Instruction management in retail

Digital instruction processes on the basis of an SAP AddOn

Company / Industry
dm-drogerie markt GmbH + Co. KG / Retail

Range of services
The first dm store opened in Karlsruhe in 1973. Today dm is present in 13 European countries with more than 3,500 stores. In order to turn shopping at dm into an experience, around 61,700 employees work in Europe - around 41,300 of them in Germany.


Career (incl. Quick Apply)

Occupational health and safety laws, regulations of professional associations and internal company guidelines: In companies, instruction and training must be carried out regularly and verifiably. The regulations specify in detail what has to be observed in everyday life, for example, so that employees are not exposed to unnecessary risks. They are also followed by regulations on how companies must instruct and train their employees in occupational safety. Often this is still done on paper - but with large numbers of employees, this can quickly become an obstacle to process organization. In cooperation with an IT consulting firm specializing in SAP cloud solutions for HR (SAP SuccessFactors) and SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM), a retail company in the drugstore sector has now completely digitized and largely automated its instruction processes. This means that the processes can now also be run on mobile devices. 

dm-drogerie markt is now present in 13 European countries with more than 3,500 stores, more than 1,950 of which are located in Germany. Of the approximately 61,000 employees, over 40,000 work in Germany. With these, dm cultivates a corporate culture that focuses in particular on social, economic and ecological sustainability and on a high potential for identification with the company. It is in this spirit that dm also organises its training and instruction. The aim is also to achieve the best possible efficiency and simplicity of application.


At dm in Germany, a fixed process defines at what point and what time time which instructions are to be given in the dm stores and the head office. On average, 15 instruction documents must be confirmed per employee per year. This means that around 600,000 signatures are required. In addition to the security instructions, internal company regulations such as cashier's instructions, which specify how the cashier processes are to be carried out, data protection declarations or instructions on how to behave in the event of a robbery are also included. 

extreme reduction of the administration effort


digitised instructions per employee per year
total transparency in every step of the process

Automation is needed for order with a system

The personnel officers have more than enough to do - but were unable to devote themselves to the important tasks of personnel development, analysis and strategic planning. This was because the previous system had reached its limits: All applicant data first had to be transferred manually. This required a lot of time, which was then lacking for the actual tasks of the HR department. Another problem was the lack of transparency: "How long do we need on average to fill a position? Do our ads really reach our target group of applicants, for example IT specialists? We couldn't answer such fundamental questions with the existing system", says Julia Kretzdorn, HR specialist and responsible for recruiting at Sortimo. "We wanted to become better and more efficient at all costs, so we needed a system that also included analyses and target-performance comparisons".


Therefore they were looking for a new solution. Since SAP was already in use throughout the company, the choice fell on SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting. The cloud-based recruiting system offers a holistic and consistent application for personnel recruitment with integrated selection and analysis tools. Applicants can be reached individually via classic job portals as well as via social networks.


The Munich-based IT consultancy projekt0708 was able to convince as a partner for the implementation with specialist knowledge and customer orientation. The managing directors themselves came to Zusmarshausen for an all-day preliminary appointment. "They took this time to first discuss all SAP problems with us in detail", explains HR manager Martin Troschke and mentions another criteria: "With partner projects it is important for us to have a contact person throughout the entire project". This condition was also fulfilled with the assignment of senior consultant Robert Fieser as project manager on the part of projekt0708.

After the kick-off at the beginning of October 2017 the project could start. The schedule was demanding: Within 6 months, not only SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting was to be introduced in the company, but also a completely new career website, also based on the software, was to be created in parallel. This required a lot of preparation and work, also on the customer side, as well as intensive internal cooperation with the marketing and IT managers.


Right from the start, the service providers relied on regular communication for their work in the joint project team: In weekly calls, upcoming questions and the status of task completion were discussed - making work easier for the users and also a clear advantage in the evaluation.

„This solution relieves us significantly, as we no longer have to worry about time, scope and content in the day-to-day running of a store.”
Store manager Christina Salamone-Schmitt

Paper-based process is completely digitalised

These legal and company instructions were originally all confirmed on paper with signatures. The documentation was  not centralized, but was stored in folders in the dm stores on site. This had the consequence that the execution of the instructions varied in the stores. As a result the responsible department for occupational safety could not identify at first glance whether, e.g. the most recent version of an instruction had already been carried out by all stores. In the case of audits and revisions, it was also necessary to tediously search for the latest documents from the paper files. dm wanted to convert this time-consuming manual process into an electronic, audit-proof and location-independent technology. "This solution relieves us significantly, as we no longer have to worry about time, scope and content in the day-to-day running of the branch," says branch manager Christina Salamone-Schmitt.

Additionally, to be able to map the instruction in a completely digitalized and automated process, dm also wanted documentation in the leading human resources management system SAP HCM, which can also be used for central evaluation. Since the store managers are responsible for carrying out the instructions, they can use the evaluations to track who has taken note of the required instructions. A further requirement was that the solution should be mobile. Starting in the second half of 2017, all store employees at dm were equipped with a smartphone as a central work tool. The documentation of the given instructions had to fit into this mobile strategy and should be completely handled via the smartphone.

Solution with the latest user interface technology

„The solution for the employees is state of the art in terms of look and feel.”
Michael Scheffler, Managing Partner, projekt0708


In mid-July 2018, dm itself created a technical concept on how to implement the instruction in terms of processes. On this basis, a technical concept for the implementation was created with projekt0708. The existing process know-how was already high: dm had years of experience in how such instructions could be handled technically. Together, a solution was then developed that completely mapped all requirements.

SAP's latest user interface (UI) technology, SAP Fiori, was used. "The solution for the employees is state of the art in terms of look and feel," says projekt0708 managing director Michael Scheffler. The addons go-live was in mid-February 2019.

Employees can read through the instructions and confirm them via the app on their mobile devices. The processing of the instruction documents takes place completely digitally. The solution fits seamlessly into the existing environment and is thus embedded in the overall dm strategy. As a true on-stop-shop solution, employees can find almost all the applications they need for daily use in Fiori, including, for example, various applications from HR or merchandise management. The user does not see which systems are running in the background and can switch applications accessible (barrier-free) without having to re-authenticate. This increases user-friendliness and the employees in the dm stores have quick access to all necessary information when talking to customers.

Addon is self-explanatory and intuitive to use

The usability of the solution was also important for dm. It had to be self-explanatory and intuitive to use. Employees receive a user introduction to the add-on via electronic handouts and small application videos.

In addition to the mobile-capable solution that fits into the Fiori strategy and embeds itself in the existing technology, the administration of the add-on is also easy to use. "The annual administration effort was reduced from about 10 to one or two person days," says Ingo Chmielewski, process manager for the solution in the Employees department at dm.

During development, projekt0708 also integrated an ILM functionality so that data archiving can be carried out in a DSGVO and audit-compliant manner and rule-based reports and archiving of transaction data are possible. Through the collaboration with projekt0708 and the new perspective gained as a result, dm was also able to further optimise internal processes.

Additional development is brought to the market together

projekt0708 and dmTECH will continue to cooperate in the future. The additional development Digital Instructions Addon is also offered to other SAP user companies as a joint software product on the market. In this way, other customers will have the opportunity to benefit from the existing process know-how and receive a technically mature state-of-the-art solution. The next rollout step is the introduction of the add-on this year for dm in Austria.

„The cooperation with projekt0708 was exemplary. It is amazing that a remote project of such complexity worked so well. Furthermore, the solution is controlled by simple customising and ensures complete transparency in every single step of the process."
Andreas Gessner, IT Division Manager at dmTECH
+49 (0)89. 46 13 23 - 27
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