Home Depot Hopes SAP Can Help Boost Sales

In conjunction with SAP, the home improvement retailer will offer data sharing to make cross-selling easier and put detailed customer-service info in the hands of employees in the aisles.

Home Depot wants to put more information at the fingertips of its "orange-blooded associates doing hand-to-hand combat in the aisles," its chief information officer said Wednesday.

The home improvement retailer, fresh off spending $1 billion in the last three years on self-checkout aisles and other store systems, wants to give its associates "real-time access" to information about products and customers, its executive vice president and chief information officer, Robert DeRodes, said at the Sapphire 2005 conference in Boston.

That is part of the companys long-range plans, he said, and will be based on information systems it will put in place in conjunction with conference host SAP AG, the enterprise software supplier.

DeRodes said Home Depot will convert all its basic operations over the next seven years to run on SAP software, in a deal estimated on the floor of the convention to be worth approximately $50 million.

As part of those long-range plans, associates in the aisles will be able to pull up details on the products they sell, possible uses and capabilities, appropriateness for various projects, and their availability, DeRodes told Baseline. Theyll also be able to find information on the customer theyre talking to, including past transaction history.

Employees will be able to retrieve information on any digital device, DeRodes said, from a terminal at a customer service desk to kiosks in aisles to handheld computers.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read the rest of this story about Home Depots automation project: at Baselinemag.com