by Leo King

Marks & Spencer plans major SAP rollout

Nov 04, 2009
IT LeadershipIT StrategyMobile Apps

Marks & Spencerwill begin a major SAP retail software rollout in the UK early next year.

The move follows what the high-street chain described as the “successful” implementation of SAP in its finance office and non-merchandise procurement division, as well as in operations outside Britain. It is part of an IT and supply chain overhaul, called ‘2020 – Doing the right thing’, costing £400 million in the next year alone.

The rollout in the UK, M&S’ domestic and largest market, will take place in “phased” stages, with a targeted completion date of 2012. The company’s SAP implementation is being run by supplier IBM.

“The overhaul of our IT systems increased in pace over the half year, and is entering a critical period of step change over the next two years,” the company told investors in a financial statement yesterday. M&S posted half year profits of £298.3 million, flat on last year but beating market expectations.

The company said it was also making “good progress” on a plan to replace electronic point of sale systems within its stores. Following a pilot in Maidenhead, the new system will be rolled out by system integrator Fujitsu across the M&S estate from the start of next year.

New time, attendance and staff scheduling systems will be rolled out “over the next couple of years”, after M&S outsourced human resources systems.

In the 12 months to May, M&S spent around £188 million on technology and supply chain infrastructure, part of which went towards switching on 5,000 new PCs.

Sir Stuart Rose, chairman at M&S, said that the retailer had “clear plans to deliver sustainable growth by driving international and multi-channel [sales], supported by the roll out of new supply chain and systems platforms”.