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SAP IS-Retail - Planning and Implementation Solutions

SAP IS-Retail – Planning and Implementation Solutions

What is SAP IS-Retail?

In simple and accurate terms, SAP IS-Retail (IS – Industry Solution) is a core business management software for retail enterprises. By whatever name it may be called, it essentially is an integrated software platform for managing the core retail business processes. Various retail components covered in it include (but not limited to):

– Assortment management
– Purchasing and replenishment planning
– Costing and pricing
– Warehouse and inventory management
– Promotions
– Billing and invoices
– Store supply and merchandising
– Logistics, pickup and delivery
– Vendor management

SAP IS-Retail is popular amongst mid and large retail enterprises. The bigger businesses benefit from the integrated and advanced features of this software capable of handling tons of data and complex value chains involved in modern-day retailing. However, SAP IS-Retail being a contemporary and sophisticated software platform, many retail enterprises find it difficult to plan and execute a smooth implementation process. These challenges are discussed next.

Challenges in Implementing SAP IS-Retail

Establishing the Business Case First

For retailers and business owners, the first and foremost question should be – do they need SAP IS-Retail? What business and operational objectives do they want to accomplish with it? Answering these questions could even negate the need for this software. We are always sincere to our clients about this. And we seek to answer, with them, these and other fundamental questions. There is an element of ROI involved in purchasing and maintaining powerful machines and software in business. Highly complex integration and collaborative features may not be even necessary for small retail businesses. Only and only if there are strong business reasons, does the need for an investment is justified.

Defining the Best-fit Solution

Once the business reasons for adopting SAP Retail are established, the next logical step is to frame and define the software requirements. Now, decoding the technical ramifications involved in the selection of the software solution and its features emerges as an important task. For retail business owners and other stakeholders with non-technical backgrounds, speaking the language of software technologies can be a slowdown phase. In such a situation, identifying and specifying the business requirements in technical specifications gets a little cumbersome. Even for businesses with an internal IT team, the grasp over any specialised software can be a tough expectation.

Financial Planning and Budgeting

SAP IS-Retail gives high ROI, especially in terms of how advanced it makes retail management. It brings retail management at par with contemporary industry standards and practices. Correct implementation of SAP IS-Retail could put a retail enterprise ahead of its competitors by months. But SAP IS-Retail is a long term investment. Like any other capital asset, purchasing, implementing, and maintaining this platform also calls for due financial planning. The challenge here compounds with the time and efforts taken to build or customise the software. Too many improvisations to a software platform can be a taxing affair. Shaping the right solution with greater accuracy and lesser time is critical to optimise the costs associated with implementing it.

Lack of Proper User Training and Onboarding

Experienced SAP retail consultants could tell that default manuals that come with products are good as long as we are talking about electronics or home appliances. But when it comes to ERPs and software products like SAP IS-Retail, plain instructions do not work. When any business software is implemented, it should also accompany comprehensive onboarding planning and user training. Someone from the channel partner/vendor will come and install the software in the computers and laptops with other necessary hardware components. They will also conduct learning and FAQ sessions with the employees. But the learning curve associated with adapting to a new software for existing employees or when there is onboarding of new employees tends to move at a snail’s pace. Insufficient efforts at user training and onboarding cause delays in gaining expertise at using any product. By having a planned course of action, businesses can significantly reduce the learning curve and users can quickly become proficient.

How YRC can help

We support retail enterprises in implementing SAP IS-Retail in their businesses via planned and improvised process solutions. The objective is to ensure that the entire process of implementing SAP IS-Retail gets carried out in a planned, systematic, and flawless manner. The focus areas in this service module are discussed below.

Need Validation

Our experts start with establishing the need – is a SAP retail solution really required? If yes, then why and what will be the objectives of having one. This step not only helps in validation but also to re-establish, re-confirm and define what clients might have already roughly chalked out by themselves. In doing so, our team shall delve into every operational detail to examine the utility of the software in accomplishing the process and operational objectives.

Mapping the Business Software Requirements

The features of the software must match the requirements of the business. For example, a retail enterprise may want that the bills are also emailed or shared via SMS to customers. This whole thing may be optional. But in addition to a printed bill, if a digital copy is also sent, it becomes helpful for many customers in their personal budgeting. Sometimes there is also a need to plugin other software programs via APIs. Or sometimes the principles and policies governing the organisational design also have a bearing on how the business software applications need to be designed and operated. These customisations are possible only if the software allows. This is the essence of what we do at this stage – identifying and mapping the business requirements vis-à-vis the software capabilities. This whole service process will be carried out via a defined process using SOPs. The chances of missing out on any critical input or any communication gap are very thin when processes are applied. The entire information processing stays documented for future evaluation.


SAP IS-Retail is a long-term investment. Neither can it be purchased in haste nor can it be easily settled in the books of accounts. There are costs of various nature involved in incorporating a software platform in an organisation. It includes costs for purchasing and customising the product, implementation costs, upgrading and maintenance costs, training costs, etc. Here, we assist clients in making the necessary budgetary provisions and adjustments with our financial expertise. The objective is to spread out the investment over a manageable period. We apply proven financial strategies and solutions with the necessary accounting SOPs.

Vendor Search and Selection

Although there may be designated channel partners, it still forms a part of due diligence to screen the vendors. For example, it is important to assess the credentials of the vendors in terms of their implementation capacities, past projects, after-sales services, service orientation, etc. Sometimes there may be multiple authorised vendors. Then also it becomes imperative to evaluate the vendors based on certain planned criteria. We design this vendor selection and purchase process for our clients. The objective is to ensure that the most suitable vendor is selected and the entire purchase process is carried out in a planned and systematic manner covering documentation, adherence to clients’ business policies, securing post-sales services, comparative price analysis, etc. Our evaluations and recommendations are done with an unbiased approach and prioritising clients’ business requirements.

Defining Business Requirements and Support in Software Customisation

In this service module, clients need not get engrossed in the software customisation phase after they have provided us with the relevant informational inputs in the earlier stages. We coordinate with the vendors/channel partners for improvising the software to suit clients’ business requirements and specifications. Wherever required or specified during the customisation phase, we take the necessary approvals from clients. The entire customisation phase will be carried out using detailed SOPs that could track information sharing between all the stakeholders involved.

ERP Implementation

Getting a new software platform incorporated in the offices, stores, and other business locations like warehouses and fulfilment centres often leads to hampered business operations. Our goal is to optimise this disturbance and ensure a smooth transition with defined timelines. The entire ERP implementation will be carried out by our experts. We will also map the scope of the vendor’s responsibilities.

Our support team shall report any deviation or inconsistency detected during the implementation phase to the vendor team. This includes testing each module and sharing the feedback and required amendments with the vendor for the necessary adjustments. We keep our clients comprehensively informed of the progress and development. When we are 100% sure of the implementation accuracy, we ask clients to carry out their own valuation process for assurance.

User SOP Training and User Blueprint Manuals

Providing training to employees on new machines or software is a good management principle. Besides, SAP IS-Retail is no ordinary software that can be picked up intuitively or in a matter of days with practice. The need for training on this software is even greater in retail enterprises where employees use physical registers or any simple office management software or freeware. The leap from paperwork to software is a big leap and SAP IS-Retail is a complex and sophisticated platform in itself. Our role here is to make employees ready for using SAP IS-Retail by providing them user SOP Training. The training modules are designed based on the actual workflow of SAP IS-Retail. We will also prepare the user blueprint manuals. Users will get a comprehensive view and understanding of the whole process. Every step will be explained within and outside the scope of the SAP. There will be instruction manuals. Clients can also provide us with their specifications in designing the manuals. Since different users will work on different aspects and features of the software, we develop and deliver training programs from the perspective of different users.

We are a retail and eCommerce business consultancy brand with experience spanning more than a decade. We have consulted more than 500 clients of varied business sizes in big and small ways through our wide range of services. Today, we are an international brand with a service presence across 10+ countries. SOP development and retail ERP implementation is one of our flagship services.

We work only for Visionaries.


The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.


No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)


Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.


Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.


  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.


At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.


This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!


This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.


Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.


Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.


Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.


Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.


Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.


Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.