Etam Liege Georges Seguin (Okki), CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia CommonsPrecisely has revealed that the Etam Group has deployed its Automate Studio solution across all subsidiaries to support the accounts payable processes globally. It achieves this by delivering access to SAP data, enabling Etam group to transfer data quickly between Excel and SAP.  The accounts team can now complete mass updates securely. Importantly, this is achieved without IT support using the user-friendly interface that Automate Studio provides.

Etam Group is a family-owned fashion giant with around 1,587 stores in 57 countries. Its brands include Etam, Maison 123, Undiz, Livy and Ysé. The company’s revenues reached €847 million in 2022. Etam is the top lingerie brand in France.

The background

Retail is a fast-moving industry. Retailers, especially in fashion must remain agile in their value chain and back office functions. For the last two years, the Mineral Tree, State of AP report has signalled that finance automation is the top priority for retailers. Ed Betts of Retail Express highlighted automation as a key focus for retailers as they look to optimise margins.

The problem

Across the operation, this means that different functions must consider their processes and look to improve them through the use of technology. For Etam Group, one area for improvement was in accounts payable.

Etam Group is no stranger to innovation. In 1965, it created just-in-time automatic restocking. However, with hundreds of invoices every month to process manually, there was clearly a problem. Manual processing of invoices on SAP is time-consuming, costly and carries a higher risk of errors. It needed to locate a solution.

Stéphane Delattre, Vice President – accounting for Europe at Etam Group, explains the challenge, saying, “Before we deployed Automate Studio, we manually handled hundreds of invoices a month, which could be very time-consuming.”

The solution

To resolve this, they needed to find an solution that would help them automate the entry of data into their SAP ERP instance. It turned to Automate Studio (previously Winshuttle Studio). Automate Studio enables organisations to automate complex SAP business processes and make mass data changes quickly and easily. Once scripts are created, they can be deployed for use by business users who may have little knowledge of SAP. It allows the business user to extract, transform and then reload the data back into SAP with validation steps and security that ensure that data privacy is maintained.

Automate Studio has enabled Etam to replace cumbersome manual data entry with an automated process. Delattre explained, “This practical solution from Precisely has not only increased our internal productivity but has helped us save time. Previously, one invoice took three minutes to create, and now Automate Studio facilitates the creation of nearly 600 invoices within 15 minutes. Another example is how drastically it reduced the time needed to add purchasing conditions to orders in SAP – this used to take two days but can now be completed in just two hours.”

Automate Studio – the miracle product

The Etam Group has reduced the reliance on the IT team for automating Excel to SAP processes. Automate Studio enables business users to create the scripts they need to further create new or improve existing automated processes. Automate Studio also provides the guardrails to ensure that the appropriate data is extracted or returned to SAP.

Delattre, commented, “In the retail sector, businesses must stay agile and be able to implement ideas quickly, something which is also incredibly important in accounting. Automate Studio increases our productivity and efficiency, enabling mass data simplification and empowering decision-makers to access trustworthy data in real time. We call it the ‘miracle product’!”

John Reda, Senior Vice President – Product Management at Precisely. Image credit - LinkedIn
John Reda, Senior Vice President – Product Management at Precisely

John Reda, SVP of product management data integration at Precisely, commented, “Precisely is committed to helping customers automate their SAP processes to maintain agility, accelerate speed of business, and build the integrity of their data. As more organisations embark on digital transformation across their core functions, they are realising the power of process automation, fuelled by accurate, consistent, and contextual data to help ensure success.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

For other finance teams struggling with manual processes within SAP ERP, Precisely Automate Studio provides a solution that could help reduce costs and eliminate errors. It provides a solution that is rapid to deploy and easy to use. Etam Group are not the only French company to use the solution. Grégory Russo, SAP Solution Manager, Locctiane en Provence, commenting, “Its ease of use means we can create and update scripts without involving IT, reducing the strain on IT resources.”

That second validation is important and demonstrates that Automate Studio has had repeated success in finance automation. Automate Studio has other uses as well, with Under Armour using it to manage a twice-annual product update on its SAP data set. Using Automate Studio, it reduced data transfer time by 80%. The impact on SAP master data has been huge.

It is also noteworthy that Precisely has recently updated the integration certification for its Automate suite for S/4HANA. The solution is not just about helping the older SAP products but can also be used for the latest ones.


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