How to win with SAP in the fast-moving CPG space

It’s no secret SAP is a big player in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) vertical. With over 23% share in the global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software market, SAP has paved a definitive path as the technology backbone of many of the world’s largest consumer brands. Going all the way back to April 1, 1972 in Weinheim, Germany when five ex-IBM techies worked nights and weekends in the pursuit of bringing the world standard application software to today, some 340,000 customers and 80,000+ global employees, SAP continues to innovate and deliver new applications alongside its customers.

Honor the Past, Embrace the Future

The B2B and B2C environments have changed greatly since 1972. Today, innovation and new technology are being delivered at a speed that most could only dream about four decades ago. In parallel, the time for organizations to respond has rapidly decreased. Ten-year technology roadmaps and multi-year deployment strategies have been disrupted and, in large part, abandoned for shorter term, “quick win” projects with high business impact. And while this shift in thinking represents monumental change, it happened in some ways seemingly overnight. Cloud computing, software as a service (SaaS), and the way which consumers engage with technology in their personal lives at home has immensely changed expectations. Intuitive user interfaces, predictive data, and insightful and meaningful engagements with technology are no longer just part of using a mobile app. Quick, digital access to meaningful data is becoming a requirement across the CPG industry today to enable real-time adjustments to business processes.

SAP has similarly responded alongside its CPG customer base.  This is demonstrated by such developments as:

  • Tools like SAP HANA Cloud Platform allows developers to write “cloud native” applications, unique to each business.
  • SAP Fiori has helped redefine the standard SAP GUI and transform it into something you actually want to engage with.

Whether the end users are working inside SAP’s Enterprise Warehouse Management (EWM), SAP’s Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP), SAP’s Asset Management (AM) or many other core SAP ECC modules, that ability to bring consumer grade experiences across the technology footprint of your organization is here.

The Time is Now

More so than many other industry verticals, timing is everything in the CPG vertical. At one time, rocks were being sold as pets and Beanie Babies were so wildly popular that you had to consciously watch out for counterfeit stuffed animals. LEGO was once a wooden toy manufacturer from Denmark struggling to get by in a world of new polymer toys that were cheap and easy to mold. Fast-forward to 2018 and rocks are back to being rocks, Beanie Babies are most often found in dusty attics and in the case of LEGO, they shifted from wood to plastic, invented their proprietary block system, partnered with Star Wars and literally changed the world of toys. 

Change is the one constant in business and that’s why partnering well and focusing your organization on its core-competencies are more critical than ever before.  The right partnerships and internal direction can help you quiet the distracting noises and roadblocks to effective change in your business

In order to have business stability and longevity in an age where consumer need, wants and opinions change daily, businesses must be laser focused on creating great ideas and then mastering a go-to-market strategy that encompasses the creation of ideas, manufacturing, distribution, retail and replenishment. In an effort to do this, many organizations have turned to SAP to help consolidate some of the core functions of the business. While these functions are often managed by highly paid resources who hard code new customizations to fit the uniqueness of the business, and by Business Process Leads (BPLs) who help bridge the gap between IT and certain business functions, the day-to-day “doing” and getting things to market still remains a challenge. And, in most organizations, those highly paid business process leads, other applications experts, and even SAP itself, are the ones fielding phone calls and emails attempting to fix issues so manufacturing can continue, products can get shipped, and sales can be made. Some organizations have an internal help desk team to handle front-line issues, but they are typically backlogged or lack the technical and/or business process expertise to get issues fixed quickly. Either way, just like having the right idea at the right time is more critical than ever, getting your product to market quickly and efficiently is equally as important for the profitability of your organization and long-term customer loyalty.

Partnering for the Future

This is where having a partner like IT Authorities, an expert in the world of CPG, becomes an asset to your existing team and organization. Because IT Authorities is focused on, and works with some of the world’s largest consumer brands, we not only bring technical expertise to your mission-critical applications like SAP, but we also understand your business processes and how each and every action can have a positive or negative consequence to your business.

IT Authorities works complimentary with your internal teams to address tier 1-3 SAP functional support issues, so your highly paid resources can focus on that next great idea and innovate within the business. IT Authorities also provides managed services support for your other software applications, hardware needs, as well as cloud infrastructure support, all centered around helping you run a best-in-class business. Bringing benchmarks, innovations and best-practices from across the IT Authorities customer portfolio helps create tremendous value for our customers as they know they are getting industry leading advice, support and services.  Now, they can focus on creating and delivering engaging products and experiences for their customers today and into the future.