Decision Inc was the second runner up at the recent global SAP Hack2Build rapid prototyping initiative. The annual hackathon, held over eight days in March, is designed to drive early stage inspiration, use case exploration, and technology adoption for SAP partners.

The Hack2Build event offers a unique opportunity for SAP partners to address current business challenges by building a solution prototype with the support of SAP. During the event, SAP experts assisted teams from around the world with technical support. On the final day of the event, each team had to demonstrate the prototype to a panel of judges.

As the only South African company invited to compete, Hack2Build highlighted how Decision Inc is one of the worldwide solution innovators of SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). “To finish as the second runner up in such a prestigious event highlights the commitment of our team to creating solutions that help overcome business challenges using SAC as a foundation,” says Allan Saffy, managing executive at Decision Inc South Africa.

The Decision Inc solution focused on merchandise planning which is the process conducted by a retailer to ensure that the right product is available to the customer at the right place, time, quantity, and price. This process involves selecting the products the retailer will carry and determining the purchase quantities of these products.

The current challenge facing retailers is to connect the merchandise planning detail to the final output in financial reporting. The gap between the two plans is not always aligned, with many organisations looking for a solution that can best integrate them.

“The Decision Inc solution assists retailers to transform and adapt to changes in the planning environment. It focuses on closing the gap between merchandising and finance by using key drivers to update the planning output through scenario planning and eventually creating a forecast,” Saffy adds.

The use case demonstrated by the Decision Inc showed how retailers can use the solution to transform and adapt to changes in the planning environment. Given recent global events, the team showcased how Decision Inc can assist retailers in reacting to the Covid-19 scenario by changing key levers and prices. In turn, this would show the impact on stock and volume and how that impacts the sales and cost prices within the business.

“This was the first-ever Hack2Build event attended by Decision Inc. The competition element certainly added to the excitement of the hackathon. Going head-to-head with so many other global teams was a great dynamic and I am really proud of our SAP Planning & Analytics team for the success they achieved.” Saffy says.

This article first appeared on ITOnline.