Winning customer loyalty with S/4HANA

In the era of online-shopping retailers are having to work harder than ever to stand out from the crowd, but customer loyalty can make all the difference. Snow Peak, Mafatlal and Belsport are three mid-sized companies that live by their core values of looking after their customers and have invested in digital transformation to achieve their goals.

Snow Peak, Japan

Snow Peak is a Japanese retailer that specialises in camping and backpacking apparel and equipment. The brand was founded in 1958 by Yukio Yamai and is continuously adapting to the needs of their customers, following trends and living by its family values. Currently managed by the founder’s son, President and CEO Tohru Yamai, Snow Peak first introduced camping equipment in the 1980s and in 2014, third generation Lisa Yamai introduced Snow Peak apparel.

Snow Peak prides itself for having close relationships with their clients and for helping them to choose what is right for their needs. Collecting data on paper notes and in Excel was common practice, but it was a system that inhibited knowledge sharing amongst the many store locations. The company also had no real-time inventory data, meaning Snow Peak was losing sales opportunities.

They identified the need to improve their processes and invested in SAP infrastructure, implementing SAP Hybris Commerce, SAP Hybris Marketing, SAP BusinessObjects and S/4HANA. Snow Peak staff is now able to access real time information when assisting customers and can avoid out-of-stock situations through the use of optimized inventories. Employees are also able to share information and insight with peers from the other 150 stores, supporting the mission of building customer loyalty. Customers benefit directly from this technology too, as the software tracks and records previously bought sizes and preferences and suggest similar products as a default on their next visit.

Mr Yamai explained the need for a strong digital foundation to Forbes in 2017: “I spend time camping with about 5,000 Snowpeakers per year. But I can’t go camping every day, so we need digital solutions that support the strong relationship we have with our community and allow them to give us feedback daily.”

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Mafatlal Industries Limited, India

Mafatlal is a family-run textile and clothing company that operates retail stores across India and supplies well-known brands with denim, cotton and polyester fabrics. Mafatlal has been in the textile industry for over 100 years and has expanded to include home décor and gifts. Their customers range from supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s to luxury brands like Calvin Klein and United Colors of Benetton.

Before implementing SAP, Mafatlal had different ERP systems and sets of applications in each of its five large divisions, some of which lacked critical functionality and were not scalable. Mafatlal decided to deploy SAP S/4HANA to meet their business and IT goals of digital transformation, accelerating growth through business improvement.

Following the implementation of SAP systems, all divisions now run on one platform with standardised policies and processes across departments and divisions, and the management team is able to evaluate and report daily activities more efficiently and in real-time. SAP has also provided more visibility in regards to their customer’s preferences, helping the ambitious retailer to enhance the quality of their products with the introduction of more durable materials, new colours and fancier designs.

Since going live with SAP in 2017, Mafatlal has 30% faster reporting, 50% increase in system performance and continued growth of 11% year on year. Mafatlal Industries continues to be a leader in the market; they ranked in the Next 500 by Fortune India in 2019 and won the Eldrock Award for Best in the School Uniform Fabrics and Garments at the K12 Summit last year.

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Belsport, Chile

Belsport is a retailer from Santiago de Chile that specialises in sportswear and footwear. With 40 years’ experience in the market, Belsport has stayed true to its mission of understanding what their customer is looking for, delivering value to match their expectations. They have grown from selling athletic shoes in their standalone stores to include sports apparel and sports footwear for a more technical and professional level. The aim of their stores is to offer clients a high-tech in-store experience through the use of test treadmills with immediate machine and human feedback and advice, giving Belsport a competitive advantage over online shopping.

Encouraged by its suppliers who are also SAP users, Belsport implemented a number of SAP applications to support the vision of understanding the constant changes and demands of their young customers. As a retailer, Belsport requires lots of planning and S/4HANA has provided the top level and detailed management information that is critical to making informed decisions, including better inventory control with real-time supply and demand information from all store locations. Additionally, Belsport implemented C/4HANA, an application that allows the delivery of a 360 customer experience through the integration of the physical, virtual and social media channels.

Belsport has also improved their back-office processes through the use of SAP SuccessFactors, which provides a more flexible rota management system and involves staff in their digital transformation, ensuring a better experience for the employees and for their customers as a result.

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