IBM, Fossil And Ulta Address Changing Economy During The SAP Retail Forum 2011

The growing challenges retailers face to innovate, succeed and develop in a changing economy will be unraveled by prominent industry leaders during the keynote presentation at the 2011 SAP Retail Forum at Chicago’s Drake Hotel, October 19-21. The keynote speakers include Anthony J. Paoni, Professor at the Kellogg School of Business of Northwestern University, Sanjay Poonen, President of Global Solutions for SAP AG and Maurice Trebuchon, Partner at IBM Global Business Services.

The presentation, titled “The Next 10 Years: Flourish Amid the Coming Economic Transformation,” will reveal changes and advancements occurring in the industry and how the new economy is affecting both IT and other C-level executives. The speakers also will discuss how innovative, technology-based solutions are allowing companies to thrive and survive.

The SAP Retail Forum connects senior-level executives, industry thought leaders, technology experts and retail solution partners to discuss and share retail best practices that align with emerging shopping behaviors and trends. 


An executive panel featuring Paoni and Poonen will spotlight how the economy affects the way retailers work and interact with vendors, partners and consumers. In the session titled “Retailing in the Network Economy,” Steve Weaver, VP of Retail Applications for Fossil, Bill Baumann, CIO of Recreational Equipment,Inc., and Brian Svenkeson, SVP of Business Systems Integration for Loblaw Companies Ltd., will join Paoni and Poonen to reflect on how forward-thinking retailers are aligning information systems to support business strategies and keep pace with the rapidly-changing industry.

Following the theme of innovation and adopting cutting-edge technology and tactics to improve in-store processes, Ulta Salon and Cosmetics’ Manager of Retail, Supply Chain and Warehouse Systems, Scott Bieller, will explain how Ulta revamped its merchandise hierarchy and re-classed more then 100,000 SKUs. Svenkeson of Loblaw will describe the company’s rollout of SAP for order management, perpetual inventory, pricing management, financials and master data management solutions for all of its locations.

During another presentation, Annette Gagnon, Manager of Process Improvement and SAP Strategy for Cabela’s, will share key lessons learned during the outdoor merchandise provider’s implementation of the SAP for Retail and Point-of-Sale solutions. Gagnon also will highlight the positive long-term benefits of the rollout.

The breakout session titled “Going Mobile: Retail’s Pervasive Mobile Moments” will spotlight how retailers tap new technology to streamline workforce management processes. Executives from Hobby Lobby, Ulta and OfficeMax will discuss how they mobilized their companies by offering rich shopper apps, mobile-secure analytics and performance information; access to corporate email, work schedules and training materials; and more.

Other topics to be covered during the three-day event include customer loyalty management; retail analytics and applications; mobility best practices; and developing a cross-channel strategy.

In the demo pavilion, attendees will learn about SAP solutions that support retail operations, including:

·       Merchandise management;

·       Financial planning and consolidation;

·       Workforce management;

·       Mobility; and

·       Business analytics.

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