SAPinsider SCM Conference: Digital Transformation, IoT, and S/4HANA
by Josh Roffman, on March 14, 2017
Last week’s SAPinsider Supply Chain Management Conference in Orlando brought together leaders in supply chain from many of the largest companies in the world that run their businesses using SAP. Digital Transformation, Internet of Things (IoT), and the S/4HANA were the pervasive themes for this event which attracts a couple thousand SAP customers from around the globe.
The event started with a keynote by Volker Hildenbrand (Global Vice President, SAP) and Hans Thalbauer (Senior Vice President, SAP) both of whom spoke about how Digital Transformation is changing today’s business, manufacturing and the supply chain. This Digital Transformation has had wide-reaching effects, from the disruptive nature of digital business models across industries, to changing customer expectations and new realities around consumption of services versus products. Not unlike the Bi-Modal Supply Chain that Gartner has touted, the convergence of digital and the physical worlds has changed expectations for companies, their customers and consumers alike. In today’s digital economy, there is an expectation of speed and responsiveness across whatever channel customers are interacting with, whether it is physical or digital. At the same time, IoT is having a dramatic impact on visibility and information available about goods as they are passing through manufacturing and the supply chain based on the use of sensors and other forms of connected technologies.
The digital transformation also aligns with where SAP is leading its customers with SAP® S/4HANA, SAP’s in-memory ERP suite, as their digital core. SAP is leveraging the HANA platform, the cloud and S/4HANA as vehicles to support evolving business models, embrace the IoT, and improve access to and usability of actionable data and analytics for improved business outcomes. As we’ve noted in previous posts, another key enabler in this digital transformation is labeling, which is something that SAP customers need to keep in mind as they look to adopt SAP’s new digital core. Regardless of whether a company deploys SAP on premise or in the cloud, or using ECC or S/4HANA, labels still need to be generated on boxes, cartons, pallets, and crates to serve as a product’s passport through a global supply chain. As such, labeling needs to be part of a company’s journey to S/4HANA—regardless of it being a new implementation or a migration from an existing ECC deployment.
The key to ensure that labeling is accounted for in all scenarios is to leverage an Enterprise Labeling Solution that meets your business requirements, has certified integration with SAP, and can integrate with your SAP environment regardless of the version or deployment model you adopt. An Enterprise Labeling Solution for SAP like Loftware Spectrum® offers multiple integration options that leverage SAP’s Extended Output Management interface (BC-XOM) while supporting cloud or on-premise deployments. No matter which deployment method, it’s vital that you support labeling from your SAP environment today and in the future. So as your company charts its course through digital transformation and towards S/4HANA, make sure that you plan for enterprise labeling as part of that journey.
Click here to learn from Perrigo—a leading global provider of over-the-counter pharmaceutical products—which has been able to centralize and streamline barcode labeling in SAP. See how it has successfully addressed evolving regulations, growing global distribution channels, and increasing customer demands to improve supply chain efficiency.