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Customer Snapshot: Overview

Americans buy more than 6 billion greeting cards every year!

You wouldn’t think Hallmark - a company that has been helping people share love and laughter for over 100 years - would need to get more personal. But that’s exactly what they’re doing. In the fall of 2013 Hallmark launched a new specialty retail concept called HMK. At HMK stores, shoppers can create unique, personalized gifts that reflect an individual’s sense of style and carry the artistry and emotion that comes with the Hallmark brand.


US$3.9 billion (2013)

Number of Employees

Consumer Products

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Customer Website

Line of Business

SAP Solutions
SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), SAP Mobile Platform

Customer Snapshot: History

Over a Century of Sending the Very Best

Customer Snapshot: Business Model

Giving Voice to Tender Thoughts

Hallmark makes the world a more caring place by helping people laugh, love, heal, say thanks, reach out, and make meaningful connections with others. Through moments big and small, and through both happy and challenging times, Hallmark helps give voice to caring thoughts and emotions with tangible reminders of appreciation, celebration, belonging and love.

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy

Staying Ahead in a Climate of Rapid Change

The first HMK store opened in Hallmark’s home town of Kansas City with resounding success. A second store followed in Texas and a third recently opened in Denver. Based on the success of HMK’s model, Hallmark is quickly extending personalization into other areas of the business. By the end of 2014, about 30 Hallmark Gold Crown stores will offer personalization and customization capabilities and hundreds more will follow in the years ahead. This level of rapid change will have a big impact on company operations.

The Challenge

Creating a Demand-driven Supply Chain

Across the network of Hallmark Gold Crown stores carrying cards and gifts, the company follows a make-to-stock inventory model. Hallmark knows the card assortment each store needs based on linear feet of shelf space, sales history, and demographics. But at the HMK stores inventory planning is not that simple. Gifts and personalization require a more demand-driven supply chain that is driving the company from make-to-stock to engineer-to-order, and some of the engineer-to-order will be done on site.

Enter SAP

Shaping Simplicity from Complex Stuff

Hallmark already has to deal with a mix of fast and slow-moving inventory across more than 40,000 specialty and general merchandise stores that offer their products. The personalization paradigm introduced by HMK will only add to that challenge. To help reduce the complexity, the company needs an efficient and flexible supply chain. Fortunately they have been working hard to transform their business processes and simplify the IT landscape for several years.

The company’s previous culture of either building the IT systems needed in-house or using best-of-breed point solutions wasn’t working, so they made the move to SAP’s mobile platform to get away from those hassles. The goal is to cut the number of different applications used in the landscape by half.

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience

Real-Time Visibility

By implementing a new mobility solution using SAP’s mobile platform, Hallmark can now rapidly, and cost-effectively deliver user-centric mobile apps with an easy-to-use mobile application development platform. Hallmark also gains near real-time visibility into inventory and service activities. At a majority of the 40,000 stores carrying Hallmark cards, part-time staff maintains stock in the shelves and sets up new assortments as seasons and holidays change. Hallmark’s old solution could not keep track of store inventory changes or service activities in real-time.

Better Business

Knowing What’s On the Shelf Now

Hallmark now has real-time insight into all locations and the work that is being done. This speeds up business processes, provides quicker go-to-market, and faster turnover when transitioning seasonal displays. Hallmark can ensure they have the right product on display at the right times.

Better Business: Benefits

What You Can See, You Can Sell

In addition to the retail merchandiser who is working the stores every day, supervisors with their team of merchandisers have better visibility into the effectiveness and execution of programs across their team. Additionally, teams managing products and other promotional programs have a significantly higher level of visibility into how well these products and programs are performing. All valuable information is captured within the SAP solutions, and it’s delivered easily and timely through the managed mobility solutions.

Better Business: Run Simple

Employees Equipped for the Long Haul

Hallmark is now focused on the long term health of their business and how to use strategic assets. Leveraging the SAP suite and managed mobility technologies together for the field optimization has brought new life to Hallmark products on the shelf at retail locations. By the end of the year, 12,000 employees will be armed with the new mobile solution and Hallmark will have a much more fluid supply chain.

Journey Ahead

The Best Systems, Care, and Courage to Face a Challenging Future

Greeting card sales remain a huge and profitable business – the Greeting Card Association estimates people still exchange more than 6 billion cards annually – but it’s a mature business, which makes growth challenging.

The good news for Hallmark is that they deeply understand the basic need of humans to connect in meaningful ways and have the knowledge and expertise to make it happen.

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