Countdown to the Customer Experience Innovation Forum

Today’s customers expect a seamless experience from you and are prepared to go elsewhere if you don’t deliver. That means your company needs to know how to offer a true omnichannel experience. And that’s not possible without linking your front-end, customer-facing systems with everything needed to power your back-end systems. To get those working, you’ll need to integrate your supply chain and inventory management processes, optimize your procurement activities, and harness the big data coming out of those systems within meaningful analytics. Sounds like a big challenge, right?

At the Customer Experience Innovation Forum, you’ll hear from people who are tackling exactly these types of challenges. SAP leaders from retail, consumer products, and wholesale distribution companies will share stories from their personal experience and offer practical solutions you can take back to your own company. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn and share with your peers.

What to Expect: Day One

Getting right to business, John S. Phillips, senior vice president of customer supply chain and global go-to-market for PepsiCo, will kick off the conference with his perspective on the technologies that have the greatest potential to drive dramatic change for consumer-packaged-goods companies. These include augmented reality, smart shelves, autonomous in-store robots, wearables, image recognition, self-driving vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, drones, and others.

Day one has four more keynote speakers to come. Next up is Sameer Afsar, vice president of enterprise applications for Old World Industries, a chemical company specializing in the automotive and agricultural industries. He’ll share his company’s success story about harnessing technologies that allowed it to better anticipate customer needs and reduce inventory costs by up to 50 percent. Those are significant savings, so you’ll want to figure out how this strategy could work for your company.

Lori Mitchell-Keller, co-president of industries at SAP, will share how SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise supports new growth models efficiently by maximizing the value of your data assets and insights while connecting your business end to end. Intelligent technologies and services are creating opportunities in every industry, and yours is not an exception.

Later in the afternoon, Jill Standish, senior managing director, global retail at Accenture, will discuss how companies can redefine their purpose and use technology to better connect with customers. You’ll be able to pick up tips on how to identify your company’s purpose and how this can help differentiate you from the competition.

Closing out the day, Joe Burton, founder and CEO of Whil Concepts, a provider of mindfulness tools, will engage in an interactive session on managing stress, disruption, and change. Attendees will also receive a copy of his new book.

Getting on the Right Track

You’ll also want to consider attending one of the afternoon sessions, which include:

  • Protecting the House Through Better Planning, presented by Under Armour
  • Engaging Customers Through Automation at BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Improving Customer Experience Through Consistency, presented by Tyson Foods
  • Setting the Foundation for Unlimited Growth – How Allbirds Implemented SAP S/4HANA in Under 16 Weeks
  • Designing the Future of Wholesale Distribution at Cardinal Health: Driving Value Through Rebates, Chargebacks, and Pricing
  • How The Hershey Company is Spreading Goodness Through Digital Transformation

Find the full details here. Day one will wrap up with an evening reception for networking and winding down after a day of gathering great information.

What to Expect: Day Two

Day two will bring you three more key addresses, plus a breakfast session on how to connect with humans through your digital transformations, led by Jose Hernandez, SAP omnichannel IMPACT solution for retail leaders with IBM and Bill Piotrowski, North America service line leader and vice president with IBM. The two will start a conversation for senior business leaders about how to use SAP and new supporting technologies to solidify the customer as your North Star.

In the first keynote of day two, Elizabeth Pierce, president of U.S. SE for Applegreen, will discuss how she’s using European insights and technology to enhance the traditional gas station experience in the U.S. and deliver a more comprehensive retail offering for their customers. This chain of Ireland- and U.K.-based service stations has been bringing its “high-quality, good value” brand promise to several test locations throughout the U.S. and is ready to share what it’s learned so far.

Next, the chief technology officer of Tory Burch, John Douglas will talk about how he led a project to unify the company’s customer experience through an integrated omnichannel foundation. The project started with an implementation of SAP S/4HANA Retail, launched in 16 weeks using the SAP Activate methodology. Those of you who are interested in implementing SAP S/4HANA should have your questions ready.

The last keynote of the event will come from Nick Athanasakos, vice president of strategic enterprise capabilities at Nike. He’ll explain how Nike is redefining its footwear and apparel supply chain operations through co-innovation with SAP. The results just might change the entire footwear and apparel industry.

A Deep Dive into How They Did It

Day two also offers a series of tracks, including these highlights:

  • A Deep Dive into Delivering an Omnichannel Experience at the Home Depot
  • Aligning Processes for Faster Delivery at Whirlpool Corporation
  • Blockchain: From Hype to Reality
  • Drinking in Digitalization and Disruption: A Generations-Old Business Takes the Lead Amid Shifting Market Dynamics, presented by E. & J. Gallo Winery

The conference will close out with a panel discussion where you’ll hear about key observations and takeaways, how you can get help, who can help, and how you can stay connected to help each other.


What’s on the minds of leaders in retail, consumer products, and wholesale distribution? Get a comprehensive view of the state of the industry by downloading our Research Report below. This research inspired the entire conference agenda. Register now to join us at the 2018 forum being held on Nov. 7-8 in Dallas.