A recent conversation between Sherry Meyer, Rizing’s Head of Corporate Communications, and Darren Hunter, Rizing’s Global Head of Business Development, Retail, covered the crucial role of digital transformation in the retail grocery sector.

Graphic showing that only 25% of retail grocers are satisfied with their performance in digital experiences.They explored how SAP S/4HANA® plays a crucial role in revolutionizing grocery shopping experiences by enabling grocers to:

  • Streamline processes
  • Improve supply chain efficiency
  • Enhance decision-making with embedded analytics
  • Personalize customer experiences

By embracing technology and leveraging SAP’s continuous innovation, grocery retailers can stay competitive, meet customer expectations, and thrive in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

Watch the full conversation between Meyer and Hunter.

Here are some key points from the discussion:

Grocers Need to Adapt to the Evolving Landscape

Man in blue shirt uses a smartphone while visiting a retail grocery store.

Pandemic-related challenges aside, grocery retailers must adapt to new online platforms and agile approaches to stay in the game. A robust technological infrastructure and a flexible mindset are essential for success in this rapidly evolving industry.

While some customers still prefer in-store shopping, technology remains integral to:

  • Efficient operations
  • Product availability
  • Meeting customer expectations

To stay competitive, grocery retailers must prioritize digital transformation to streamline processes and elevate customer experiences.

SAP S/4HANA is Transforming the Grocery Retail Landscape

Grocery retailers face consistent challenges when they decide to adopt new technology.

Slow planning processes and difficulty accessing data can hinder a retailer’s quick response to market changes or new competition. Grocers dissatisfied with existing IT systems had a hard time wanting to invest in anything new.

However, SAP S/4HANA has transformed the landscape. The updated platform offers enhanced usability, nimbleness, and handheld functionality for retailers. Monitoring stock levels in real time helps retailers improve their customer’s experiences.

If your view of SAP is based on what you saw ten years ago, it’s much different today,” says Hunter. “The application is much nimbler, more user friendly, and more flexible in how to enter, interact, and integrate with non-SAP solutions.

SAP invests billions of dollars annually in research and development to keep innovating and adapting to changing customer practices such as buying online, picking up in-store, or drop shipping.

Grocers Should Maximize Use of SAP S/4HANA Retail Merchandise Management’s Out-of-the-Box Functionality

A young Hispanic woman is shopping in a supermarket.SAP has baked industry-favored processes for procurement, sales, and accounts payable into the core product. Grocery retailers should prioritize use of these processes to get to a core solution faster.

By implementing SAP as designed, using standard functions and industry-normalized configurations, grocery retailers can benefit from the continuous innovation and updates offered by SAP.

But Innovate by Customizing S/4HANA Where Necessary Using SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP)

There are times when the best solution is a custom-built application.

That work could have taken a long time in the past, but new solutions like no code and low code development are faster paths to getting results.

SAP BTP allows for customization and the creation of unique solutions tailored to specific aspects of the grocery business, such as fresh meats and produce. Integration layers and database connectivity are built-in, making it easier to develop applications without requiring developers.

If you need a unique solution for something like fresh meats and produce, you can use the SAP BTP platform to create it,” says Hunter. “Use the same master data. Use the same pricing elements. Use the same vendor data. Then customize S/4HANA to make it work the way you need it just for that solution.

The system can also integrate with non-SAP systems, allowing grocers to connect to legacy systems where needed.

Use SAP S/4HANA to Optimize Grocery Supply Chains for Fresh Produce

For grocers, it’s essential to have fresh produce in the supply chain.

SAP S/4HANA offers warnings, workflow, and actionable details that enable store managers to track inbound shipments of produce and take proactive measures if there are any delays or issues.

Take Advantage of Embedded Analytics for Enhanced Decision-Making

A grocery employee uses an ipad showing analytics in a grocery store.SAP S/4HANA integrates analytics and insights directly into everyday transaction sets. This allows users to take immediate action, like creating or expediting purchase orders and initiating inventory transfers.

Prioritize Customers Over Technology

Technology should improve the customer experience rather than simply getting implemented for the sake of having cool technology. The most important is a frictionless online or offline experience that customers can easily navigate and make their purchases.

Technology should always have a purpose, and the purpose should always be customer-driven,” says Hunter. “When we implement with purpose, we make the right decisions on how to invest our money on IT projects.

Work With a Trusted SAP Partner Experienced in Grocery Retail

Whether you need an audit of your current IT landscape, strategic expertise to develop a high-level roadmap and business case for your transition to the SAP S/4HANA platform, or specialized grocery-related SAP consulting, your best path to success is working with a trusted, experienced partner like Rizing.

Contact us today to get the conversation started!