Powering Carhartt with SAP and Microsoft
The US-based workwear manufacturer has replaced its entire IT infrastructure, driving flexibility, agility and insight across its businessShow transcript
Carhartt is a 132-year-old premium workwear company, with a mission to build rugged products that serve and protect hardworking people. Over the last five years it’s been on a digital transformation journey – completely replacing its application, infrastructure, and security landscapes. The business now runs off SAP S/4HANA, based on Microsoft Azure – and it’s driving a paradigm shift for Carhartt’s people. John Hill, CIO and SVP Business Planning; and Tim Masey, VP IT Infrastructure and Security, discuss the benefits of Carhartt’s transformation.
John Hill: Carhartt is a 132 year old premium workwear company. Our mission is to build rugged products to serve and protect hardworking people. Our digital transformation here at Carhartt started approximately five years ago.
Over a five year period, we’ll essentially replace everything inside of Carhartt – the application footprint, the infrastructure footprint, our security. And even how we go about analysing data and driving insights from that data.
The decision to move to SAP S/4HANA on Azure was based on the premise that we wanted to get back to standard. We felt that SAP had worked with its customers and built a set of business processes that we should be able to leverage and help us better react. We’ve reduced customisations by over 93 percent as part of the migration to S/4HANA.
Tim Masey: Moving to SAP on Azure has allowed us to move out of the hardware business. We’re not having to manage power requirements, data centre requirements, memory capacity, or storage capacity. It’s there for us when we need it. That provides us with flexibility, agility, and availability that we just could not match internally.
John Hill: We deployed onto our retail business unit earlier this year, and they’ve been able to drive significant improvement of their own agility and insight. Number one, the ability to see in real time what’s going on from an inventory standpoint, and then the ability to move that inventory and be able to understand their performance against that with a very simple user interface.
You know, the ability for our consumer to be able to consume the product how they want is critical to our future success. SAP S/4HANA sitting on top of Azure, provides that vehicle for us to achieve that.
We’ve got the point of sale, the ecommerce, and the ERP managing that order flow, making sure that ultimately the product gets to the consumer.
Tim Masey: One of the features that SAP on Azure provides is security by design. We were able to build our security model and framework and lay that out ahead of time with the Microsoft architectural team. Before even standing up our first system, we had our security model in place. And then after that we started building out our SAP systems. That helped us to improve our security posture.
We have over 2,000 employees and contractors today working from home, and relying on Teams for things like Instant Messaging, voice calling, collaboration: you know, with meetings and document presentations.
I think one of the biggest ways in which supply chain is using Teams and SAP technology is through the development efforts. They’ve heavily relied upon this during our business transformation project.
John Hill: The paradigm that I see happening, not only within the SAP landscape, but also with Microsoft Teams, is people are getting used to ‘how do I find what’s going on right now, and see it as it’s occurring’, as opposed to, ‘I get my report every morning, I’ll see what happened yesterday’.
The combination of SAP and Microsoft technology is helping to provide that change for our business.