SAP, IBM sign deal with leading retailer

by Editor 1/29/2009 4:25:00 PM
IT services leaders IBM and SAP have announced an agreement with Marks & Spencer (M&S) to implement a suite of SAP Retail applications.

The programme aims to provide M&S with accurate business data and robust core processes to enable business improvement initiatives in cost and operating efficiencies. Specifically, the programme will improve stock visibility and management of information, while increasing process efficiency which M&S believes will enhance the customer experience and drive greater control over net margin.

Marks & Spencer Director of IT & Logistics, Darrell Stein, says: "We selected IBM and SAP after an extensive assessment of the market. In addition to strong retail credentials, we felt there was also a strong cultural alignment. In order to provide the very best customer service, we need to be flexible and agile to their changing needs. The SAP solution, implemented by IBM, will allow us to do that."

Protecting the environment is also considered by the IBM programme, and recommendations have been provided to ensure all aspects are aligned with 'Plan A,' M&S' 100-point eco plan. For example, the increased accuracy of business data will help M&S monitor and report its environmentally friendly activities.

"IBM is committed to helping retailers deliver smarter solutions which drive operational excellence, demand-driven merchandising and supply chain processes," said Simon Rabone, Associate Partner, Retail, IBM Global Business Services. "IBM's retail expertise and ongoing relationship with M&S will help the retailer develop new innovative ways to add value to their business and drive down operational costs."

IBM will draw on its organisation, process and technology expertise to provide end-to-end programme management, including change management and business process consulting services. SAP will provide its leading Industry Solution for Retail, a suite of business applications designed specifically to meet the unique requirements of large and sophisticated retailers.

"As retailers strive to grow their businesses, many are looking towards international expansion and extending into new retail formats. The execution of these strategies needs to be underpinned by adaptable solutions that can drive out the anticipated benefits. SAP has a proven track record in food, convenience and general merchandise retailing and we are delighted that M&S has joined the growing list of retailers that are selecting SAP to support their growth ambitions," said Tom Fischer, Retail Divisional Manager, SAP UK & Ireland.

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