With the help of SAP Design, Axfood now offers a cutting-edge assortment planning solution that both end users and businesses can benefit from.
Axfood, a food retailer based in Sweden and SAP’s longtime client, was determined to develop a better solution for assortment planning. After considering its mission of providing affordable, good, and sustainable food products, as well as responding to new trends and customer behaviors, it decided to leverage SAP’s existing design and create something more unique and tailored to its customers. Its main goal was to make sure users had an enjoyable experience by working with the system.
To achieve this, SAP worked closely with Axfood on an assortment planning solution that incorporated consumer research into the design process. This allowed them to create a comprehensive platform that addressed specific needs such as helping customers identify product preferences more quickly and accurately. The resulting SAP design also makes it easier for distributors and suppliers to update their selections in real-time so that retailers can have the latest offerings available for their customers.
Optimizing SAP Design for Assortment Planning Excellence
The critical importance of assortment planning in the retail industry cannot be overstated. By selecting the right products to stock, supermarkets can ensure that their customers have access to what they need while also limiting their environmental impact through reduced wastage. SAP design offers an ideal solution for this complexity by providing a comprehensive suite of tools to help retailers make informed selections and maximize sustainability.
Furthermore, SAP design utilizes vast amounts of data from sales histories, forecasts, customer information, and competitor analyses to provide retailers with the insights they need to optimize their assortment planning. The German tech giant enables businesses to track and analyze product attributes such as organic, fair-trade, vegan, or carbon-neutral items in order to craft a more sustainable selection. SAP’s intuitive user interface facilitates the quick navigation of data so that users can make faster and smarter decisions without spending too much time learning how SAP works.
As the Department Manager of Price and Assortment at Axfood IT, Dick Due Pedersen knows firsthand the importance of having an effective SAP design solution for assortment planning excellence. According to Pedersen, SAP design provides an invaluable resource for optimizing his company’s efforts towards sustainability by enabling them to easily identify which products are most beneficial for their business model as well as for their customers and the environment.
“This is where SAP’s design system helps. For standardized processes, we can use our existing design language and we don’t have to rethink everything. This gives us time to focus on forward-thinking ideas and develop new concepts, which in turn inform our design system going forward,” he shared.
Creating a Seamless User Experience for SAP Assortment Planning
In November 2019, Axfood took part in SAP Fiori Makers – a program that aims to improve the user experience (UX) of SAP applications. It brings together SAP design professionals, business representatives, and end users for an intensive, four-day workshop. For this occasion, Axfood assembled a team of 20 members comprising IT experts and end users.
The program started with the identification of use cases and pain points that needed special attention from the design and development process. In just four days, a cohesive team managed to create working prototypes for SAP assortment planning scenarios in a real SAP environment. The SAP design system was able to produce amazing results in such a limited time that it excited everyone present to continue iterating and improving upon the solution beyond what had been achieved during the program. As noted by Pedersen, this would result in mutual gains for everyone involved.
Axfood’s enthusiasm centered around leveraging SAP’s platform capabilities to facilitate an efficient assortment planning process while ensuring a smooth user experience. With SAP’s modern UX tools, they were able to create visual interfaces with drag-and-drop functionalities that enabled easy data manipulation by end users within their SAP environment. The desire was to reduce manual workloads while keeping up with changing demands of customers quickly and easily.
Leveraging Collaboration for Innovation
SAP Design has created an innovative, world-class solution powered by user insights. Axfood’s goal in modernizing the SAP Assortment Planning product was to significantly improve the user experience and address lingering pain points of the previous system. This included slow performance, inability to plan multiple assortments simultaneously, lack of customer focus in decision-making processes, and reliance on Microsoft Excel for cluster analysis.
The design challenge was to provide users with all their needed data without overwhelming them – a task made difficult due to SAP’s complexity. Close alignment between global teams (Axfood Sweden, developers USA/India/Romania, product owners Switzerland, designers Germany) and regular check-ins was essential throughout the process.
The end result is a powerful combination of creativity, innovation, and practicality; allowing users real-time simulations while still retaining the advantages of Excel plus AI & mass maintenance capabilities not possible otherwise. Predictive analytics enable custom clustering based on attributes/KPIs or any criteria along with manual overrides where necessary.
Through SAP’s design system and agile development, Axfood has been able to transform its business model while providing customers with a seamless user experience when it comes to assortment planning. This kind of innovative collaboration is a testament to the importance of user-centered design and cross-team collaboration in creating powerful, inspiring solutions.