Interview with Peter Akbar

Peter Akbar
Peter Akbar
Chief Customer Officer - Fashion

Cloud will change the way retailers access information
SAP, the world's biggest business software company, is a Germany-based multinational that operates in four major regions of the world - EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), North America (United States and Canada), LAC (Latin America and Caribbean) and APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan). Peter Akbar, Chief Customer Officer - Fashion, SAP, talks about its clientele, its future plans, and the importance of cloud-based solutions in the fashion industry in an exclusive interview with Fibre2Fashion .

What percentage of your clientele belongs to the textile industry worldwide?

Up to one-third of SAP's retail business is with retailers that create or carry fashion and apparel products. In fact, 18 of the 20 top apparel and footwear retailers in the world use SAP solutions to improve loyalty and customer experience by helping retail brands anticipate customer needs and respond with the right offerings, when, where, and how customers want them.

Which of your products are the most favoured by textile clients?

With SAP solutions, fashion and apparel brands can shorten the time from concept to customer, provide a consistent face to the consumer, boost collaboration across the supply chain, and achieve end-to-end visibility, greater flexibility and improved speed to market. Historically, retailers have managed their fashion retail and fashion wholesale or manufacturing channels as different business operations. They often run separate solutions on different technology platforms with different data models that tie processes such as buying, manufacturing and subcontracting to wholesale sales management, retail and e-commerce with costly, risk-prone and time-consuming nightly or even weekly batch integration points. SAP Fashion Management is a vertically integrated solution designed in close collaboration with leading fashion companies to manage omni-channel processes in one system. It simplifies matters by providing vertical processes while eliminating significant batch processing between major channels. This enables retailers to manage all channels and business processes over a common global stock. It enables the use of in-memory computing to analyse large data volumes for a fast and accurate overview of products, customer data and other metrics. This results in greater efficiency, quicker time to market, faster fashion, and better inventory control. By implementing SAP Fashion Management and the SAP Hana platform, retailers can create a foundation for a truly omni-channel experience.

E-commerce being a booming industry globally, what solutions do you plan to launch in the near future for the e-commerce sector in the textile and apparel niche?

At SAP, we believe that the most successful retailers are the ones that have a 360 degree view of their customers' needs and buying behaviours. But beyond that, retailers must give customers a consistent experience with the brand across all shopping channels. Similarly, commerce and transactions must be consistent across channels. SAP Fashion Management provides this foundational consistency with a single article master and global stock for all channels including e-commerce managed by SAP Hybris. The SAP Hybris solution is ideal for retailers because it allows brands to sell across channels with full omni-channel support on a single commerce platform. Access to customer data provides real time insight and execution; so, retailers can deliver relevant information and offers to improve sales and maximise basket size.
Published on: 10/03/2015

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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