SAPPHIRE NOW show floor display of Tapestry, conceptualizing using SAP solutions to become intelligent enterprise.

Fashion Leader Partners with SAP to Become an Intelligent Enterprise

Innovation is baked into everything that fashion juggernaut Tapestry does. Now the company is unifying all three of its brands on one SAP platform for a global, customer-first, intelligent enterprise experience.

Senior executives from the $6 billion, New York-based lifestyle brand shared the company’s partnership strategy with SAP at the recent SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference. During the event’s opening keynote Tapestry CEO Victor Luis spoke about the company’s mission to be a place where people want to work, investors want to invest, and brands want to join.

“Each of our brands has very unique positions,” he said. “Coach is more of a cool, New York leather experience, Kate Spade has a feminine positioning, and Stuart Weitzman is more sexy. But as a company, Tapestry has shared values that go across all of our brands: optimism, […] innovation, and bringing that into the core of our business, […] and inclusivity. Anyone from anywhere can have the best idea as a global organization.”

Global Customer Experience Creates Intelligent Enterprise

The company simplified and standardized employee processes across all three brands using SAP S/4HANA for fashion and vertical business along with solutions from SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Concur, and SAP Ariba. Global process consistency is transforming how the business operates, including manufacturing, supply chain logistics, finance, and human resources (HR). Luis explained that SAP’s digital platform was integral to Tapestry’s long-term growth.

“As a company focused on growth through acquisitions, having that core, central platform will allow us to focus on what adds tremendous value in consumer engagement, which is how we create emotional value with consumers,” he said. “We can much more easily plug-and-play, putting future acquisitions on that platform.”

With multiple brands on the same SAP systems, Tapestry employees can take advantage of centralized functions across the company. Corporate leaders have the insights they need to support teams in every brand more efficiently for faster business results. Brand teams can easily come together and design innovative, creative products for customers. Inside retail stores, employees have immediate access to HR processes, freeing up their time to deliver customer experiences that drive more sales.

Experience Data Makes Employees Customer-Centric

During a separate theater presentation at SAPPHIRE NOW, Tapestry’s HR leaders talked about the benefits of having a global workforce united on SAP SuccessFactors software. HR has company-wide visibility of talent expertise across brands, including materials, style, and market demands. People can dynamically form teams to create designs for specific markets.

“We chose SAP SuccessFactors because we wanted to move authority from HR to the individual employee,” said Ben Shea, vice president of Global People Services and HR Transformation at Tapestry.  “Employees using [the solution] in 16 different languages can see their own data and provide feedback. We’re making sure employees come to work every day and are being their best selves.”

Mobile access was important because 85 percent of Tapestry’s workforce is located in retail stores. Wherever they are, employees have all the systems they need to get the job done — at their convenience. Employee engagement scores have already increased.

People Experience Makes HR Strategic

The benefits to HR leaders were equally important. Managers have a global view of all talent, including contingent workers. Combining recruiting and onboarding data has allowed HR to incorporate core values and competencies into the hiring process. Recruiting and onboarding are simplified and faster, giving HR leaders more time for strategic business partnerships and people support.

“We wanted to put the authority and power back in the hands of the employee and the people manager for frictionless work so we can spend more of our time with our people in the human revolution,” said Shea. “HR’s role in this transformation has been to bring us together as a company. We don’t want our people to spend unnecessary time dealing with internal processes. We want our people focused on customers, bringing our brand to life.”

At Tapestry, Happy Employees Mean Happy Customers

Technology that helps people understand and meet customer needs is a strategic advantage in every industry, and fashion is no exception. During his keynote conversation, Luis talked about how Tapestry’s culture celebrated the people behind the brands by focusing on the employee experience: “We have about 20,000 ambassadors across the world on a daily basis coming into daily contact with consumers. Empowering them with data, empowering our design teams with data, empowering our marketing teams with data on a continuous cycle that enriches those experiences [are] key to our future success… Happy teams lead to happy consumers.”

Follow me: @smgaler