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Customers are becoming more demanding and customer demand is becoming more dynamic. If you don't meet the expectations of the customers, the switch to your competitor is quickly made. Therefore, companies in Consumer & Retail have to become even more customer-oriented, by using omnichannel, delivering fast and flexible and by deploying new business models, such as personalized products and interactions. In the meantime, your organization also must become more cost efficient in order to protect your margin.

What is your answer to this challenge? We believe that successful customer-centric organizations are able to get 'connected' and 'intelligent' using new technologies. 'Connected' refers to the connection between customers, organizations and products. 'Intelligent' refers to working data-driven based on data from this connected environment. In this way, new insights and applications can be realized that  support customer-centricity and efficient ways of working. From a customer view, an example is the delivery of smart products and services. This increases customer experience while giving you a better connection with the customer and insights in the use of your products. From an internal perspective,  processes become smarter, users can make better decisions and customer-centricity is improved by providing better insights and a 360-view of the customer.

COVID-19 has significantly accelerated the digital and e-commerce consumer adoption, impacting on the need for efficient and customer-focused business processes.

Rene Aalberts, C&R segment lead KPMG

S/4HANA

With S/4HANA and the underlying HANA technology, SAP is offering solutions to become connected and intelligent. The HANA technology facilitates the faster processing of large amounts of data. This allows for new applications and creates new insights. In addition to the ERP environment S/4HANA, this includes for example C/4HANA (for customer interactions, marketing and e-commerce) and SAP CAR, which is focused on processing large amounts of sales and inventory data. In addition, the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) can be used for integration, data management and development of your own applications and dashboards based on smart technology.

Total S/4HANA investment for SAP companies in the Netherlands is expected to be around EUR 6 billion in the next 7 to 10 years.

Gerben de Roest, SAP Advisory lead KPMG

More than IT – a business transformation

Transforming into a customer-centric organization with a connected and intelligent setup is not just a matter of new technology such as HANA. This change has implications for the design of business processes, for the management information needed and the way your organization is set up. Many change projects are taking the technology as starting point, but we strongly believe that the view needs to be broader than just IT. Thinking carefully about the way you want to successfully deal with the current challenges and opportunities is key. This is why you want to acknowledge this as an opportunity, for example to further standardize and harmonize your business processes in order not only to become more efficient and consumer-centric, but also to be able to deal more flexible with changes in your environment. Also think of other key trends in the Consumer & Retail market, such as digital commerce and increased focus on sustainability (e.g. in relation to packaging), which can be supported by the business transformation.

We see many C&R companies considering an early transition to S/4HANA.

Roeland van den Heuvel, SAP Strategy & Design lead KPMG

A clear strategy and successful implementation

From a technical perspective, the transition from your current SAP landscape to S/4HANA is not yet required. Support for SAP ECC runs until 2027, under certain conditions even until 2030, so there is sufficient time. However, from a business perspective it is precisely the aforementioned challenges and opportunities in the Consumer & Retail market that make it worthwhile to already explore the possibilities of an earlier transition now. Not as an IT project, but as the start of a business transformation process.

In KPMG's view, it is about making structured choices and defining a clear SAP strategy supporting your customer-centric business strategy. This will help you gaining a good understanding of the intended benefits, the future process and application landscape, the steps towards it and what is needed to manage the change properly. Our strategic IT assessment is based on a proven approach with a clear roadmap to help you make informed choices.

KPMG also helps organizations to implement S/4HANA and actually realize the associated business transformation. This is supported by our 'Connected Enterprise' and 'Powered Enterprise' toolkits.  'Connected Enterprise' is our customer-centric, enterprise-wide approach for digital transformation. 'Powered Enterprise' is our repository of leading practices for your future process & application landscape. Together they accelerate and improve quality and predictability of your transformation.

I would like to stress that I consider the involvement of KPMG instrumental to our success.

CIO Large International C&R company