We at SAP, worked together to deliver innovation with purpose. SAP executive management, ventures, delivery team, solution architects, engineering, and support all came together to build a solution that helped to deliver good.
The retail industry has long been driven by the new. In a fierce competition for shoppers’ attention, companies are under constant pressure to follow the desires of consumers to maintain profitability and build cachet for their brand.
So, what happens when previous seasons’ goods fall out of favor or are superseded by the next big thing?
The unfortunate reality is that a lot of consumer goods end up in landfills once the season is over. The practice prevents unwanted items, such as apparel, from being stolen or sold at a significant discount, inevitably eroding the prices that they command. An environmentalist’s nightmare, this exercise is widely accepted in the industry to maintain “brand value”.
However, the tide has started to turn, and many consumer brands are leveraging technology to limit over production. As Batool Hussain Head of Americas Sustainability Services within Ventures at SAP, puts it: “Each day presents you a good opportunity to make the world a better place.” Over the last few years many organizations, including retailers and brands, have come together to recognize the hard work and natural resources that go into making goods and services, and explore ways to become more ethically and environmentally conscious.
Batool has been with SAP for a little over 3 years. She has worked in financial services where she spearheaded global transformation and innovation programs. What she likes about SAP is how she has a good blend of autonomy to carve out the work she does and also working on her passion projects. Furthermore, she is fully supported to explore opportunities and execute ideas in the area of sustainability and help develop are sponsibility agenda.
“In previous roles before coming to SAP, I worked in corporates where sustainability was tied to financial numbers. Whereas at SAP it is about how I can help the greater good, whether it’s working with a charity, company, or customer,” Batool shares.
One example is the work she is leading with Delivering Good, a non-profit organization that unites retailers, manufacturers, foundations, and individuals to provide people impacted by poverty and tragedy with new merchandise, distributed through a network of agency partners to offer hope, dignity and self-esteem to at-risk children, families, and individuals.
“This non-profit is about creating change and we knew we could help,” says Batool. Delivering Good has distributed over 2 billion dollars’ worth of essentials to those in challenging and devastating situations over the last 35 years.
How it works: Delivering Good gets a call from a retailer or brand offering thousands of items such as shirts, pants, undergarments and more, at no cost. Delivering Good works with its network of more than 800 nonprofit community partners such as homeless shelters and natural disaster relief organizations to get the donations to those inneed.
“Delivering Good connects new merchandise to kids, adults, and families facing poverty and disaster,” Batool says. “For 35 years, they’ve been doing an amazing job. However, as COVID impacted retailers, the volume of goods from retailers and brands skyrocketed. Relying on manual resources to match the excess inventory was not enough. Without any automation, it has been a challenge to manage the increased volume of requests with their existing staff and workload,” says Batool.
At SAP, we excel at making processes more efficient and this is what Batool set out to do. She pulled together teams across the SAP ecosystem to design a solution using a human-centric approach, architecting the solution with the customer at the center. Together, they designed and delivered a detailed technical solution with ongoing support.
Batool says, “The solution we delivered is cloud-based with a matching app that helped increase their operational efficiency by about 85 to 90% and will enable them to extend functionalities in the future to meet their objectives.”
“It truly was a team effort,” says Batool. “We worked together to deliver innovation with purpose. SAP executive management, ventures, delivery team, solution architects, engineering, and support all came together to build a solution that helped to deliver good.”
Batool shares how she had the opportunity to work with many great people on this project, such as Stephen Sparrow who is a champion in executing strategies for retail and consumer product industries to increase penetration and advancement for SAP in the retail and consumer product communities.
“It was Stephen’s ‘can-do’ attitude that made it work. He gives 110% to finding new ways to solve new and existing problems,” says Batool.
SAP’s goal is to deliver innovative, vertical solutions that help customers meet industry-specific needs and optimize end-to-end processes, helping them gain a competitive edge.
“We are changing the way we look at the value we can bring. We are using our industry cloud solutions for the retail industry to make a positive impact on people’s lives,” says Batool.
We build breakthroughs, together.
Meet Stephen, Batool’s colleague who worked together on the project team that is helping a non-profit organization make good on its commitment to others by ‘delivering good”. Stephen is a Senior Director, Marketing, CP, Fashion, and Retail Industries.
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