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From 2011 to 2013, a leading retailer in Australia and New Zealand market experienced considerable change and transformation in terms of promotional business reengineering and system integration across their entire organization. At present, the ongoing transformation is under its way to embrace more business organizations and bring additional business units on board within the company as a whole.

With nearly 90-year experience in the retail industry, the customer expanded their business to numerous market segments and countries with multi-brands and strategies. At the same time, new challenges emerged, which raised a topic for this customer to consider integration of end-to-end business process among all brands and banners. One of the key areas of importance lies in promotion management. Due to the fact that each business organizations operated in multiple isolated promotion systems before, there was no integrated platform for business and management to establish and optimize enterprise business processes, so as to gain a corporate view on promotion performance for data analysis and strategic decision making. Under this circumstance, in June 2011, a ramp-up project on SAP PMR (Promotion Management for Retail) implementation was kicked off, with the aim to establish an enterprise end-to-end solution for promotion management.

Journey of Transformation

The project roadmap consisted of 3 phases: pilot, enhancement and rollout. In 2011, this customer became the first PMR customer in the world, with the pilot business organization using SAP PMR for offer maintenance, vendor fund maintenance, integrating with ECC and downstream systems for promotion execution, as well as BW for reporting and data analysis.

From end of 2011 to 2013, PMR solution was enhanced and expended dramatically within the organization, in terms functionality deployment and business rollout scope:

n Web-based Vendor Collaboration Portal

A Web-based Vendor Collaboration Portal was built based on SAP PMR backend system by the customer, which provides interactive and online deal negotiation and submission capacities between category managers and vendors. It dramatically reduced the manual communication and effort with vendors before. In addition, the efficiency and transparency on vendor deals is maximized by this tool.

n Advanced and Comprehensive offer Maintenance

With considerable efforts and enhancements being placed into this phase, advanced and comprehensive offer maintenance capacities were achieved, which supports more offer constructions, increasingly complicated business scenarios, as well as late offer change required to react immediately to market trend and competitive environment.

n Automatic Vendor Claims

To solve the pain of previous manual vendor fund claims, PMR vendor fund is integrated with ECC condition contract and BW, which achieved automatic claims of vendor deals based on offers and sales data from POS, while comprehensive sales reports can be generated in BW for business.

n Integrated Image Management and Catalogue Briefing

One integrated solution was established for category teams and marketing team, in terms of catalogue briefing and communication with creative agencies. Manual work using Excel and PowerPoint for catalogue briefing is replaced by PMR Event maintenance via integration with industry / customer-specific image library and repositories. This approach removes the need to transcribe from various systems into a PowerPoint template for briefing, which improved accuracy and productivity for business at the same time.

The rollout is continuously going on with other banners and categories at this moment, which draws a vision for 2014 to bring all business organizations, countries and units onto the same platform.

Through the past 2 years, with the goal to achieve “Better for Consumer, Simpler for Staff and Cheaper for Company”, the system framework and end-to-end integration landscape has been established for the customer. It provides abilities to present more attractive and flexible offers and marketing campaigns to end consumers via one integrated system; to unify the enterprise business processes within the company, and increase efficiency, visibility and transparency of information at the same time; also, to enable one source of truth and collaborative promotion management, which paves the way for intelligent data analysis and strategic decision making.

The journey of change and transformation has never been easy. Instead, it involves an abundance of contribution and efforts from different parties, including customers’ farsighted business insights and visions, together with continuous technology innovation and breakthroughs from SAP. It’s a great honor to participate in this transformation for me as a consultant, especially when utilizing SAP technologies to help customers run better, while at the same time having the opportunity to absorb first-hand business and market insights, and bringing them back to SAP for our product and solution enhancements and future extension.