By Anne Widjaja
Following the acquisition of SAF Simulation, Analysis and Forecasting AG, a global leader in automated ordering and forecasting software, SAP AG has announced a strategic expansion of its solution portfolio for retail organisations.
After more than a decade of joint innovation efforts, the entire SAF portfolio is planned for integration into SAP Forecasting and Replenishment. The newly integrated SAP Forecasting and Replenishment application will now enable customers to significantly reduce the risks associated with shortages and surplus, and can better match products on the shelf to specific consumer segments.
Retailers and other B2C companies will be equipped to operate in near real-time speed as customer-driven supply networks, and gain real-time visibility into consumer behaviour.
Greg Girard, program director, merchandise strategies, IDC Retail Insights commented on the need for systems to respond to the demands of the consumer marketplace.
“Grocery and other fast-moving consumer goods retailers have to step up their game to deliver what today’s smarter consumer expects, and take cost out of their supply chain at the same time,” said Girard.
“At the scale and speed of retail today, retailers need to forecast highly variable demand at the shelf, day by day, and in some cases in intraday intervals, keep the shelves stocked, drain inventory from their entire supply network, and stay agile.
“They need sophisticated demand intelligence and fulfillment systems to do this.”
SAP is providing a foundation to help retailers meet these demands, by providing them with the ability to optimise the flow of goods and services in their value chain in response to customer behaviour metrics.
SAP has also just announced the latest release of the SAP Forecasting and Replenishment application. The release provides a window into the company’s retail roadmap, containing several of the core processes that are to be expanded upon and integrated in later releases.
The new release contains features that allow for fully automated store replenishment, optimised product availability and advanced distribution centre management, and provides full visibility throughout all stages of replenishment. It also includes a set of related services for fine-tuning operations, such as pre-defined services for faster implementation and for guiding logistics.
Commenting on the new release, Lori Mitchell-Keller, senior vice president and head of the Global Retail Industry Business Unit, SAP, said, “We have taken the initiative to expand our retail portfolio to directly address this critical business need.
“When married to prediction analytics, SAP’s standardised processes will create one of the most comprehensive solutions for managing inventory and keeping consumers satisfied.”
Retailers in EMEA, North American and Latin America have already deployed SAP Forecasting and Replenishment, and according to SAP, have achieved significant savings in their supply networks.