Executive Insight: SAP Manufacturing Industry Customer Value Network Forum

Last week I attended the SAP Manufacturing Industry Customer Value Network Forum in Chicago. It was an outstanding event attended by over 400 people including SAP Manufacturing Experts, Partners, and over 100 customers. I was blown away by the depth, breadth and variety of companies, as well as solutions and people who attended. SAP showed is expertise and leadership in the area of manufacturing with solutions such as Supply Chain Management, Asset Management and Environmental, Health and Safety. Three major themes came out of the conference:

  • Mobility

  • Analytics

  • HANA

In the area of mobility, it is all about three key trends; such as, how aging of the workforce is a big issue. How do you take people for whom the internet is new and help them understand mobility and their role? An amazing demonstration of this was via the SAP Syclo team that used a hardened mobile device to enable a field service tech to link into a seasoned veteran working from home. The field rep was able to not only show pictures of a pump, but allow the seasoned vet to “listen” to the pump. Together they were able to diagnose and solve a problem through teamwork and using this mobile device as a medium.

True mobility is about the enablement of the newest revolution – the “Connectedness Revolution”. It is estimated that in 2015 over 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet and that 90 plus percent will be machine to machine. Devices talking to one another and sharing information without human intervention or direction, and the scope will be unbelievable – Yotibytes or 1 billion Petabytes of information exchanged and collected in weeks and days. Analyzing and reacting to this will require computing capability only available in the most powerful computers and through revolutionary data platforms like SAP HANA.

Analytics will be the key to any company’s success in the future. Whether through MII or traditional Business Intelligence, companies must have strong analytics capabilities. SAP stated that 77% of high performance companies have superior analytics. With HANA and SAP Analytics companies can make decisions real time, accelerate business performance, unlock new insights, increase productivity, and improve IT efficiency.

HANA – is everywhere. It not only enables companies to run multiple scenarios but allows them to get ahead of the game using Predictive Analytics to anticipate solutions and provide improved sourcing and manufacturing capabilities. Several companies spoke about how the combination of SAP HANA and applications such as MII, APO, and MRP were not only able to react to changing markets quickly, but save millions of dollars in stock outages, shipping costs and inventory carrying costs. In addition, by merging SAP HANA with traditional manufacturing solutions and social networking, SAP has positioned itself as a leader in solutions such as Demand Signal Management.

DSM, powered by SAP HANA, minimizes lost revenue from out-of-stock situations, failed product launches, and is able to track the success of promotions. This is done by using external market research data, market insights, and social networking to gather information about trends and reactions to product introductions and sales. Leveraging the power of SAP HANA’s massive amounts of structured and unstructured data can be gathered, analyzed, and presented to allow companies to react quickly to real time marketing activity.

The world of manufacturing is changing and SAP is at the forefront.