Close to 300 delegates from all over the world met in July 12-13, 2012 in St. Leon-Rot, Germany for a 2-day event centered on LSPs’ and Carriers’ needs and how SAP software supports them and allows them to Run Better.
I traveled from Miami to the event, located about 10 Kilometers away from SAP Headquarters in Walldorf. The event had a mix of general sessions and 3 tracks (LSPs, Rail, Airlines) populated with interesting presentations from SAP customers in each segment. SAP also shared its Supply Chain Execution strategy and details on the upcoming SAP Transportation Management 9.0 solution. There was an exhibit hall populated with SAP partners - Systems Integrators like GOPA, IBM and Westernacher and B2B networks like Descartes.
My expectations were high, the event blew past them. Here are the highlights.
INTERESTING LEARNINGS FROM 4 SAP TM CUSTOMERS
Among the highlights of the event were the keynotes - one on each day- presented by Linfox Chief Supply Chain Officer and CIO John Ansley and DHL CIO Sylvia Steinmann. I will post blog entries on each of them as their presentations are examples of IT enabled transformation of business leaders focused on remaining successful over the long road.
LINFOX, a gigantic LSP with massive operations in Asia Pacific and Oceania touched on its standardization on the SAP supply chain execution platform as a key pillar to support a business that doubles in size every 5 years. With productive SAP TM 8.1 and EWM environments and an upgrade to version 9.0 in the works, the supply chain execution platform allows them to manage 5000 vehicles and 3.2 million square meters of warehouse space.
DHL, the largest company of its kind with 470,000 employees talked about a strategic change management effort aimed at allowing them to remain leaders in the market in the XXI century. With a strong partnership for SAP at the core of ther strategy, DHL has been collaborating with SAP in the making of SAP Transportation Management 8.1 and 9.0. Ms. Steinmann thanked SAP for its partnership and praised the evolution of the product which is quickly advancing in its support of the full complexity of DHL’s business.
Other very interesting presentations showcased rail players TRENITALIA and CANADIAN PACIFIC.
Mr. Danilo Gismondi, TRENITALIA’s CIO, mentioned how this 37,000 people company uses SAP TM 8.0 to manage its network of 180+ locomotives, 1644 light trains and 36,000 coaches-wagons. The company is undergoing a large project to fully use SAP ECC, CRM, TM, PLM, and Auto-ID systems. TM 8.0 is already implemented and productive.
Mr. Ian MacKay, VP of Customer Services at CANADIAN PACIFIC, talked about their strategic project to improve the lead to cash process. With a multi-year plan, the company wants to standardize and simplify its L2C process by implementing best in class technology that will enable them to deliver “next generation customer experience”. With TM 8.0 already deployed and plans to upgrade to 9.0, the company is already seeing fruits of its collaboration with SAP in the requirements gathering and testing phases of the development of the TM product. CP has taken a leadership role in the Rail Users Group that has collaborated extensive with SAP to ensure TM adequately supports the business processes of the Rail industry.
After the 2 days in this conference, the feedback I got from T&L industry participants was increadibly positive. Many told us that they did not know SAP was a player in the TMS market for T&L and that after what they saw at the event -from SAP and TM live customers- they will definitively take SAP Transportation Management into account for their future plans.