Go Sport Implements SAP Retail
Client:Go Sport Group
- Replace the diverse legacy systems used by the company's different store chains.
- Implement an SAP Retail 6.0 ERP system, including a master data repository of 90,000 stock references, as well as an SAP Financials system.
- With business processes redesigned to make the most of the new technology, Go Sport cut costs,
- gained greater visibility, solidified its acquisitions and increased its growth potential.
A big merger positioned Go Sport Group as one of the fastest growing sporting goods retailers in Europe. But to get the synergy it wanted, the France-based company needed a new ERP platform to fully integrate its Go Sport and Courir sports chains. CSC, with its expertise in clothing retail and SAP integration, became the logical choice.
“Installing an ERP system gave Go Sport a unique opportunity to refine its business processes and organization,” says Stéphane Echavidre, Go Sport’s methodology director and SAP project leader. “The solution being deployed will enable us to break down silos between departments, enhance internal communications and leverage synergies across the enterprise.”
Retail implementation experience
Go Sport Group was formed in 2000 from the merger of the Go Sport and Courir store chains. The linkup boosted the company’s growth significantly and enabled it to gain a strong foothold in Poland. In 2006, Go Sport operated 374 stores and employed more than 6,000 people, generating €922 million in revenue.
Go Sport decided early in 2005 to implement an ERP system to streamline and optimize its business processes. The company needed to replace the diverse legacy systems used by its different store chains with a common platform. The project was urgent since Go Sport’s existing systems had become obsolete and were hindering its growth.
CSC was already working with Go Sport on a number of projects and was tasked with defining a methodology and developing solution requirements and specifications.
Go Sport had a stringent set of requirements. The system had to:
• Integrate the company’s key processes while tailoring them to its business requirements.
• Support autonomous business unit operations while providing a consolidated view of the group using a common set of standards.
• Be scalable and easily deployable across the enterprise — this not only meant customizing the solution for country subsidiaries but also ensuring its ability to manage thin clients running in stores.
A well-prepared project
During workshops held by CSC, SAP Retail 6.0 was identified as the solution best able to meet all the requirements of Go Sport’s business domains. “Getting the solution users involved in the selection process greatly facilitated change adoption,” recalls Echavidre. “They immediately saw the strengths and any potential constraints related to the tool.”
Go Sport chose CSC to implement the solution in spring 2006. Echavidre explains: “Finding an integrator with retail-specific expertise was never going to be easy. Throughout the selection process we were impressed by CSC’s retail implementation experience and by their understanding of our business requirements.”
Top management mobilized staff and resources early on in the process. Business process owners were directly involved in selecting the solution platform and had a long list of requirements in terms of functional scope. The information systems department quickly developed the capabilities to support implementation and rollout of the solution and thereafter was closely involved in every step. “Strong commitment from everyone was a key ingredient in the project’s success,” says Echavidre.
The ERP team included 10 business process owners who worked full time on the project. “We had a lot of persuading to do in order to convince top management that this was necessary for the project’s success,” says Echavidre. The full team comprises 25 staff from across the group, business owners, and representatives from the information systems department, as well as external developers and CSC consultants.
An opportunity to reengineer processes
Go Sport started the project in September 2006 and scheduled it for completion 18 months later. From the outset, the ERP team decided there would be a single version of the package — no custom versions. Tasks were clearly defined, addressed comprehensively and divided among CSC and in-house participants.
The general design phase was completed in late February 2007 and was quickly followed by detailed design and development. Deployment was organized incrementally, with rollouts scheduled from February to December 2008. These are to include Go Sport and Courir corporate headquarters, their respective chain stores and an SAP ERP Financials system.
The project required significant reorganization to align the solution and to create a unique master data repository. “The database contains more than 90,000 stock references and 16,000 new items are added every year,” says Echavidre. “We had to standardize the product database, in particular for logistics and procurement, but also for product segmentation and specific aspects related to each store chain.” The work accounted for private label products, branded products, as well as seasonal and other variations in the product range.