Companies in Five Industries Get Closer to Customers for Faster Growth Using SAP S/4HANA

While businesses in the hospitality, consumer products, retail, food, and life sciences represent different industries, their common bond is making customers happy.

Five groundbreaking leaders from each market recently shared their co-innovation experiences using SAP S/4HANA during an exclusive roundtable at the SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference.

Analytics Quickly Reveal Customer Wants

American Hotel Register has expanded from strictly B2B sales to new offerings aimed directly at consumers. SAP S/4HANA is helping the company better understand this new audience.

“We’re now selling hotel products to vacation rental property owners… and it opened up our minds to the B2C challenges. Understanding the consumer experience has informed our B2B business around future expectations of customers,” said Roberta Cadieux, vice president and CIO at American Hotel Register Co. “It was a strategy to go in with SAP for speed of integration, and the ability to see customer the end-to-end. The visualizations of analytics gives us the ability to react quickly.”

Personalization Drives Retail Growth

According to Fabricio Granja, CIO at X5 Retail Group, a leading Russia-based food retailer, the customer relationship is paramount. Opening an average of eight retail stores a day, X5 Retail Group N.V. needed a reliable system to serve 12 million — and counting — shoppers. X5 Retail Group uses data from SAP S/4HANA to decide where to open which kinds of stores and which of its 50,000 products to carry based on customer preferences by region and neighborhood.

“Without having SAP, we would never be able to support our growth,” said Granja. “Every new store brings millions of new data records. Knowing how to use this data and the speed of bringing it back to the customer for a new view… that’s some of the analysis we do using [SAP].”

Speakers at SAPPHIRE NOW 2018 roundtable on SAP S/4HANA co-innovation for consumer engagement
L to R: Don Whittington, Florida Crystals Corp.; Scott Spradley, Tyson Foods Inc.; Fabricio Granja, X5 Retail Group N.V.; Marcello Damiani, Moderna Therapeutics; Roberta Cadieux, American Hotel Register Co.

Disrupt the Future

Tyson Foods is a $40 billion food company that’s transformed to a digital platform on SAP S/4HANA. While conceding that business is more complex today as lines blur between consumer-facing, retail, and wholesale industries, Scott Spradley, CTO at Tyson Foods, said people are also more predictable.

“Millennials and Gen Z are more informed. They’re normalized around a one-click customer experience. They get things fast. They do less research, but are very well-informed and know what they want,” he said. “The question is will the food consumer become the direct buyer… big food brokerages could experience disruption, and we have to be ready. That’s part of the reason for our SAP S/4HANA implementation — getting ready for when that day comes.”

Insights Help Save Lives

Although customers are patients at Moderna Therapeutics, this fast-growing next-generation medicine company is just as intent on personalization — in this case, to support personalized cancer vaccine developments.

“We have to build the right drug for the patient, so it’s key for us to understand our patients and the data that will help them,” said Marcello Damiani, chief digital officer at Moderna Therapeutics. “We started using AI to build our medication. We have the data, and we needed help improving the quality of our medicines… We have to analyze and assess the top 20 mutations that have the highest impact on the immune system.”

Co-Innovation Equals First-Mover Advantage

Don Wittington, ex-CIO of Florida Crystals, said the company’s long-time co-innovation partnership with SAP was instrumental in transforming to become the world’s largest cane sugar refiner.

“We’re focused more on the business versus the technology, and more on the customer,” said Wittington. “We were the first SAP ERP customer to go live on SAP HANA, and the first [SAP] S/4HANA Cloud customer. These [technologies] gave us unique capabilities, and as a first mover we were able to take advantage of those capabilities before our competition.”

To meet the demands of increasingly more educated consumers who look for products from sustainable supply chains, Florida Crystals is co-innovating with SAP to use AI and machine learning: “Data and analytics will usurp the business process and transaction focus of the past.”

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