Snow Peak S/4HANA Case Study

Executive Summary

  • This is the Snow Peak S/4HANA which is part of our research study.
  • We evaluate the accuracy of this case study.

Introduction

Snow Peak is a Japanse company that sells outdoor gear. The implementation was not only for S/4HANA (for which they claimed Enterprise Management or the overall suite) but also SAP Hybris and SAP Business Objects. Making product suggestions was a main focus on the project.

Claims

Snow Peak claimed the following benefits from the implementation (as they implemented multiple SAP applications, all of these benefits are not necessarily specific to S/4HANA):

  1. Improved ability to analyze customer behavior and obtain results.
  2. Inspired and equipped employees to come up with new solutions to help the business.
  3. Optimized inventories and increased sales.
  4. “A huge digital transformation is occurring within Snow Peak since we introduced SAP software. The knowledge that our staff members have accumulated has been made visible and can be shared” – Tohru Yamai, President – Snow Peak.

Snow Peak moved off of a Microsoft ERP system.

SAP Marketing’s Hand

At least 1/2 of the case study write up by SAP is either bragging about Snow Peak or about SAP that doesn’t have anything to do with the case study. One good example is this:

“To achieve the necessary centralization and unification of data, the software had to have comprehensive, integrated ERP functionality that covers all aspects of the business.”

So a few things to note:

  1. It is highly questionable as to whether ERP systems or S/4HANA for that matter unifies data. For example, in just the example systems provided, there is data that would be in Hybris, S/4HANA and Business Objects. So this is multiple locations of storage of data — how is that unification? Snow Peak goes on to say that it unifies all of its ERP data in one place where it can be accessed and analyzed in real time.” However, if that is true then what data is being analyzed in Business Objects? Doesn’t that data also exist in S/4HANA? So then the data is not unified.
  2. S/4HANA does not have more functionality than ECC. In fact, it has less. Functionality has been removed from ECC to S/4HANA.
  3. This case study write up entirely leaves out that S/4HANA still has much of its functionality that is not ready to be implemented.

Marketing Domination of the Information Presented

The marketing domination of the information presented in the case study is a concern for its credibility. Other statements are problematic.

“The company is well on its way to optimizing inventory now that information about customer demand and production is integrated and available immediately, allowing planners to see where shortages loom in time to head them off.”

Now, this seems to imply that this is a new capability. However, this same capability existed in ECC. Again, S/4HANA does not have functionality that ECC did not have. Demand and production were already integrated. As it was in Microsoft Dynamics. If the company replaced Microsoft Dynamics with S/4HANA, they could not make the statement that demand and production were not integrated into Dynamics as well. They also cannot argue that inventory was not updated immediately. All inventory or stock position has been updated immediately for many years in all ERP systems.

“Customers are benefiting directly from this technology as well. For example, when customers buy apparel, the software tracks the sizes they try on and the guies them immediately to hte right size the next time they purchase a similar article.”

Why is that impressive? Is that a technology unique to SAP? Is this a computationally intensive or complex bit of functionality? This appears to be a feature of Hybris, not S/4HANA — and this is the problem with multi-application installations that are categorized by SAP under S/4HANA.

No Real Implementation Details

There are no implementation or implementation timeline details about the case study.

Conclusion

This is the type of company that would implement S/4AHANA, but the case study discusses things in S/4HANA as if they are new. Most of the statements come across as quite uninitiated and seem to imply that a lot of innovative things happened on the project when these are quite generic capabilities. There is also the question of whether the overall suite was implemented. The only information presented that it might have been is the description of inventories.

This article is part of The S/4HANA Implementation Study. Please see that study for the overall conclusions.

Financial Disclosure

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