAP, look forward to building on the successes from this inaugural event at the 2016 Best Practices for Consumer Products Conference.