Brands, retailers, and manufacturers implementing SAP S/4HANA® for Fashion and Vertical Business recognize that a new digital core will unify systems and processes across their global operations, create efficiencies, improve visibility, and introduce standards across geographies.

While the benefits are compelling, a global S/4HANA Fashion rollout is a massive and complex undertaking. It involves a spectrum of “moving parts” before, during and after go-live.

It’s crucial that a company stages and executes the implementation in a manner that provides the right balance between cost and time to ensure the effectiveness of the system.

Following are a few steps that we recommend based on recent S/4HANA global rollout projects:

1. Identify and Document

A global template drives the foundation for the building of your global ERP solution.

Defining the project scope is a crucial part of building a global template. On S/4HANA, this means identifying and documenting all the key processes in wholesale, retail, e-commerce, and manufacturing channels. This helps determine which aspects of the solution should be standardized globally, contributing to the efficacy of the system.

Organizations need to know:

  • Which geographic areas, business units, and legal entities will be part of the deployment
  • Which processes, sub processes, and ERP modules will be involved
  • What data will be converted, where that data resides, and how that data will be aggregated, cleansed, and migrated to the new solution

2. Harmonize Key Processes

Harmonizing key processes across all sales subsidiaries will help create a global template.

For instance, the order creation process across German and Italian subsidiaries would generally be common. If there are any deviations, identify the reasons. Is it a legal requirement? If not, is it necessary and can it be harmonized?

3. Localize Where Needed

When harmonizing, it may not be possible to know the exact processes followed by each subsidiary. Make sure the template solution covers 80% of the requirements. The remaining 20% can be taken as localization and factored into the rollout plan.

Example: The outbound logistics process for wholesale, retail and eCommerce across all subsidiaries will often be common. The shipping process could be combined into a single solution in SAP as a part of the template.

Case Study: Successful S/4HANA Fashion Rollout Leveraging a Global Template

To capitalize on the promise of today’s global market, companies need a scalable technical infrastructure foundation. It needs to go beyond the capabilities of the existing patchwork collection of regional or local systems companies currently use to manage their operations.

We recently helped a large sportswear brand accelerate business transformation by using a global SAP S/4HANA Fashion template.  Highlights of the project include:

  • A global template of standardized processes, which can be rolled out to any country with minimum adjustments
  • Integration with e-commerce systems across retail and wholesale operations to enable fulfillment and shipments to 26 countries
  • A modern digital core, where all transactions are captured in one SAP system – enabling efficiencies on a global scale

Read the full global sportswear brand case study.