Getting a Business Process Overview


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the specifics of the vertical fashion businesses and current challenges
  • Explain the overall business process overview
  • Describe the overall SAP solution and its architecture

Specifics of the Vertical Fashion Businesses and Current Challenges

Historically fashion companies were either wholesale /manufacturing or retail businesses but generally not both at the same time.

The growth of private label and the margin and marketing benefits of growing own retail has led to brands supporting multiple sales channels:

  • Wholesalers and Manufacturers are expanding sales channels into retail, digital and mobile.
  • Retailers with strong own brands are expanding sales channels into wholesale.
  • Retailers realize they need more sophisticated solutions to get the value from long, global apparel, footwear and fashion supply chains.

Systems evolved separately to support each business, so companies often had to use two ERP solutions (one AFS, one Retail) and two separate sets of business suite applications around each ERP.

SAP S/4HANA for fashion and vertical business, is a vertically integrated fashion solution covering and harmonizing specific wholesale, retail, and manufacturing processes in one back end system based on the SAP IS-Retail system. It aims to:

  • Bring the majority of active FMS processes (e.g. FMS categories, ARun) onto an SAP Retail base giving one integrated ERP solution built in a co-innovative approach with involvement of fashion customers.

  • Offers processes using SAP's high performance technology SAP S/4HANA, which enabled fundamental re-thinking of some of the processes, e.g. Supply Assignment (ARun).

The key benefits of using the SAP S/4HANA system include the following:

  • Harmonizes the business processes between wholesale and retail.
  • Optimizes inventory offering in a single, transparent, shared global view.
  • Introduces common master data concepts.
  • Leverages multi-channel enabled ATP.
  • Handles shortages and priorities with order allocation.
  • Uses shared planning and purchasing processes.

The Overall Business Process Overview

The figure illustrates a typical seasonal planning "milestones", from the beginning to the end of the season.

Note the long preparation time while the active season itself is typically rather short.

The above graphic shows the typical activities from planning until the end of season of a fashion product.

The Overall SAP Solution and Its Architecture

The figure illustrates the topics, which are discussed in the training S4IC70.

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