Danish retailer provides better service with less effort and cost

Improved control

More accurate forecasting

Full supply chain visibility

Company Overview

Salling Group is Denmark’s largest retail group, serving 11 million customers per week. The company has grocery stores in three countries, as well as e-commerce sites, department stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. It also supplies convenient, ready-to-cook meals. In 2020, Salling Group’s revenues were €8.07 billion. Salling Group’s goal is to be the leading e-commerce retailer in Denmark.

Business Challenge

When Salling Group started an SAP implementation project, senior management began focusing on using IT to improve their competitive advantage, reduce costs and increase overall efficiencies. To cost-effectively achieve this transformation, Salling Group realized it needed to bring its core supply chain activities, such as data collection and order fulfillment, in-house.

Originally, Salling Group used a scheduler to support core retail activities such as collecting sales data, managing logistics, creating purchase orders, fulfilling orders, forecasting and replenishment. To avoid late or inaccurate deliveries and forecasts, the company relied on manual efforts to make up for shortcomings with its existing scheduler.

The existing scheduler lacked supply chain visibility and error alerting making it difficult to respond to critical situations and monitor system environment.

If we had problems with our existing scheduler, such as an error in the forecasting and replenishment process, we couldn’t see them. Everyone would think that our activities were running okay.” Mikael Thystrup, SAP infrastructure services consultant at DSG

He adds: “In a worst-case scenario, if forecast and replenishment were not running correctly, our stores would not get the correct amount of products they needed. We had to manually handle all our activities when this occurred in the warehouse. Experts would need to look into the issue, and often warehouse staff had to jot down transport orders as they couldn’t enter them directly into the system.”

The scheduler was also potentially responsible for high outsourcing costs. Thystrup says, “As the people taking care of our aging legacy mainframes began retiring, it became increasingly urgent to bring activities in-house. If we outsourced the maintenance to our service provider, our costs would increase.”

Solution

Redwood Business Process Automation now connects and automates Salling Group’s end-to-end supply chain processes, across its entire SAP ERP enterprise landscape – including existing, custom, and legacy applications. The company automates its activities in house and manages by exception.

Thystrup says, “We wanted to continue to streamline our services and become more proactive with better alerting across the supply chain. With a scheduler, we were only able to work on one activity at a time and this wasn’t good enough as we needed to balance our growing volume of work.”

Thystrup continues, “After an extensive comparison between our existing scheduler and Redwood, we decided to roll out Redwood across our warehouse and retail supply chain. At the same time, we would gradually phase out our mainframe applications.”

To ensure that the company is as responsive to market demands as possible, Salling Group configured 15 checkpoints to closely monitor every stage of the supply chain order flow within Redwood. Redwood displays real time status overviews, dashboards, and visual progress for every business process.

 

Results

Now with Redwood, Salling Group automates its activities in-house and manages by exception. It now also has full supply chain visibility so it can achieve more accurate forecasting and replenishment and streamline operations.

Thystrup says, “Redwood gave us control and flexibility by making the links across our systems more straightforward. All our forecast and replenishment data now automatically flow across systems, giving us better visibility into stock and orders.”

With automation across the supply chain, all activities are consistent and accurate so staff can detect and fix errors up front with less effort and downtime.

Thystrup adds, “Now Redwood automation restarts and flags errors automatically. If our master data is incorrect, we’ll find out immediately. Our information is checked at the database level, so if an activity that normally takes an hour takes three, we know based on historical data something’s wrong and are alerted.”

With its prior scheduler, the company relied on a 24/7 outsourced job scheduling support team. Redwood has significantly reduced costs by minimizing the need for outsourced support. Redwood automation is so easy to use that non-technical staff members perform in-house support.

 

We have already implemented SAP across all our markets and discount stores. In the future, we plan to use Redwood to automate more of our critical business and IT processes.” Mikael Thystrup, SAP infrastructure services consultant, Salling Group

Future Goals

Redwood makes it easy to build consumable automation services with native SOA APIs and formats. These services can work with native web forms and email processing to support user-friendly interactions, requests, and confirmations. Departments, applications, or business units using these apps can be logically separated through partitions.

Salling Group is using these capabilities to roll out an ever-expanding array of applications to new departments and business units. For example, after successfully automating core supply chain processes, Salling Group built a new application that could manage salary payments for 14,000 employees. The system is so easy to use that even if HR needs to restart an activity, it can do so in-house. With the quick resolution of any queries, internal customers are satisfied and productivity increases.

Thystrup concludes, “We have already implemented SAP across all our markets and discount stores. In the future, we plan to use Redwood to automate more of our critical business and IT processes.”

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