In many industries, digital transformation is unleashing a new wave of innovation, disrupting old business models and changing the role of IT. Companies that remain on legacy applications are having a more difficult time competing in this new digital economy. Many companies are finding that there are compelling reasons to make the shift to cloud-based solutions as soon as possible. Companies that have been investing in cloud-based solutions are out maneuvering their peers. They are becoming more efficient, responding faster to changes and ultimately deliver more value to the business and their customers.

Yet, while many in other industries have implemented cloud solutions more readily, distributors have been slower to adopt its value. Many distributors are running outdated legacy systems, some decades old that are no longer supported. Over time, these systems have often been customized, leading to complexity and impeding their ability to compete.

However, the last thing distributors should do is rush recklessly into the cloud. In fact, regardless of your industry, being very clear on the needs of the business, as well as what processes are best suited for the cloud, will increase the benefits that the cloud delivers in the end. The cloud is about much more than eliminating servers … it’s about business strategy and ensuring that you can continue to compete in the new digital world.

SAP offers a variety of cloud solutions to fit the needs of distributors. From the recently launched S/4HANA Cloud which comprises major ERP suite functionality in the cloud to line-of-business cloud solutions for sales, human resources and procurement. Here are a few examples of distributors who are transforming their businesses leveraging SAP’s cloud based solutions:

 

  • Summit Electric is an independent, privately held electrical distributor with 28 service centers across the US. Moving to the cloud was imperative for Summit Electric’s sales team. Replacing their on premise system with state of the art cloud technology for sales and service (SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer) has provided a mobile platform for the field, a 360 degree view of the customer and instant insight into customer information.

 

  • National DCP is a $2 billion supply chain management cooperative serving the franchisees of Dunkin’ Donuts. They needed to unify their dissimilar processes and infrastructure to optimize profitability. With SAP cloud based solutions (SAP Suite on HANA in a private cloud, SAP Cloud for Service and Ariba procurement cloud solutions) now in place, National DCP has a strong foundation to support Dunkin’s aggressive growth strategy into the future.

 

  • MSC Industrial Supply, one of the nation’s largest MRO distributors has teamed up with Ariba to facilitate the online procurement process and create an efficient, consumer-like shopping experience for their customers.

 

These distributors are changing how they compete and adopting cloud solutions that match their strategy. That’s really the whole point, to view the cloud as a vehicle to transform your business rather than as a technology project.

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