Greggs bakes in business change programme with SAP

UK baker and food-to-go retailer says it has significantly advanced its business change programme with a full panoply of SAP software

Greggs, the Newcastle-based food-to-go bakery, says it has reached a major milestone in the SAP-based programme to streamline its business operations.

Tony Taylor, IT and business change director at the food retailer, said the £25m programme, dubbed Sunrise internally, had achieved a roll-out to 1,500 outlets of the retail and forecasting element of SAP’s Business Suite on Hana. He described it as a significant step in Greggs becoming a “simpler, more integrated business, all working one way” and added: “The ‘food-to-go’ market is very competitive, and this supports our continued growth.”

The Sunrise programme began in 2013, and is monitored at a weekly meeting presided over by chief executive Roger Whiteside, said Taylor.

Marking the “milestone”, Whiteside said in a press statement: “We have made huge progress as we transform and centralise the business. We are investing over £25m in processes and systems that will enable us to compete more effectively in the fast-moving food-on-the-go market. We have already seen substantial change throughout our estate as we simplify operations to deliver great-tasting food and a great retail experience.”

In 2014, Greggs chose Business Suite on Hana for its enterprise resource planning (ERP). The more recent S/4 Hana ERP system was not available at that time. The bakery had begun its SAP technology engagement at the “periphery” of the supplier’s stack, with Ariba for procurement and SuccessFactors for HR and training, said Taylor. Previously, it had had “a multitude of systems developed in-house, and some from external providers”.

Taylor said it was important to grasp that Greggs is a manufacturer, “not just a retail front-end” distributor of its food. He said the company was “tracking to plan” on its return on the £25m investment.

The retailer engaged Keytree as its systems integrator in 2014. The programme has included finance systems, new procurement capabilities, the implementation of a “customer interaction centre”, cloud-based learning and recruitment from SuccessFactors and, more recently, the SAP forecast and replenishment system.

Greggs, whose IT team is about 70 strong, says more than 1,500 shops have converted to the new technology, and training has been delivered to more than 16,000 staff through the SuccessFactors learning management system.

Read more about ERP in bakery and food to go

James Holmes, Greggs’ programme manager for SAP transformation, who led the team to select both SAP and Keytree, said: “This project has always been ambitious, with so many outlets to be brought onto the system at a rate of around 100 shops a week. Hitting the 1,500-shop landmark is a real achievement for us.

“Despite the scope and size of this transformation, we have already seen encouraging results across the programme and this gives us great confidence to continue working with Keytree on the deployment of the next phase of the programme – looking at production and warehousing in our supply chain.”

Keytree director Andrew Miller said: “This latest deployment has yielded further significant results for Greggs and really demonstrates how technology can support transforming a business.  Shop-by-shop improvements of product availability and waste has a significant impact across the estate, which leads to big improvements for Greggs overall.

“Greggs also has a good mix of cloud and on-premise – SuccessFactors is a lightweight HR system and the on-premise Hana-based system for finance is an area where SAP is very strong.”

Read more on Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software

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