Client Business Challenges

The Kao Group is world-renowned for its luxury hair and skincare brands, including John Frieda, Kanebo and Guhl, and sells to retail, wholesale and direct business worldwide. In 2013, the Tokyo-based group had a consolidated net sales of JPY 1.3 billion.

The group has more than 33,000 employees with 400 sales representatives and customer service personnel globally.

Despite brand success, Kao faced sales and distribution challenges because of a legacy sales order-entry tool that did not connect with the firm’s SAP-ERP back-end inventory system.

The management team recognized that they needed to create a better mobile sales order entry system to speed up the sales process, order-fulfilment and delivery time as well as engage the salesforce with a state-of-the-art sales tool.

BearingPoint’s Contribution

BearingPoint performed a full analysis of the Kao sales force process, identifying the weak spots from point-of-sale to order fulfilment.

This included:

  • A CRM discovery phase in most of the countries where Kao’s salon business has operations
  • A detailed system landscape and tool AS-IS analysis with a precise SWOT documentation
  • The evaluation of CRM functionalities, with a rating given by country and separated into pure sales and natural CRM functions

As a result of BearingPoint’s analysis, it was decided that Kao purchase a custom-build sales order entry solution usable on an iPad.

BearingPoint supported Kao through the whole project, assessing potential application platforms and then integrating the chosen product, Mendix, with Kao’s SAP ECC backend system and SAP PI system.

Key success factors

BearingPoint’s support through full end-to-end integration of all processes within the systems landscape.

Client Business Outcomes

Already a trusted consulting partner, Kao turned to BearingPoint to help shape the firm’s new customer-centric approach to its order entry strategy at the point of sale.

As a result of this work, the sales reps have been given iPads with a sales order app fully integrated with the firm’s back-office system globally. This enables real-time inventory lookup and improved order entry capability at the point of sale, which saves the sales reps two hours a day.

More than 350,000 sales orders have been placed on the app since it was introduced in September 2013. 

It also has enabled quicker order shipments and supports the central warehouse strategy in Europe.


Global luxury hair and skincare company

  • Digital Diamond -a new level of sales and distribution efficiency at Kao 278.54 KB Download

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