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beeline: Responding faster to fluctuations in customer demand

Explore beeline’s journey with SAP

beeline GmbH quickly meets demand for on-trend styles in 44 countries, but rapid growth meant an increased time to market for new products. With retail solutions from SAP, beeline streamlined forecasting processes and cut planning cycles while enabling a more agile response to fluctuations in demand in rapidly changing markets.

90

%

less time to produce planning reports (down from two weeks to one day).

>50

%

reduction in planning cycle time frames.

120

million

products shipped each year.

Retail solutions from SAP are playing a crucial role in helping us get the right products to the right stores at the right time, enabling us to work more efficiently and supporting rapid growth.

Yvonne Franklin
Product Director
beeline GmbH

The Challenge

Achieving rapid growth through an extensive network of retail partners

The world of fashion moves fast. To compete, jewelry and accessories business beeline GmbH must get its products to retail stores quickly. The company sells its products through concessions in department stores and fashion boutiques, as well as through its own wholesale and retail outlets, and it operates across six brands and more than 25,000 points of sale.

 

This complex retail landscape resulted in a highly diversified IT environment at beeline. It was difficult for the business to get an overview of customer demand across product lines, and processes for developing forecasts and detailed merchandising were slow and painstaking.

 

“To support continued rapid growth, we needed to streamline our omnichannel planning workflows and establish a single source of truth for demand forecasting,” Dirk Reusch, head of Application Management, beeline GmbH, says. “We also needed a unified digital foundation that would enable us to take advantage of emerging technologies to automate and innovate our processes.”

SAP software is helping us streamline and innovate our processes to expand our market coverage without growing headcount at the same rate.

Dirk Reusch
Head of Application Management
beeline GmbH

The Solution

Supporting integrated processes for analysis, planning, and execution

beeline began its IT transformation by migrating finance and controlling processes from 30 instances of the SAP ERP application to SAP S/4HANA for fashion and vertical business. To help gather point-of-sale data from retail outlets around the world, the company also deployed the SAP Customer Activity Repository application.

 

Using a phased approach, the company then began a deployment of the SAP Assortment Planning, SAP Allocation Management, and SAP Merchandise Planning applications. Integrated with SAP S/4HANA and SAP Customer Activity Repository, these applications provide rich functionality to help planners analyze demand in different locations, decide on appropriate merchandise assortments for each partner, and manage ongoing replenishment activities. They also enable detailed planning at a location, material, channel, and market level.

 

Beeline used the SAP Activate methodology to take a best-practices approach and achieve rapid deployment in just 13 months.

The Result

Enabling agile planning to meet the needs of fast-changing markets

Today, merchandisers at beeline can create detailed planning reports much faster than before, with plan development time dramatically reduced from two weeks to one day. They can rapidly make changes to existing plans, which enabled beeline to respond quickly to demand changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

With detailed demand analysis and planning, the company can provide jewelry and accessory collections that cater to the specific needs and sales trends of different partners, ultimately helping them sell more and increase revenues. Meanwhile, accelerated reporting processes enable the company to get products to market faster with planning cycles reduced from 25 weeks to 13 weeks.

 

Improved visibility of sales figures is also helping the company identify best sellers and less popular lines more effectively, informing decision-making about future assortments. The company hopes to cut the quantity of SKUs by as much as 30%. By removing products that don’t sell well, beeline can help partners reduce discounting and waste. 

Faster planning means we can stay on trend and be first to the shops with the latest styles. In the fashion business, this provides significant competitive advantage – especially at a time when the market is becoming more crowded with new, smaller market entrants.

Yvonne Franklin
Product Director
beeline GmbH

Future Plans

Establishing a digital foundation for future expansion and innovation

beeline anticipates a 70% rise in the number of sales outlets within the next three years. SAP technology provides a crucial foundation for this growth.

 

“SAP software is helping us streamline and innovate our processes to expand our market coverage without growing headcount at the same rate,” explains Reusch. “Automation in areas, such as invoicing, using SAP S/4HANA will be key to helping us achieve this. Supported by our new digital core, we’re also looking at emerging technologies, such as picture recognition-based replenishment using machine learning.”

 

The company is also moving toward a more collaborative corporate culture.

 

“Because they’re no longer working in silos, different teams are collaborating more closely and in a more agile way,” Franklin says. “Employees are empowered through having visibility across end-to-end merchandising processes. Everyone can see what’s happening, make suggestions, share decision-making, and take responsibility for meeting targets. Ultimately, this will help us improve the service we provide to our partners and customers and enable us to build a more resilient and successful business.”

SAP helps beeline run better

Key business outcomes and benefits

  • Reduced time frames to get products to market
  • Increased agility in producing and adjusting planning reports
  • Better visibility of which products sell best, enabling discontinuation of products with the least sales
  • Strong foundation for innovation and intelligent technology

Featured solutions and services

About beeline GmbH

beeline GmbH is a fast-growing fashion company specializing in jewelry and accessories. Founded in 1990, it is now active in 44 countries worldwide.

Industry Region Company Size
Wholesale distribution and fashion Germany, MEE 4,500 employees
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