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    Wawa Overhauls Its Tech Systems

    Using SAP Retail applications from the headquarters down to the store, the chain is instituting automatic replenishment for foodservice and sophisticated category forecasting.

    By Tammy Mastroberte

    WAWA, Pa. -- When deciding to upgrade its legacy and proprietary systems, Wawa Inc. knew it wanted the capability to forecast sales in all categories, ease the ordering process for store managers and revamp its foodservice systems to allow for automatic replenishment.

    In an exclusive, in-depth interview with Convenience Store News, appearing in the June 18 issue, Wawa executives explained how and why the company chose SAP Retail as its main technology provider to meet its goal of finding a single vendor to replace the existing architecture with one integrated system.

    "SAP is a bunch of building blocks that you put together the way you want. It can do anything, but you need to understand your business processes and what your objectives are first," said Michael Kinzly, senior project manager in the IT department at Wawa.

    After detailed analysis, the company chose SAP to provide a new financial system, point-of-sale (POS) data management, inventory and price management, business intelligence, and advanced forecasting and replenishment capabilities for all categories, including foodservice.

    The company is now at perpetual inventory on all its foodservice items, such as made-to-order sandwiches and wraps. "Now, we know exactly how much money we are making on that sandwich with that customer," Kinzly told CSNews.

    Wawa currently has more than 73 stores up and running with the new system -- the original pilot began in September 2006 -- and is continuing to roll out 30 stores per week.

    "All of the hardware resides in an SAP data center outside of Philadelphia, and SAP provides services to manage the landscape," Kinzly explained. "We have a connection to their data center from our data center."

    For a more detailed report, including how the forecasting system works in all categories -- from existing products to new introductions and even new store openings -- as well as the secret to the company's foodservice replenishment, stay tuned for the article, "From the Ground Up," in the June 18 issue of CSNews.

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