Retail Group SIG Leaders meet the Experts - Walldorf, March 27th

Posted by Martin Brownsword on 10/04/2019 14:36

Retail was not the best-attended session at the recent SIG leaders meeting with the SAP Product experts in Walldorf. However, you would not have known that after seeing the team of experts assembled to address user questions and concerns in the 3.5 hr session. Dani Khalaf, the VP for Retail at SAP and her team of 4 experts, Sylvia Ludwig, Dieter Scheerer, Gabriele Scraft, and Oliver Grob had organised a program designed to answer the SIG Lead pre-delivered questions and to provide a good overview of where SAP is going with Retail over the next few years.

The SIG Lead questions in the Retail Area concentrated on:

  • The move to S/4 HANA and its implications – there were numerous questions on this topic ranging from how many companies had made the move to S/4 HANA, how companies were approaching the move and right down to detailed questions on the implications in terms of architecture, functionality, licensing, training and costs.
  • SAP Forecast and Replenishment (F&R) and the relation to Unified Demand Forecast (UDF) in Customer Activity Repository (CAR) – the roadmap for this and the connection to S/4 HANA assuming this is implemented as a replacement to SAP Business Suite.
  • CAR the roadmap and new functionality in CAR 4.0.
  • Innovations in retail relating to Leonardo – examples and references

The SAP expert team made an honest attempt at addressing the original questions together with a host of ad-hoc questions they received during the sessions. Obviously, some of the details went far beyond the scope of their role in the SAP organisation such as details on general licensing and cost of implementation. Some observations from the sessions were:

  • SAP Retail customers are not rushing to make the move to S/4 HANA. Some of the reasons are clearly that complicated system architectures in the retail area and certain functionality in current customer setups does not directly correspond to what is available in S/4 HANA.
  • SAP Retail customers are generally looking at going for some type of greenfield approach to S/4 HANA as they feel that their current SAP processes need to be renewed or revitalised. Jumbo, a supermarket chain in the Netherlands, shared their experience so far in moving to S/4 HANA. They are taking what they call a “bluefield” approach, which is based on the use of SAP Model System. Watch out for future SBN events for more on these topics.
  • The forecast functionality in UDF is superior to that in F&R and SAP will continue to have UDF as a main component of their Demand and Replenishment Roadmap going forward. F&R will continue as a component of the roadmap until 2020 and beyond for replenishment of Distribution Centres.
  • There are no new major functionality additions in the latest version of SAP CAR.
  • The innovations we were shown in retail seemed to be the same as we had seen at our last conference in October 2018.


Martin Brownsword,
SBN / Adfahrer

All in all this was a good, interactive session and would be well worth the trip next year for our SBN members within the Retail sector. SBN events to watch out for are our Innovative Solutions for Retail on May 21st and the SBN Conference on 23rd and 24th October where we are planning to have a dedicated Retail Track.


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Tags: cx, retail, sap knowledge