The baking and retail high-street chain Greggs is reported to have undergone a £25m change programme for its 1,500 outlets, using a range of SAP software to simplify and better integrate its business processes, and make it more competitive in the lucrative ‘food-to-go’ market.

What Is SAP?

Started in 1972 by IBM employees in Germany, SAP is a software and programming company that was on Forbes 2016 list of “The World’s Biggest Public Companies” in third place, just behind Microsoft and Oracle. According to SAP, 75% of all global business transactions come in contact with an SAP system, and the company now focuses mainly upon cloud computing options.

SAP’s Business Suite On Hana

One of the main elements of the transformation of Greggs is reported has been the use of Business Suite on Hana for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) since 2014, and now the use of the updated, (in-memory) S/4 Hana ERP system.

The introduction by Greggs of SAP’s Ariba for procurement and San Francisco-based SAP SuccessFactors cloud-based, software as a services learning management system for HR and training are reported to have helped Greggs to integrate, centralise and consolidate compatible systems right across the company, rather than relying on lots of different software suppliers and systems.

The combination of SAP elements is reported to be needed to help manage future growth as part of an ambitious five-year transformation project because of the increasing scale of the company, and because Greggs is a manufacturer, as well as a retail front-end distributor of its food. The ‘Sunrise’ programme from Greggs, therefore, aims to use SAP to centralise the business and make it more responsive to customers’ needs.


It has been reported by the 70 strong IT team at Greggs that, so far, the SuccessFactors learning management system has delivered training to 16,000 staff, and that 1,500 shops (at the rate of 100 shops a week) have converted to the new SAP technology.


Greggs is reported to be have been using international award winning design and technology consultancy Keytree to help with improving its production and warehousing in its supply chain. This will be the next phase of its change programme, but Keytree was first selected to work with Greggs back in 2015 as the SAP Systems Integrator for the first of two phases of the retailer’s business transformation programme.

Keytree also helped with the delivery of cloud-based Learning and Development solutions through SuccessFactors, and with the implementation of Source to Contract requirements using Ariba solutions, which wil have enabled Greggs to better manage 4,500 suppliers across its operations.

Keytree has worked with many large clients including Dyson, Mercedes-Benz, National Grid, and News International.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

This story is an example of how many businesses are switching to cloud-based technology and systems to improve management and collaboration, and to ensure that important functions can be homogenised, product availability and waste can be improved, consistency and quality can be maintained, and companies can keep pace with rapid growth while still allowing room for innovation.

Cloud-based systems such as these also help businesses to save costs (e.g. in training large numbers of employees) and adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace, both of which will be needed by Greggs to compete effectively in the future of the evolving and competitive food-to-go’ market.