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Indigo Books and Music Revolutionizes Supply Chain with SAP EWM

During NRF 2013, SAP customer and Canada’s largest books retailer, Indigo Books and Music, shared their experiences of a successful SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) integration. John Mayer, VP of Applications at Indigo Books and Music explained the thought process behind choosing SAP EWM and the results.


The Scenario:

Indigo Books and Music wanted to innovate. Book sales were on the decline due to the rising popularity of tablets and e-books.  As a result, Indigo wished to alter its business model and product offerings by supplementing its core in-store books business with additional merchandise and an online experience.  In order to accommodate these innovations, Indigo was looking for software solutions for merchandise planning and demand forecasting.  Furthermore, Mayer discussed the need for a single solution to support Indigo’s multiple business needs:

  1. Execute supply chain redesign to lower cost for retail with best in class processes
  2. Set up the new distribution center for the online channel to reduce shipping costs
  3. Encourage general merchandise growth

The Choice:

Indigo evaluated the top warehouse management systems serving the retail industry. SAP EWM landed on the short list as it scored highest points for platform integration, vendor viability, and low total cost of ownership. Indigo was already a core SAP customer using SAP ERP, Business Objects, HCM and other SAP solutions and they had witnessed SAP’s commitment to Indigo’s success.  As a result, SAP EWM 7.0 became the solution of choice.  Mayer said they began the implementation in 2009 with goals of reducing total cost of ownership and for simplifying Indigo’s IT and supply chain architecture.

The Result:

According to John Mayer, “EWM was a new product at the time, so it was a difficult decision to put our hopes and dreams into a fairly new product… but ultimately, it came down to the level of integration…And SAP also committed to providing the resources available for a successful integration.”

The integration truly proved to be a success.  In November 2012, Indigo Books and Music experienced the highest level of ecommerce activity ever on Cyber Monday.  SAP EWM worked smoothly and efficiently during this uptick of consumer activity. Mayer says, “We couldn’t ask for anything better from a system during the holiday.”

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