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Mobile technology has changed the world. The speed and ease with which we can communicate, access information, and make transactions has enhanced and simplified our lives in countless ways. Businesses are benefiting too – and for Migros, Switzerland's largest retailer, it means better customer service, increased productivity, and lower costs.

Founded in 1925, Migros is a cooperative with more than two million members, 600 retail sites, and 20 supermarkets. The company also has 95,000 employees, making it Switzerland’s largest employer.

Improving Customer Experience and Operations

The Migros vision is to help people, “live better every day”. Over the years it has established its own new brands and production facilities and gained a reputation for high quality, high value products. High quality customer service and efficient operations are also a company priority.

To improve the in-store shopping experience for customers and increase the productivity of store associates, Migros turned to mobile solutions from SAP. The company has been using SAP for Retail solutions for about 10 years, and utilizes mobile technology, but its current mobile solution does not connect directly to the backend SAP software system. The mobile data is offline and has to be synchronized, which creates unwanted lag time. And associates can’t access the backend system via mobile device.

Using Design Thinking to Create Innovative Solutions

SAP and Migros worked together very closely to resolve its mobile issues. They held intensive co-innovation and design thinking workshops and created a new and intuitive mobile solution for the company. Migros tested the new solution in a few pilot stores and then deployed it to over 7,000 mobile devices.

“The new SAP solution provides real-time access to information and functions in the backend system,” says Beat Stauber, Senior IT Project Manager, Migros IT Services.People will not have to wait for data to be synchronized. All information will be online in real-time. That means better and faster information for customers and instant access to essential backend data for store associates. Both essential to improve in-store merchandising.

Lower TCO and Significant ROI

The user interface of the new mobile solution will also be easier to use, more responsive, and available on any mobile device. “The most important changes will include more productive store associates, better customer service, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO),” says Stauber.

Migros also plans to realize a return on investment of Sfr 1 million per year with its new mobile solution. Cost savings will come from replacing two mobile solutions with one and closing information gaps between consumer apps and enterprise business apps.

Down the road, Migros plans to reinvest those savings in additional solutions that will improve the customer experience and business operations even further. “In the future we will look at the SAP Customer Activity Repository application, SAP S/4 HANA, and a new forecast and replenishment system,” says Stauber. Sounds like a great plan to ensure people keep living better every day.

Check out this video to learn more about the innovative mobile solution at Migros:

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If you work in the retail industry, join us at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach, Florida October 21st – 23rd forSAP Retail Forum 2015 – Simplify to Innovate.  Learn more here

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