Coles partners with SAP for its digital transformation

Coles will implement SAP's S/4HANA, Ariba, and SuccessFactors platforms into its back office.

Coles has chosen SAP and announced it will use the German firm's technology platforms to automate its procurement, HR, and business processes.

The grocery giant will use SAP's S/4HANA, Ariba, and SuccessFactors platforms, in a move that Coles' chief information and digital officer Roger Sniezek said will allow it to be as efficient as possible across the retail environment for both customers and team members.

The implementation of SAP's platforms will focus on increasing consistency of its processes, removing duplication, and supporting delivery of more efficient services to better assist the 115,000 people and 7,000 suppliers -- which includes thousands of Australian farmers -- currently employed by Coles, the grocery giant said in a statement on Tuesday.

SAP's S/4HANA, unveiled in June, is a cloud ERP system that the vendor said would solve "common obstacles associated with legacy business process systems, such as latency, complex landscapes, and manually driven processes".

The cloud services provider's broader goal is to automate half of its ERP platform by the end of 2020. "We will have hundreds of algorithms available next year," SAP President of Digital Core and Industries Franck Cohen said in November. Ultimately, SAP's master plan is to connect its ERP automation to the broader platform.

Coles will use SAP's Ariba for its procurement processes, with an aim to improve supplier management, risk management, and cost management.

Additionally, SuccessFactors will be used to keep track of HR information for Coles' employees, as well as improving the existing payroll system.

The implementation of SAP's platforms will commence this month.

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