Case Study: A Leading North American Travel Retailer and Restauranteur Partners with Baer to Meet Specialized Staffing Needs for SAP S/4HANA Cloud Greenfield Implementation

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The Baer Editorial Board
21 April 2023

For more than 70 years, this leading North American travel retailer and restauranteur has been bringing some of the most well-known retail and restaurant brands to people in airports across the continent. The company’s business model is complex: they own and operate the airport locations of stores and restaurants that bear third-party leading brand names. The company must ensure its customers receive the top-notch service that is in keeping with their partner brands, while managing all the operational complexities of more than 1,000 locations in more than 100 airports, staffed by more than 10,000 employees.

The Challenge: Staffing a Greenfield SAP S/4HANA Cloud Implementation

The company needed an underlying technology platform that would provide comprehensive ERP functionality, support their finance core, and enable them to access detailed insights and reporting. They were also seeking the ability to modernize inventory management while providing an easy-to-use user interface for their staff. They chose to implement SAP S/4HANA Cloud for its comprehensive functionality, integrated processes, standardized reporting, and ease of deployment.

However, the company’s internal IT team did not have the bandwidth or specialized expertise to lead and implement this project. They needed to staff the project with a bench of specialists who brought experience, insights, and a broad range of skill sets, from leadership and planning to tactical execution. However, it would be costly, time-consuming, and burdensome effort for their in-house human resources and IT teams to find and vet appropriate talent. In addition, given that the engagements would primarily be limited, lasting from several months to a few years, it also did not make sense for the company to hire full-time employees.

The Solution: The Right Resources, at the Right Time, for the Right Investment

While SAP provided high-level consultative services for the project, they referred the company to Baer. As a trusted SAP Gold service partner, we provide comprehensive, ongoing capacity services over the entire lifecycle of the project. First, Baer worked with the company to formulate a strategic, long-term staffing plan for the program that would deliver the right high-level and tactical resources, at the right time, for the right investment.

Then, Baer leveraged their expansive pool of talent with proven experience in SAP S/4HANA Cloud to provide a total of 22 resources over the course of the approximately four-year long project. The staff Baer provided brought skill sets that included finance leadership, project management, enterprise architecture, POS technologists, inventory management, SAP Fiori development, security testing, cutover and release, EDI management, and hard-to-find S/4 Retail CAR specialization.

The Results: Realizing the Full Potential of Their Technology Investment

The company’s greenfield implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud successfully went live on schedule, and the company was able to begin realizing the full potential of their technology investment. Throughout the project, Baer was able to deliver highly specialized, experienced, leadership and technical resources, work within the company’s clearly defined budget constraints, and provide a high degree of staffing stability and continuity.

By selecting Baer as their capacity services partner for their greenfield SAP S/4HANA Cloud implementation, the company benefited from:

  • Straightforward access to highly specialized SAP S/4HANA expertise from a single, trusted source – The company was able to quickly access a broad range of highly specialized skill sets from Baer’s talent pool which enabled their human resources and IT teams to focus on other priorities with limited disruption.
  • Accelerated time to value – Because of their deep expertise, Baer’s staff brought industry insights and SAP S/4HANA solution best practices to the table that accelerated the project, ensured it achieved company and program goals, and minimized risk of costly mistakes and unnecessary customizations.
  • Cost savings – By accessing the most qualified talent through Baer at the appropriate times throughout the project for limited-length engagements, the company realized significant savings relative to the cost of directly hiring FTEs or working with a systems integrator to hire similar talent.
  • Stability and continuity – Because Baer thoroughly evaluated talent before placing them, there was limited attrition, resulting in stability and continuity throughout the project. In addition, the company was able to retain institutional and project knowledge and minimize the lift of hiring resources to staff ongoing management of the software by converting multiple Baer team members to permanent employee status.

To learn more about how Baer can make a positive impact on your SAP S/4HANA Cloud transformation, please reach out to Brian Trout,, Executive Vice President, Sales, or John Wilson, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, at

We look forward to speaking with you and learning about your specific challenges.

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