Delivery Hero Redefines Scalability

Create an amazing takeaway experience: This is the business idea behind Delivery Hero, now the world’s leading online food-delivery platform. Rooted in a consistent cloud-first strategy, the platform is built around SAP solutions — ranging from SAP S/4HANA to SAP Concur — whose scalability have fueled Delivery Hero’s rapid progression from startup to unicorn.

Fancy some sushi today? How about a pizza? Or maybe a curry? More and more people are ordering meals online and having them delivered, a trend that is growing even faster outside Germany. And the growing appetite for the service Delivery Hero offers is reflected in the company’s order volume.

Founded in 2011 and listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since 2017, Delivery Hero processed more than 100 million food orders in the third quarter of 2018 alone – in more than 40 countries and with the support of over 200,000 restaurant partners. On average, more than 1 million orders are placed every day. The Berlin-based company, whose corporate language is English, has expanded over the past eight years from a startup to a global player with a workforce of 21,000.

The world’s biggest food-delivery service is powered by a wealth of SAP expertise and technology.

What customers perceive as a simple and convenient process relies on having highly automated and connected business processes running in the background. Much of the software Delivery Hero uses to achieve this process automation comes from SAP.

At its heart are SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA Data Management Suite, and SAP S/4HANA, augmented by SAP Concur solutions for travel and expense management. The company also plans to manage its procurement processes with SAP Ariba in the future. The standardization of processes with SAP S/4HANA and the highly integrated interaction of SAP solutions significantly increase the efficiency of business processes. Reporting in real-time via SAP Analytics Cloud and digital boardroom enables fast decision making. Thus the SAP program also supported the company’s IPO.

Delivery Hero is continually expanding its offering into new geographical areas and is currently represented in 42 countries. The uniform IT infrastructure for its complete back office also facilitates the connection of Delivery Hero Group companies throughout the world , such as Talabat in the GCC, PedidosYa in South America, or foodpanda in Asia and Eastern Europe. New locations and newly acquired companies can be connected more easily, even if they previously used other platforms. With SAP Cloud Identity Access Governance software, users worldwide have simple and secure access to all systems with single sign-on.

“Our SAP landscape has to be exceptionally flexible to enable the company to scale rapidly and model new ideas at the same time,” says Johannes Langguth, senior director of Finance Systems at Delivery Hero. “SAP S/4HANA Cloud supports our innovation effort with new features by allowing us to automate business processes more quickly and develop new revenue streams.”

One of Delivery Hero’s ambitious goals is to automate its entire order-to-cash process, end to end, so that a customer order requires no manual intervention whatsoever. That automation approach is extended to the purchase-to-pay process, which covers everything from requisitioning through to payment. Thanks to cloud software, the record-to-report as well as governance, risk and compliance (GRC) processes are also faster and more efficient because they require less manual effort.

Powered by the digital core, automation and the ability to dynamically build new business models are helping Delivery Hero achieve its business goals and put its customers first.

“By constantly creating and trying out new business ideas, we are preserving our startup mentality while aligning quickly to our customers’ needs and driving our global growth,” says Langguth. To keep the SAP infrastructure in line with the company’s rapid business growth, Delivery Hero has increased the size of the SAP HANA database by a factor of 40 over the last three years. And this trend will accelerate in the future.

To cement that strategy, Delivery Hero relies on a host of expert partners, including consulting firm EY and various external process partners. The company also enjoys a close and mutually beneficial partnership with SAP. Under this partnership, Delivery Hero has its own SAP solution architect supporting the development of new approaches to process optimization. In return, the food-delivery service shares newly built solutions with SAP. The idea is to create standard e-commerce packages that might also be of interest to other companies.

“Delivery Hero is an exciting company, not least because of its cloud-first strategy and its constant stream of new challenges,” says Christian Mehrtens, senior vice president, Midmarket and Channel, SAP. “Our expertise and the scalability of the SAP solutions are helping Delivery Hero streamline its background processes and thus fueling the company’s rapid growth.”

As well as working with partners, Delivery Hero is strong on internal expertise, too. Its SAP team consists of some 30 specialists from 13 nations. By end of 2019, more than 60 internal experts will drive the solution design within the group. “Our team covers the entire spectrum of development skills for all of our key enterprise functions,” says Langguth.

This means that Delivery Hero can map and test new business ideas fast. If the tests are successful, the company models the new processes — including machine learning and blockchain applications — on its own platform and in SAP programs.

“Delivery Hero thrives on the innovative drive and commitment shown by its employees and partners,” says Langguth. “But if you want to succeed in the age of digital transformation, you also need a platform that supports ground-breaking business models and global expansion. The SAP solutions deliver precisely that. And everyone benefits: Delivery Hero’s customers and partners, and Delivery Hero itself.”

Photos via Delivery Hero.