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Challenges of the retail industry

The retail industry is becoming more complex and changing at even faster phase.  The dramatic shift of customer demographics, continuous downsize of households, empowered and knowledgeable consumers, as well as new channel formats - among other trends - require that the industry quickly adopt and modifies existent business and operational models, best practices and processes to satisfy the needs of customers in order to be successful and profitable. Technology is greatly contributing to improved operational efficiency for retailers, but the importance of technology to the business success will become even greater. Retailers indicate and forecast an overwhelming need to effectively manage the business through appropriate software solutions. Demand-based management can succeed only with real-time data information delivered through increasingly newer forms of technology delivery systems.

The key areas to focus in the fast–growing and challenging retail market are defined as: multi-channel, social retail data management, analytics, customer centricity, mobility and infrastructure optimization. Smart and innovative retailers are leveraging these new capabilities to enhance their brand, drive revenue and increase retention and customer loyalty. However, navigating the challenges of competing in the retail market alone can shift the focus away from the customer. To face these challenges, Kesko Corporation has established strong business collaboration with SAP.

Maintaining market leadership through constant innovation

Retail innovation has been the vision for success for Kesko Corporation since its founding in 1941. It’s a vision shared by each Kesko division, across markets including food, home and specialty goods, building and home improvement, and car and machinery sales. Together, these four divisions run approximately 2,000 retail operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Belarus. Each division is a leader in its respective market because they all share Kesko’s constant focus on innovation: From giving customers the latest online and mobile shopping tools to enriching retail chains with fresh partnerships, store concepts, and brands. Enterprise software from SAP – including the SAP for Retail solution portfolio – helps Kesko sustain its market leadership, with critical support for customer-focused innovation as well as efficient and cost-effective business operations. Recently, Kesko identified additional improvements it wanted to make in its back-office and front-office operations. So the company is taking advantage of SAP® Enterprise Support services to access second-to-none expertise in SAP software and technology, business process analysis, and operations.

Delivering targeted support and optimization services

Kesko used customized, targeted services available through SAP Enterprise Support to help in three key areas: Simplifying IT operations, optimizing specific business processes, and streamlining software deployments. These services were delivered through dedicated experts from the SAP Digital Business Services organization, who collaborated closely with Kesko’s internal team. Kesko used continuous quality checks from SAP Enterprise Support to optimally manage its growing data volumes, reduce technical risks, standardize best-practice business processes, and identify and reduce custom code. In addition, Kesko’s IT professionals worked directly with experts from the SAP Enterprise Support Academy program to implement a more effective change-management process using the SAP Solution Manager application management solution and to validate their software deployment strategy.

Getting more value from technology investments

Kesko’s engagement with SAP and SAP Enterprise Support is already achieving significant benefits. Business process analysis and optimization services from SAP Enterprise Support have helped Kesko better mitigate its security risks and improve retail business user interfaces and workflows. SAP Enterprise Support has also helped Kesko manage large-scale rollouts of new software and upgrades to minimize downtime and disruption.

Expanding real-time insight

SAP Enterprise Support has already helped Kesko establish critical best practices and a robust, flexible technology foundation that supports constant innovation. Kesko management wants to launch additional innovation projects focused on customer satisfaction and business growth. Moving forward, Kesko will continue to partner with SAP using critical resources, like SAP Solution Manager to support operational excellence.

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

To find out more about SAP Enterprise Support, click [here]

Follow the success of Kesko and learn how to effectively transform your business.

Find out more by joining the upcoming SAPPHIRE NOW conference! Learn more about SAP Enterprise Support deliverables by visiting the SAP Digital Business Services campus and get in touch with our experts. Block some time to join the following demo theater sessions at our booth:

Tuesday, May 17, 03:00-03:30 p.m.

Get More Value from Maintenance and Support

Improve your business and IT performance. Identify areas with the biggest value potential through the SAP Enterprise Support opportunity report as part of your maintenance and support service from SAP. Session ID 34031

Wednesday, May 18, 11:00-11:20 a.m.
Take the Speed Train to Digital Transformation
Free up capacity and realize high value from IT innovations. Learn how the SAP Enterprise Support Academy program can help you manage the different flavors of digitization projects and deliver on the promise of your digital transformation.

Session ID 34019

Thursday, May 19, 12:00-12:20 p.m.

Improve IT and Business-Process Operations

Diagnose system and business exceptions using real-time reporting and monitoring. See examples of companies using operations control centers to improve transparency of IT and business-process operations and make that transparency available to multiple business groups in the organization.

Session ID 34872