Launch of SAP Accelerated Trade Promotion Planning powered by SAP HANA

Amr El Meleegy

Posted by Amr El Meleegy on September 24, 2012

Sr. Director, SAP S/4HANA Product Marketing

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SAP responds to Big Data challenges in the Consumer Products industry with a new HANA powered application

It happens to all of us. We are only one person away from reaching the end of that long checkout lane at the supermarket when out of nowhere the person ahead of us in line pulls out a thick booklet full of promotion coupons and starts flipping through them looking for that 20% off offer on the family size vanilla ice cream. At this point, one question immediately comes to mind: “is it too late to switch to another checkout lane?” However, if you are like me and work in a marketing capacity, you would also start wondering how much effort and work went into creating these promotions and how effective they really are?

For years, SAP has been helping Consumer Product (CP) companies plan and manage their trade promotions. SAP Trade Promotion Planning, part of the SAP Trade Promotion Management solution portfolio, is the centerpiece of CP companies’ promotion planning applications helping them translate promotion strategy into actionable plans, plan trade budgets to enable sales teams to achieve their targets and leverage promotion data for analysis and future planning.

However, the recent explosion in data has made it increasingly more difficult for CP companies to plan promotions in real time. Latency combined with high level planning on aggregated data has contributed to slower response to market changes and ineffective promotion plans that fail to achieve their return targets. Now, with the new release of SAP Accelerated Trade Promotion Planning powered by SAP HANA, CP companies can address their big data challenges and plan their promotions using more granular data to reach consumers and retailers with customized promotional programs.

The new solution replaces the underlying Business Warehouse in SAP Trade Promotion Planning with the in-memory SAP HANA platform eliminating latency and allowing for more granular level planning. Discount, uplift, and volume data can now be instantly manipulated at the day level allowing Sales and Marketing departments to create more targeted promotions around specific short events such as national and local holidays. The granular planning capability extends beyond just the promotion duration to allow for planning at the store and SKU level. This increases the effectiveness of the promotion as they are now tailored and customized towards an individual retailers’ customer base and brand strategy.

Storing data at the granular day level also allows for increased accuracy in trade spend allocation and tracking. For example, before powering the solution with the SAP HANA platform, trade spend could only be stored at the week level without incurring high latency. This meant that tracking spend across different time horizons that didn’t align with the duration of the promotion had to be approximated leading to inaccuracy in measuring the promotion’s effectiveness. Now that promotion data, including trade spend, is stored at the day level, tracking can be done accurately across any time horizon.

The real time response of the solution allows customers to try out different promotion configurations on the fly to find out which alternative will deliver the best result at the most acceptable cost. Discount and uplift combinations can be entered at the aggregated level and then pushed down instantly to the day level using algorithms based on historic promotion data. Results such as total sales, volume and spend are then instantly calculated allowing customers to uncover new more profitable and effective promotions.

If you still want to learn more about this new HANA powered solution you can check out the solution overview video here and the self-running demo video here.

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