By Iris Nagel-Martin

In retail, it is crucial for a company to manage conditions correctly. Family-owned Globus implemented Condition Management from SAP partner gicom to support its expanding operations.

For quite some time, Globus – an independent retail chain with hardware stores, hypermarkets, and electrical appliance stores – had been looking for a practical IT solution, above all to manage conditions more effectively using IT. The company now has the perfect solution with the condition management tool from SAP partner gicom, which is compatible with SAP for Retail.

Real-time reporting made easy

Duplicate entries had caused the old, mainly custom-built system to become error-prone. Furthermore, employees found entering data after a negotiation difficult, because there were different ways of interpreting the information. And recording bonuses was also time-consuming. “Reporting wasn’t in real time, and this was no longer acceptable,” says Markus Buntz, head of purchasing at the company Globus SB-Warenhaus, headquartered in St. Wendel, Germany. “We wanted ad hoc overviews, but without using up excessive amounts of resources.” In short, the company needed a new solution – which materialized in the form of Condition Management, developed and implemented by gicom, based in Overath, Germany.

Now, conditions can be calculated subsequently based on different references, without the need for complicated algorithms. Conditions can be broken down to different organizational levels quickly, while an interpolating volume rebate scale gives a quick view of extracts. The extrapolating volume rebate scale function will be delivered soon. “The system is highly flexible. It can be adapted to suit our needs – and not the other way around,” explains Buntz.

Other benefits of the newly implemented condition management tool are:

  1. The associated vendor evaluation is mapped not only in the SAP solution, but also in the upstream system. The evaluation happens in real time, so action can be taken immediately if there are any anomalies. Price changes can be calculated fast and results can be managed – important drivers of revenue in the face of 4,400 vendors.
  2. Conditions can be defined, planned, and managed. For purchasing, gicom developed a guide especially for Globus that takes users through the maze of 425 condition types. Research is simple, so rapid access to condition types that already exist is possible. Predefined parameters function as selection criteria.
  3. In purchasing, comprehensive forecasting is necessary, to cater to as many parameters as possible. This can now be performed using gicom’s Strategic Purchase Planning.
  4. The customer view constitutes an important perspective, which is why Globus is currently considering a CRM system and would also like to take a look at SAP’s new Customer Activity Repository (CAR). Here, it would be particularly interesting to hook up the existing gicom solutions with the new technologies, to be well equipped for the future.
  5. As an example of innovation on the part of Globus, Mr. Buntz cites the company’s new business line “Globus Drive.” The German retailer – which is headquartered near the Franco-German border – has partly its French customers to thank for this trend, which unites the real and the virtual worlds: Customers order their products online, which can then be collected from the store. “Here, we can experience customer feedback directly on site,” Buntz adds.
Dynamic market demands rapid response

Partner gicom has identified even more advantages. Because there are no longer any double entries, data quality has improved considerably, which means better decisions can be made. What’s more, the need for user training is minimal. Some 300 users currently work with gicom’s SAP-based solutions. In the next phase, more than 40 mobile users will be added, who will be able to plan and perform negotiations right on their iPads. The iPad application Contract2Go should make negotiation management even more straightforward. As well as displaying the current status of contract negotiations, it will be possible to call target achievement or an overview of annual negotiations. The tool can also be used for preparing discussions.

A possible option that Buntz mentions is to connect assortment management to the solution – which would unify purchasing and sales data, enabling a faster reaction to sales performance and customer demand.

There are also plans to integrate advertising at a later date. With gicom’s Promotional Merchandise Management, promotional planning data is processed, the success rates of promotions are monitored, and the results are analyzed for the purchasing and marketing departments. This means even more potential can be tapped.

And of course, this family-owned enterprise enjoys success beyond the German border: In Russia and the Czech Republic, the company plans to implement Condition Management at the same time as SAP for Retail. “In the retail sector, the dynamic markets require us to react rapidly,” Buntz concludes. “We can now do that with our SAP-based solution from gicom.”

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