Environmentally friendly cosmetics firm The Body Shop will this summer begin a global rollout of SAP enterprise management software after successful implementation in the US.
The Body Shop hopes that by standardising systems it can improve productivity and customer responsiveness and speed up time to market for new products.
SAP's web-enabled NetWeaver platform and SAP for Retail package will form the basis of the rollout, with third-party IT service provider Diagonal Consulting providing support.
A complete overhaul of the retailer's existing worldwide point of sale (POS) system is the first phase, to improve the management of sales and stock-related data.
SAP Business Intelligence will sit at the heart of the NetWeaver platform to give The Body Shop access to information, feeding detailed stock movement and cash-flow data through to the MySAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool.
MySAP ERP will then be used to improve levels of accuracy and detail in planning, monitoring, reporting and analysis. The project is expected to be complete by 2006.
"Our current information systems are generally old and not fully compatible globally," said Jon Granville, The Body Shop's global IT head.
"It makes sense to capitalise on the experience gained from the [existing US] implementation and the knowledge of what works well since the region has been live on SAP."
Since The Body Shop began using SAP Retail in its US stores and distribution centres in 1999 the software has dealt well with demand spikes and improving stock and general supply chain management.
In all, the retailer will standardise its enterprise-wide forecasting, ordering, allocation and distribution processes and replace legacy systems handling its financial processes, warehouse and supply chain management, product development and POS operations.
Granville said the implementation was part of a wider strategic plan to enable the business to grow through a new operating model with more efficient processes.
"This will focus on improving the day-to-day management from new product development through to in-store operations," he said.
"The new business operating model will serve both our company-owned and franchised retail operations."
The rollout covers company headquarters, regional offices, warehouses and 2,000-plus franchise and wholly owned Body Shop outlets.
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