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Supply Chain Management (SAP SCM)

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To finish the series of Q&A blogs on the SAP Supply Chain Control Tower (SCCT) we asked Michael Mack, Solution Manager and Co-Innovation Lead for SCCT, to share with us his views and insights.

 

 

 

Michael Mack.jpg

 

1. How would you define the Supply Chain Control Tower?


The SCCT is an end-to-end visibility solution, that acts like a weather forecast for your supply chain. Any time you look into it, it gives you the accurate statement of the end-to-end chain with suppliers and customers in a multi-tier environment. The Control Tower combines data from supply chain planning, execution, business network and IoT into a single view to help users make decisions and drive actions. The Control Tower provides you with actionable insight with decision proposals, alongside simulation capabilities across the entire supply chain. It also gives external partners an insight into the manufacturer's plans and lets them collaborate on the same contexts.

 

What are the three top capabilities you would seek to gain from a Control Tower?


1. Live data access- provides seamless integration into SAP and non-SAP related tools. As a business user I would like to see the data at the right time, in a harmonized way to make the best informed decisions.

 

2. Decision support- Supply Chain can be quite complex and as a user I don't want to be overwhelmed by information. I want the system to give me an overview of the most pressing issues and suggestions on how I solve these problems. I'd also like to analyse these situations based on financial priorities and the company's revenue goals. In addition, the system should be able to learn from what I did in the past, to provide me with the smartest decisions. For example, if previously I've ran production overtime several times when supply shortages occur, I don't want to see suggestions for expedite deliveries for stock.

 

3. Usability- The user interface should be seamless allowing me to get insight into the current situation, on both mobile or tablet, when I'm on the go. On a morning if I'm on my way into the office, I'd like to see exceptions on my mobile phone and I'd also like to make instant decisions based on suggested options, and to have the ability to connect with other people in the supply chain in an instant way. When I'm in the office environment I'd like to see the relevant data on a powerful desktop environment.

 

 

3. What time horizon would you plan to use a Control Tower for? (Days/ Weeks/ Months)


I see it in the short term horizon, varying from different industries. A good indicator is to use the Control Tower within the frozen lead time of a product so it means when the product is already planned, orders are placed at the supply or internal manufacturing plants. The Control Tower is monitoring and making sure that these customer orders are being delivered on time, in the best way. Across the whole horizon I am able to use the Control Tower to track my performance. With performance control I can do bench marking within my own company but also with my partners e.g. suppliers and the industry.

 

4. What is the role of the Control Tower in relation to Segmentation?

 

Segmentation is really important for big supply chains to handle the whole array of products they have in the right way. For example, a consumer goods company has many products e.g. frozen, organic and general products and each of these must be handled differently. This is really important for the end-to-end planning and execution process. If we segment the products into these categories the entire supply chain should focus on this and should use the same priorities and same rules to generate the highest business benefit. The role of segmentation in the Control Tower needs to be taken together with policy management, so if I have these segments, I need to define rules and priorities for each of the segments and ensure I apply it to all the members. Those policies can be reviewed in a monthly or regular cadence and can follow influences by the product life cycle status, the seasonality and so on.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower and Planning/ Re-planning?

 

The planning and re-planning capability is of up most importance if the supply chain system landscape is fragmented. The Control Tower environment provides an end-to-end view of the whole supply chain situation and allows me to re-plan it. This is especially important if I am making a decision that affects multiple systems so I can try out and simulate assumptions before I go into the detailed systems.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower and Analytics?

 

Analytics are a very important element for the Control Tower. It is far easier to understand data in a graphical way instead of only seeing numbers, and with the Control Tower's analytical capabilities you can create ad hoc charts and analytics when needed for specific situations. It's also also important that the analytics are fast and easy to use on any device.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower and Performance Management?

 

Active performance management is important to track the performance of the supply chain and also to drive immediate actions. As we are now in a society where big data is getting more and more important, I need to track a KPI from the top company/ group level down to the individual sales order item lines and to ensure I measure this in a constant way. It's also important that I am able to collaborate with others on performance management to make improvements.


What is the role of the Control Tower and Collaboration?

 

In the digital age, it's very important to have seamless and fast communication with manufacturers, suppliers and customers. Business networks provide these capabilities of easy on boarding and also many-to-many connectivity. For SCCT there is a high level of inventory visibility of the upstream and downstream supply chain to see where potential issues are. In addition, to these other processes like sharing/ capacity information are very important for an end-to-end visibility tool like supply chain control tower. Imagine that there is a Tier 2 who does not know about the recent manufacturer's production increase. Such unawareness could easily result in a global supply shortage. Here the SCCT should help the manufacturer to identify miss matching plans, help them to be resolved before these issues occur.

 

If you'd like to view previous blogs in the series please click on the links below:

 

Q&A SCCT Interview with Kenton Harmon, SAP Supply Chain Product Manager Click Here

 

Q&A SCCT Interview with Syngenta Cick Here

We are pleased to inform you that SAP Yard Logistics has completed the Early-Adoption-Care Phase and is now generally available for all regions.

 

The SAP Yard Logistics application simplifies truck, container and rail yard management. A graphical layout enables monitoring and visualization of the yard’s actual situation. SAP Yard Logistics offers visibility into inbound and outbound transports, shows alerts as well as exceptions, and supports planned and unplanned yard movements. Services and activities such as cleaning, repair or dangerous goods checks can be applied as well. Through the support of mobile users via smartphones or tablets, slow and inefficient paper-based processes can be eliminated. To also enable a closed loop business process, the built-in connection to billing enables to charge internal and external customers for all activities executed within the yard. SAP Yard Logistics offers flexible deployment options with the SAP Extended Warehouse Management application or as a stand-alone application, to help ensure the best fit with customer’s system landscape.

 

 

At the same time we launched SP1 for SAP Yard Logistics that contains additional functionality in various functional areas. You can handle inbound and outbound processes completely separate which supports more independent planning of incoming and outgoing transports. This includes enhanced possibilities of pick-up and drop-off processes as well as a functionality to create corresponding Inbound Yard Order from Outbound Yard Order and vice versa. The introduced concept of Transportation Unit control ensures the smooth linkage of orders and transportation units. Furthermore, some administrational features like reverse check-in/check-out and a report to upload transportation units to the system round off the solution.

 

For SP1 the participation in the Early-Adoption-Care program is possible but not mandatory.

 

Christian Reinhardt

Product Owner SAP Yard Logistics

Supply Chain Control Tower Q&A Interview

 

 

 

Name: Robert Kepczynski

 

Company: Syngenta

 

Role: Supply Chain Strategy and Design Team

 

Robert Syngenta.jpg

 

How would you define the Supply Chain Control Tower?

In the context of Syngenta and current use cases, we see the Control Tower as an instrument for analytics, reporting, exception management, alerts, and workflow out of an IBP data model.

 

In the mid-term, we would like to define it as an instrument that can read data from external sources (non-IBP). Not data from the customers or suppliers, but our own data from other BI's.

 

 

What are the top capabilities you would seek to gain from a Control Tower?

1. Reporting and analytical capabilities e.g. dashboard, graphical reporting (70% focus)

2. Alerts (30% focus)

 

What time horizon would you plan to use a Control Tower for?

Short to mid-term planning. Would not seek to use the C.T in the long term.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower in relation to Segmentation?

We would like to use the Control Tower for differentiated forecasting.

 

In the context of the C.T, we would use it to define different thresholds for the same KPI, dependant on the product categorization.

 

For example, let's imagine we have two products, Product A and Product C. We are more forgiving on Product C than Product A. Therefore, if the C.T showed us that we have 10 alerts on Product A this would be a major issue, but if we had the same number of alerts on Product C it wouldn't be so much of an issue.

 

In this sense, product categorization would help us to determine where we should focus our attention and how we should operate.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower and Planning/ Re-planning?

We don't see this as so much of a planning instrument. We do not integrate external data from suppliers or customers, so it would not be used as a system of records for planning.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower and Analytics?

We would use the Control Tower's analytical capabilities to help us to gain a correct understanding of where we are and where we should correct our performance.

Following on from this, if we need to take action we would use the tool to help us facilitate collaboration across the different roles.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower and Performance Management?

In relation to performance management, we would use the Control Tower as a global repository of KPIs, relevant for S&OP.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower and Collaboration?

This is an important role, as only a few processes can be corrected without collaboration across a business.

 

We would use a Control Tower to help us to turn the findings that we obtain from our data into action. Therefore, it would not just facilitate interaction across certain groups, but would allow groups to share the same data and work together on the data. From working together, the group would be able to devise a plan to solve the problem, and they could then execute on this.

 

 

 

Other Blogs in this series:

 

To view Kenton Harmon's Blog (Supply Chain Product Manager at SAP) click the link below:

http://scn.sap.com/community/scm/blog/2016/04/11/contol-tower-qa-with-kent-harman

In the spirit of extending the use cases in my book (sap-press.com/4174), I'm going to start blogging interesting questions posed by current and prospective customers as we explore the use of IBP.

 

Hopefully I'll also provide useful answers. Here's the first: "Can SAP IBP perform the $impact analysis based on the unit forecast?" Great question, and of course the answer is "Yes".  But it's not quite that simple.

 

During design, your organization will need to determine how detailed and how accurate you want the financial impact of the plan to be. This raises questions like:

 

  • Do we need to track customer-specific pricing, potentially also with volume discounting, or will an average selling price be sufficient?
  • Do we want to model any concept of price elasticity, where volume might be dependent on pricing, and potentially competitive response?
  • Do we need to include promotional pricing and attendant volume impact?
  • Do we use standard cost or do we want to calculate some level of COGS?
  • Do we attempt to go beyond gross margin and seek to model facility and organizational operating costs that may be impacted by plan alternatives, such as sourcing, overtime, additional shifts....?

 

All valid questions, and all within the capability of an IBP model to address.  But with increased detail in calculation and output comes an associated increased demand for quantity and accuracy in master data.  This is not without a cost.

 

As with alot of IBP modeling decisions, there are tradeoffs and your team will need to face these during the design process.

 

Keep in mind that IBP is not a financial planning tool.  We offer BPC and a separate product called IBP Finance for that.

 

But it does make sense for IBP to have some sense of the financial impact, often just to a level we call "directionally correct" where the plan results move in a manner consistent with enterprise performance but don't need to map directly to AOP (Annual Operating Plan) or other input KPIs.

 

In other cases, particularly where Supply or Inventory Optimization will be enabled, you want to make sure costs are modeled in sufficient detail to enable the optimizer to yield useful results.

 

Regardless, IBP is a tool with the power and flexibility to meet requirements as defined.

 

Enjoy!

In the first of this series of Supply Chain Control Tower Q&A blogs, we asked Kenton Harman, a Supply Chain Product Manager at SAP, to share his insights on the role of the Control Tower and it's key capabilities...

 

 

kenton harmon pic.jpg

 

How would you define the Supply Chain Control Tower?


To summarize, the Control Tower is a solution that helps businesses with their ad hoc planning and execution processes. To elaborate on this a little, when devising planning processes, supply chain professionals often seek to create the "perfect plan". But, as we all know, these often have to be adapted and modified as we must respond to unforeseen events and circumstances that arise.

 

The Control Tower helps users to identify these exceptions, undertake analysis, and devise courses of action which may be outside of our usual planning and execution applications. It also enables users to coordinate activities between individuals and organizations, provides justification for how problems should be solved, and enables users to effective take action.

 

What are the three top capabilities you would seek to gain from using a Control Tower?


1. Exception management across systems of data in order to drive action

2. Aggregated and detailed analytics to uncover problems

3. Driving collaboration and responses to problems

 

What time horizon would you plan to use a Control Tower for? (Days/ Weeks/ Months)

 

The Control Tower is relevant in all time horizons, but the situations that it is used in may change depending on the company or industry.

However, I do think that the Control Tower should primarily be used in circumstances where planning are unable to react to changes, and where ad hoc planning processes could over rule those parameters.

 

Who would be the main users regularly accessing the Control Tower?

 

In my opinion there are two main users.


The first type of users are planners (supply, demand and inventory) who are responsible for formulating a companies planning processes. The second type of users are managers, who oversee aspects of the supply chain organization. For example, coordinators between manufacturing sites and centers of excellence.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower in relation to Segmentation?

The Control Tower collects and brings together information from many sources. As it's important to find the most important or relevant problems, it's segmentation capabilities allows users to cluster data together in ways that allows users to find problems at an aggregate level.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower and Analytics?

The Control Tower enables users to perform analysis on data from a wide array of different sources in a user friendly way, through its simple interface and use of visualizations. Also, with the Control Tower users have the ability to start at a high level and drill town to view data at lower levels in order to understand the factors driving performance.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower and Performance Management?

This is a key role for the solution, as it combines historical data together with future data so users can identify the factors that may impact their future performance levels.

 

What is the role of the Control Tower and Collaboration?

Collaboration is always important when addressing supply chain problems. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to collaborate when we are now faced with increasingly complex networks of trading partners, as these ever-growing chains have now created dependency and relationship gaps. Today, we must rely on others if we are to effectively execute our demand plans.

 

As a result, in many cases, the person who identifies the problem is not the only person that is needed to effectively solve the problem. The Control Tower's collaborative capabilities enables users to share insights and raise issues with other individuals, groups or departments to notify those responsible to take steps to resolve these problems.

 

 

Other blogs in the series:

 

To view Q&A blog with Syngenta on the Control Tower click the link below:

 

http://scn.sap.com/community/scm/blog/2016/04/28/syngenta

Week 3 of Digital Transformation Across the Extended Supply Chain has just started on openSAP and if you haven’t joined already, what are you waiting for?

 

This course covers trends and challenges faced by business executives across the extended supply chain, and how SAP extended supply chain solutions address these challenges. In week 1, learners took the opportunity to learn about:

  • Trends Impacting Demand–Driven Business Planning
  • Importance and Challenges of Demand-Driven Business Planning
  • Sales, Inventory, and Operations Planning
  • Demand Management
  • Demand Network

 

In week 2, the content focused on response and supply orchestration with the following topics included:

  • Trends and Challenges in Response and Supply Orchestration
  • How to Enable the Responsive Demand Network
  • Response and Supply Management
  • Manufacturing Planning and Scheduling
  • Response Network

The topic for week 3 is Efficient Logistics and Order Fulfillment. Here are the units you can look forward to:

  • Unit 1: Trends Impacting Efficient Logistics and Order Fulfillment
  • Unit 2: Importance and Challenges of Efficient Logistics and Order Fulfillment
  • Unit 3: Transportation Management
  • Unit 4: Warehouse Management
  • Unit 5: Logistics Network

 

Learners are taking to the discussion forums to exchange views with their peers and ask questions to SAP experts. And it’s not too late for you to join! You can no longer submit the week 1 and 2 assignments, but you still have the opportunity to earn a Record of Achievement and an openSAP SCN badge! You just need to earn 50% of the course score by completing the week 3 and 4 assignments, along with the final exam.

 

So sign up today and learn how your business can adapt to the digital transformation!

 

****openSAP is accessible by everyone interested in learning about SAP's innovative solutions and how your business can prepare for the digital transformation. Registration, learning content, and assignments are provided free of charge. All you need to sign up is a valid email address. Sign up today at open.sap.com****

Throughout January, learners at openSAP have been getting to grips with how digital transformation is affecting extended supply chain management. Starting March 15, learners will have the opportunity to take a deeper look into the topics with a new course, Digital Transformation Across the Extended Supply Chain.

 

This course will cover trends and challenges faced by business executives across the extended supply chain, and you will learn how SAP extended supply chain solutions address these challenges. The course is structured along the SAP extended supply chain value map. Each week will cover a different business priority of the value map.

  • Demand-Driven Business Planning
  • Response and Supply Orchestration
  • Efficient Logistics and Order Fulfillment
  • Sustainable Product Innovation
  • Automated Agile Manufacturing
  • Operational Excellence

 

Digital Transformation Across the Extended Supply Chain will explain how each of these elements is affecting the supply chain and why your business processes and systems need to evolve to remain competitive in the digital economy. Join the content experts and other learners in the course forum to discuss how your business has changed and ask your peers how they’ve overcome obstacles presented by the digital economy.

 

The course begins March 15 and will run for six weeks. The course is provided free of charge and open to anyone interested in learning about Digital Transformation Across the Extended Supply Chain. The content will be released on a weekly basis over a six week period. You can access the content at any time that suits you. If you would like to earn a Record of Achievement and openSAP SCN badge*, you will need to complete each weekly assignment before its weekly deadline and complete the final exam at the end.

 

*To earn an openSAP SCN badge, you must add your SAP ID to your openSAP profile before the course ends.



You can also earn a Record of Achievement and openSAP SCN badge when successfully completing the following courses:

Build Your Own SAP Fiori App in the Cloud – 2016 Edition

Software Development on SAP HANA (Delta SPS 11)

Implementation of SAP S/4HANA

Implementation Made Simple for SAP SuccessFactors Solutions

Sustainability Through Digital Transformation

The release of SAP IBP6.0, just around the corner, will contain the first release of IBP for Supply and Response.  This will be a landmark in the development of the IBP suite, introducing order level planning capability.  As a result SAP customers will, for the first time, be offered real choices in how they develop their planning application capability. However with choice comes uncertainty, this is especially the case for those who currently run SCM-APO and have developed their supply chain planning processes around this tool set. These organisations should not be alarmed, SAP has committed support of SCM-APO as a component of business suite until at least 2025. However customers should not expect widespread innovation or enhancement. SAP’s vision for IBP however is far broader than delivering a turbo charged version of APO running on HANA. When complete the tool set will, for the first time, provide the basis to integrate strategic, tactical and operational planning, facilitating “full business planning”. IBP is constructed of five modules, two of which; IBP for Sales and Operations and Supply Chain Control Tower, provide end to end planning and monitoring capability. These tools are aimed at supporting management decision making and control, setting the direction for operational plans and supply chain execution. Unsurprisingly, these are also the two modules that SAP focused on first when developing the product.

SCM Roadmap Overview Diagram v3.0.PNG

IBP for Sales and Operations and Supply Chain Control Tower provide end to end planning and monitoring capability

 

Those familiar with SCM-APO will know that this type of decision support is not a strength of the tool, the ability to quickly model alternative options, understand the financial impact and the resulting KPIs are all near the top of the list when clients discuss what they wanted from their APO implementation but have struggled to achieve. The reality is APO continues to offer strong core operational planning engines, but over the years has fallen behind competing products, in terms of decision support, analytics and the user experience. In terms of capability to model large, complex supply chains and to quickly and consistently navigate through multiple views large volumes of data SAP recognised the advantage of waiting for the HANA architecture to be available. Now that it is they have addressed these historical weaknesses head-on with Supply Chain Control Tower (SCT) and IBP for Sales and Operations.


Supply Chain Control Tower

The first thing users will notice with SCT and all IBP modules is that the browser based interface is transformed from the cluttered interface that ECC and SCM users are used to.  It is much more akin to a consumer IT interface, suitable for occasional as well as regular users. The control tower is designed to collate data and events from across the extended supply chain, from planning and execution applications. Giving supply chain controllers an insight both upstream and downstream and across multiple markets and regions within the enterprise. As well as configurable KPIs, alerts are provided to trigger analysis and case management tools available to track interventions.


SCT 1 v1.0.PNG

IBP for Sales and Operations

IBP4.0, released in early 2015, heralded the arrival of a much more complete, mature version of IBP for Sales and Operations.  The application allows organisations to model their existing S&OP process and configure dashboards and analytics to support each step of the decision making cycle.

As well as integration to SCM-APO, and ERP systems to extract operational planning data, it is possible to generate and evaluate demand and supply plans on the fly[1]. In the majority of use cases this will be at an aggregated level, over a longer term horizon, aimed at supporting the strategic and tactical decisions made within a typical S&OP process. However the HANA architecture allows data to be stored at the level of granularity required to be consistent with the operational plan. Simulation capability along with the ability to model the top and bottom line impact of alternative decision options sets the product apart from the any SCM-APO or BI based S&OP support tools. In addition SAP’s collaboration tool JAM, is integrated offering the capability to manage and record the decision making workflow allowing the full S&OP meeting cycle to be systemised. JAM is however licensed as a separate application.

 

In terms of the planner’s user experience IBP for Sales and Operations offers an Excel based user interface for the detailed planning work, data from this interface is stored directly in the IBP HANA data model, offering the presentation style and flexibility that planners demand without compromising data integrity.

S&OP 1 v1.0.PNG

Whilst IBP for Sales and Operations and Supply Chain Control Tower are both now complete, “customer ready” products they are in the early stages of their lifecycle, customers should not underestimate the effort required to establish tight integration to mature SCM and ECC installations and to develop a well-tuned, process orientated data model.


Beyond Supply Chain Control Tower and IBP for Sales and Operations the differentiated capability of the remaining IBP modules is less clear. These modules all directly address functions that are already encompassed, in someway, within SCM-APO or within Enterprise Inventory and Service (formerly SmartOps Inventory Optimisation). There are specific enhanced capabilities in all areas, and the browser UI combined with the Excel plug-in, which is available in all modules will appeal to many customers. However customers who run demand and supply planning within SCM-APO should take care that in the short-term they do not lose capabilities which are tried and tested. For these customers the option exists to pick and choose selected additional capabilities as they mature, but in the short term continue to run core operational planning processes within their SCM-APO environment. The table below summarise the key differentiated capabilities for IBP for Demand, for Inventory and for Supply and Response with alternative, more established SAP solutions.

Table v1.0.PNG

This summary reflects the anticipated solution capability as of the release of IBP6.0.  It is expected that IBP capability within operational planning will develop significantly in subsequent releases throughout 2016 and 2017.

 

Of course one of the key choices facing customers is whether they wish their planning applications to run in the cloud or to run in an on-premise solution. IBP is only currently available as a cloud service whereas the majority of the established SCM and EIS solutions are deployed on-premise.

 

So where does this leave SCM-APO customers?

First and foremost the developing maturity of the IBP tool set, combined with the SAP’s commitment to SCM through to at least 2025 means their customers have choices. Those who identify which elements of IBP offer them a step change in capability and as a result are able to take a step towards “full business planning” will steal a march. It is likely that greatest advantage is to be gained from improved decision support tools followed by selective enhancement of the core planning capabilities. It could be a number of years and several releases before the migration of entire operational planning processes to IBP becomes an option for those with complex supply chains and advanced tools in place today. Furthermore in the end state it is quite likely that some of the very near term functions, such as manufacturing schedule optimisation will continue to be supported outside of IBP. Therefore the ability to weave these processes and solutions together, with consistent data models and integrated processes will become the key to success. Here the HANA integration layer (HCI) and the degree that integration is “out of the box” becomes central to the speed of benefits delivery.

 

Whilst there is no single route that will suit all customers a possible road map could encompass the following phases;

 

SCM Roadmap Steps 1 and 2 v3.0.PNG

SCM Roadmap Steps 3 and 4 v4.0.PNG

 

Organisations will find their own path, many may take a number of smaller steps within any of the phases above or even skip a phase entirely.  Those that recognise the choices that are now available and plot a route which maintains the integrity core planning processes whilst leaving room to benefit from new capabilities as they mature will find the journey most rewarding.

 


[1] Readers should refer to OSS note 2076414 for guidance on the applications required to support this capability



December. A month we once again find ourselves pondering over the mystery of Santa Claus. For centuries Mr Claus has had an unblemished reputation for "delivering to promise". But how is he able to do so? How is he able to manage a complex and globalised supply chain which consistently delights those on the 'nice list' year after year? In this blog we will uncover a major secret underpinning his Supply Chain success...

 

In recent years, due to increasing population levels it is believed Mr Claus has had to expand his production. No longer does he solely rely upon his little helpers but instead he relies upon suppliers outside of the North Pole. Whilst this outsourcing has enabled Santa to ensure he can meet demands, this has also created difficulties as he must effectively collaborate and communicate with external suppliers across the globe to ensure that they are operating efficiently and will be able to deliver the goods required. With SAP's Supply Chain Control Tower, Santa is able to overcome these challenges. The device enables users to communicate in real-time both internally and externally to track performance and communicate with users.

 

Another challenge Santa faces is how to make sense of all the data compiled within each letter? Every year Santa receives billions of requests from boys and girls all over the world, but with every name on the 'naughty' or 'nice' list is a specific order which must effectively fulfilled. Once again, the Control Tower assist Santa in overcoming his challenges. The device integrates all data from various sources into a single view, to improve Santa's accuracy and decision making capabilities. With the help of the Control Tower, Santa no longer needs to maintain his list and 'check it twice'

 

In addition, with help from the Control Tower Santa is able to carry out "what-if" planning analysis across internal and external systems. This enables both Santa and his helpers to test the future impact of their decisions and enables them to compare different scenarios in a simple and flexible manner. For example, with "what-if" capabilities, Santa can check whether supply is guaranteed when snow is on the road.

 

Inventory shortages are one of the most common challenges encountered by firms and for Mr Claus this is no exception. If there is a spike in demand for the latest Star Wars toys, the Control Tower detects this and informs Santa of the change. Santa is able to action and can inform his elves to increase their production volume to ensure those on the "nice list" are given their desired gifts. With the Control Tower's Smart Alert and Exception Management capabilities users can uncover trends and patterns in an adhoc and empowered manner as a result, potential disasters can be overcome.

 

So, whilst time zones may arguably help Santa to ensure he delivers presents to every boy and girl across the world, the critical enables in his is technology. Without Santa's technological advancements, his requirements to deliver presents to billions of people across the world would not be possible. With the Control Tower and its global end-to-end visibility Santa is able to effectively predict, control and monitor his operations and is able to uphold his reputation for delivering superior customer service.

 

 

Christmas Tree.png

At openSAP in 2015, we looked at a number of aspects of digital transformation on openSAP. We started off with Digital Transformation and Its Impact and closed with Leadership in Digital Transformation. To kick start 2016, we’re going to take a closer look at the specifics of Digital Transformation Across the Extended Supply Chain – In a Nutshell

 

Supply Chain Management has been an important element of business in the past and will retain its value throughout the digital transformation and beyond. But how has digitization impacted the supply chain and what do you need to know? There are four main elements affecting the supply chain; resource scarcity, individualized products, sharing economy, and customer centricity.

 

This course will explain how each of these elements is affecting the supply chain and why your business processes and systems need to evolve to remain competitive in the digital economy. Join the content experts and other learners in the course forum to discuss how your business has changed and ask your peers how they’ve overcome obstacles presented by the digital economy.

 

The course begins January 11 and contains four hours of content in total. The forum and assignment will remain open for four weeks to give you the chance to get involved in the discussion and earn your Record of Achievement. Sign up for free today and get ready to start 2016 with a head start on digital transformation across the extended supply chain!




openSAP courses are free of charge and open to everyone. All you need to sign up is a valid email address.


Other courses now open for enrollment

Text Analytics with SAP HANA Platform

Reporting with SAP Business ByDesign

Sustainability Through Digital Transformation

Build Your Own SAP Fiori App in the Cloud – 2016 Edition

SIT (SAP Inside Track) 2015 event was one of the most interesting events one should have ever attended. We can say people who have attended this event for them it would be turning point in their SAP careers and open window for next generation SAP consultants.

 

IT was Saturday perfect sunny day of winter, good weather to go hiking, trekking or just outing with family. But scene at Deloitte Hyderabad office was different, we would passionate SAP Professionals from various IT forms from all levels (approx. 300+) sharp at 8:30 a.m. ready to explore SAP world.( absolutely with no regrets)

 

I liked the Mantra given by speaker from SAP labs: UNLEARN, LEARN, RELEARN

He also mentioned to redefine business processes we need to reimagine business model, following principles I found very useful to do so--Intelligence, Agility, Openness, Individuality, Empathy, Elasticity & Scalability and Continuity.

 

Future of IT was explained with examples in detail presentation, I captured following points thought to be helpful to share:

1. Software=Network by open platform

2. One cannot do it all alone

3. Basis of completion--Consumer experience

4. Cloud first mindset

5. Highly modular and scalable software

6. Software is moving from business documentation to business decision and outcome.

 

With powerful presentation by SAP lab speaker, inspiring messages by Deloitte Senior Managers and motivational speech by Deloitte Director we kick off this event, sessions starting from 10 a.m. for 6 tracks--Finance, Logistics, Development, UX and Mobility, Infrastructure and Data & reporting, in all 36 topics presented by 44 speakers.

 

SAP HANA was all over, covered in all topics, from Logistics perspective some of the interesting topics were:

  • MRP live on HANA S/4, very interesting and useful change over by SAP on MRP. I believe all MRP controller would love this avatar of MRP Live not only providing more information, user friendly screens but all more control.
  • IOT (Internet of things) possibilities with retail--this session really allowed you to stretch your brain capability to extreme levels, rather I would say you enter into different world of possibilities, sharing information between any thing, action based on information share and automation to the extend which we never thought, all mind blowing
  • S/4 HANA new functionality in Logistics and Manufacturing processes--in 40 min these consultants were able to make an impact that this is what we need to run future business
  • ARIBA is the future of procurement, we all new that and read, got to know from lot of sources, but I started believing after this session of PO invoice automation with ARIBA.
  • Enterprise Inventory with service level optimization was one of my interest area where planning is involved to calculate stock to be available just in time, at right place with right quantity, Consultants did their best to present with lot of examples and engage audience with stories, but frankly if you are not MRP guy or planner you will get bore. While I truly enjoyed this session  understanding new possibilities of service level optimization.

I can conclude this event as very successful, well organized, specialized speakers, opportunity to network with industry leaders, sessions selected thoughtfully and arranged in proper sequence, very good infrastructure, SPOC always available for any information, total support from volunteers and yes very important, Yummy food

If my family’s buying habits are any indication, Omni-channel Marketing and Commerce are the two most important things that retailers and consumer product companies should be working on right now. Today being Cyber Monday, Omni-channel Commerce is the topic du jour.

The essence of Omni-channel Commerce is to allow customers to buy products anywhere at anytime and let the customer get the product(s) in the most convenient manner as soon as possible. It certainly takes more than building and deploying a responsive and scalable commerce website and mobile application to support Omni-channel Commerce profitably.

While Omni-channel Commerce is clearly essential for retailers amid the onslaught of Amazon and other pure-play e-tailers, it is also increasingly necessary for consumer products companies and brand owners. Take for example Dollar Shave Club, which is boisterously attacking the mens’ shaving category. It is an unusual and potentially profit-sapping competition for a company like Gillette, a division of P&G, which relies primarily on traditional retail distribution channels. Gillette might lose marketshare and mindshare if it does not respond to competition from the likes of Dollar Shave Club. These type of competitive puzzles abound in many Consumer and Business-to-Business product categories.

The answer clearly for retailers and brand owners is to develop Omni-channel Commerce capabilities, continually experiment and improve those capabilities. They key goal, of course, is to support Omni-channel Commerce profitably. The Webvan debacle of dot com era continues to cast an ominous shadow, however. Fortunately and thanks to the likes of Uber, Google Express, Postmates and Deliv, the last mile ecosystem to support Omni-channel Commerce is getting better, ubiquitous and cheaper.

At the same time, the design and implementation of the rest of the supply chain, including distribution centers, transportation options, inventory placement, is just as crucial to ensure profitable Omni-channel Commerce. The picture below shows a highly simplified supply chain designed to support Omni-channel Commerce (and/or a consumer product company that is operating in an Omni-channel environment).

your-omni-channel-is-only-as-good-as-your-supply-chain.png

It is clear that behind the glossy and responsive website and mobile application is a substantial real world infrastructure that makes Omni-channel Commerce possible. The key, however, is to have a supply chain that can fulfill the promise of Omni-channel Commerce profitably.  Omni-channel Commerce adds a number of complexities that are usually not present in traditional retail or pure e-tail channels, including

  • Order online and pick up from store
  • Product availability in stores for online order fulfillment
  • Integration of non-traditional, low cost last mile delivery options
  • Inventory positioning
  • Retail store as a warehouse
  • Returns processing
  • Short-term inventory rebalancing


High customer acquisition costs and logistics costs continue to make life difficult for pure play e-tailers as they struggle to earn a reasonable return on investment. On the other hand, a well designed and operated Supply Chain for Omni-channel Commerce builds on the strengths of traditional retailers and provides a competitive edge that cannot easily be replicated by pure play e-tailers or category specialists like Dollar Shave Club.

Implementing multi-stage inventory optimization successfully requires centralization, harmonization and cleansing of data. Success involves developing a robust baseline of the current situation and compare against optimization application results.  However, companies can face challenges capturing such robust baseline. For instance, at times, business data reports capture incomplete inventory data such as total and not by product, limited to units of measures or currency, not available in some locations/nodes of the supply chain, or measured in purchasing costs.

 

As shown in the supply chain network graph drawn directly from the data, the ABC Supply Chain Network services five customers from three packaging / finished goods warehouses and supplied by one raw material warehouse. .  Reported inventory data at the raw material warehouse only include total monetary value expressed in currency, not by raw material product nor in units.  While, the processing/finished goods warehouses have inventory data by product in different units of measure, but they are missing the monetary value of such.

 

2015-11-25_13-12-17.png

 

 

In such cases, multi-stage inventory optimization applications like SAP Integrated Business Planning for inventory (http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-65688) can help companies capturing incomplete data.  How?

  • SAP integrated Business Planning for inventory offers single-stage inventory optimization that produces target inventory recommendations for selected nodes in the supply chain network.
  • That is, for each individual node of the supply chain with incomplete inventory data, a company can run a single-stage optimization in order to produce the missing data expressed in units, velocity (days of supply) and/or value (currency).
  • With the resulting single-stage optimization data, the company can complete a robust inventory data baseline needed for bench-marking against the results of implementing a multi-stage inventory optimization of its end-to-end supply chain network.

On November 20, as part of our transportation & logistics platform, we have launched the first release of SAP Yard Logistics. Yard Logistics enable companies to connect to activity in the yard, on the docks, and at the gates – improving the flow of goods in and out of the facility. It gives companies visibility to the whole process from the time goods arrived in the yard to the time they were unloaded.

 

SAP Yard Logistics is based on the SAP HANA / Legacy Database and is integrated with the SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM) and SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) applications for a logistics fulfillment platform. The solution helps prioritize shipment arrivals, identify trailer contents, manage yard jockey activity, standardize yard processes, reduce the time needed to allocate vehicles to loads, and avoid unnecessary vehicle movements. Our SAP solution supports mobile users and is integrated with charge calculation and settlement in SAP TM. A graphical layout enables monitoring, visualization of the yard’s actual situation.  By an easy to use desktop and mobile UI the business user is supported in deciding and taking immediate actions known as “see and act “.

 

20-11-2015 10-43-06.png

 

Objectives

  • Increase visibility of all yard processes
  • Improve efficiency for user roles such as dispatchers; truck, train, and vessel drivers; the internal and external workforce; and security
  • Provide planning, execution, and settlement functionality in one central system
  • Integrate with existing business processes

 

Solution

  • Simple-to-adapt yard processes for different means of transports
  • Integration with the SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM) and SAP Extended Warehouse Management applications for a logistics fulfillment platform
  • Integration with charge calculation and settlement in SAP TM
  • Support for mobile users
  • Flexible deployment scenarios

 

Benefits

  • Comprehensive, scalable yard management
  • Faster speed of operation with intuitive UIs and mobile access
  • Reduced paper-based work
  • One central system for all various yards, integrated to existing landscape

 

For more details please refer to http://help.sap.com/yl  or get in contanct with me.

 

Christian Reinhardt

christian.reinhardt@sap.com

Product Owner SAP Yard Logistics

Digitization will reinvent the world economy; individuals, businesses and societies are becoming interconnected in real time, leading to a new Digital Economy that is more collaborative, intelligent, responsive, and efficient with dramatic increases in productivity and economic value.

The Digital Economy will transform the way we live and work, how business runs, and how society functions – and do this in a time frame that is radically shorter than any other major economic transition in history.

 

Over the past few years, networks have evolved that have connected individuals, groups and organizations.  We started with “People Networks” like Facebook and linked in. This was followed by “business Networks” such as the Ariba business network.  The IoT made these networks even more connected by bringing connectivity to literally “everything”.

 

This has resulted in a new digital economy where:

  • Everything is becoming digitized
  • Everything, and everyone is connected
  • Everything is being shared via the cloud
  • Everything is now personalized
  • Everything is directly available

 

There are many examples in business today:

  • Uber is the world’s largest taxi company but owns no taxis.
  • Airbnb is the largest accommodation provider but owns no real estate
  • Alibaba is the world’s largest e-commerce company but owns no inventory
  • Netflix is the world’s largest movie house but owns no cinemas
  • Apple is the world’s largest music distributor but owns no music
  • Amazon is the world’s largest book distributor but owns no books

 

 

To be in a position to capture and create these opportunities, companies must develop an environment in which they can manage information and processes across the extended supply chain.

 

This new evolution of supply chains are more connected, more intelligent, more responsive and more predictive. This transformation has, and will continue to, transform the business processes and systems that are required to remain competitive. It will change how we design, plan, respond, make, ship and operate our products and assets.

 

SAP is conducting a research study to determine where companies are in their journey to "Digitize the Extended Supply Chain" with the goal of determining how companies can capture and leverage big data to determine:

 

  • How far is your enterprise with the Digital Transformation?
  • Where do you get started?
  • What benefits do you expect?

 

 

The findings results will be published in December. 

 

To take part in the discussion click here.

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