SPH AG, the leading software solution supplier in the field of Digital Transformation and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in the fashion, retail and e-commerce industry, was able to record a 20% increase in sales in 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year.
Sales in the past financial year were traditionally based on strong business in the fashion industry. The fashion, sports, retail and e-commerce segments recorded significant growth, with the distribution of sales in the various industry segments remaining stable in 2020.
“Despite the global crisis and especially in the fashion industry, we were able to reach our ambitious growth objectives in 2020. I am very proud of these results and of all my employees who have made this possible”, says Detlef Beiter, CEO and shareholder at SPH. In 2021 and in the coming years, we will build on this performance and continue to offer our customers our innovative software solutions and consulting services.”
The growth driver of this success is the product group IN:OMNICHANNEL and IN:FASHION, based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 as well as the cloud business. The business sector process consulting and project implementation achieved the largest increase. With IN:FASHION, SPH has succeeded in designing a tailor-made solution for the fashion industry – consisting of in-house products as well as unique solutions from partners. This gives fashion companies an individual, tailor-made suit for future processes and digital requirements with the help of standard software.
In 2020, we had exceptional challenges and interesting chances
2020 started promising with the EuroShop in Düsseldorf – the world’s leading trade fair in the retail market. Unfortunately, the following trade fairs had to be cancelled.
With the DIGITAL FASHION DAYS, SPH started an event format of their own in the well-known luxury hotel ÖSCHBERGHOF in Donaueschingen in October 2020. Under the motto “Shared Intelligence – Digitalisation in the fashion industry”, the Who’ Who of the fashion industry met for exchange and inspiration. Industry leaders such as Engelhorn, Peter Hahn, Microsoft, Roland Berger, hachmeister & Partner and Reutlingen University with the faculty Textile & Design as well as another 10 speakers enjoyed two-day, intensive exchange with 100 top managers of the fashion industry.
The DIGITAL FASHION DAYS will take place again in 2021. Under the motto “With digital transformation to new business models in the fashion industry”, we meet the current challenges. Apart from the 15 top-class speakers, we have already a three-digit number of registered participants, consisting of top managers of the fashion, retail and IT industry.
Tailor-made products and solutions
For SPH AG, product innovations play a major role. For more than 45 years, it is our aim to offer the very best solutions with state-of-the-art technology in order to submit a convincing additional value to our customers.
The collaboration launched in 2016 with the British-Dutch company K3 Business Technologies achieved remarkable results ever since. Their product K3|fashion is a major component of the SPH industry solution IN:FASHION. This is supplemented by the product IN:OMNICHANNEL for optimal service of all channels as well as by further solutions in the areas of management dashboards for analyses, planning, forecasting and reporting, EDI, PIM and modern payment solutions. For IN:OMNICHANNEL alone, more than 20 new functions were developed in the past 12 months due to high demand.
These products represent a comprehensive selection of adequate and integrated standard software products for every fashion company. And all this within one software solution without any interfaces – fully integrated. This solution is therefore unique in the European market.
As early as 2018, SPH AG was awarded with the “Innovation Prize IT” for IN:FASHION and IN:OMNICHANNEL and can boast the title „Microsoft Gold Enterprise Resource Planning Partner“.
In the field of traditional IT, based on IBMi Series (AS/400), we have been serving customers in the mail-order sector for more than 30 years which includes companies in different product areas – from coin trade to cosmetics industry. The software SPH Direct that was developed many years ago still represents the central IT solution for these long-standing customers and, during the past few years, has undergone a series of new software features and upgrades. This established SPH customer base has remained loyal to this software for more than 30 years. A team of consultants, some of whom have been working for SPH for more than 40 years, offer their support and services to these customers.
The year 2021 has started well
During the first months of 2021, SPH was able to continue the good development from 2020. This was achieved through some new major customers who started their project with us last year as well as through new projects and many new prospective customers. Especially the fashion industry, who was hit hard by the pandemic, shows a significant need to catch up with digitalising and optimising their business processes and enterprise IT.
Overall, we have already surpassed the level of the previous year. “The sales development in the first quarter of 2021 is promising and allows us to look optimistically at the rest of the year and to grow by 25%”, says Detlef Beiter. “For the rest of the year, we are planning a large number of new, strategic hirings in our team of consultants so that we can support our customers with more expert knowledge in the fashion and retail processes as well as with the Microsoft products. Especially due to SPH’s growth, there are very interesting career opportunities for everyone – whether this takes place on the career ladder in management or as a technical expert – SPH will support everyone in the team in their development and offer them their personal chance.