Your Supply Chain is Changing – but So is SAP
by Maureen Perroni, on March 10, 2020
Today’s supply chains need to meet ever greater demands for speed, accuracy, and regulatory compliance. Customers don’t just want their products faster – their needs change faster as well. As companies react or anticipate these needs, they need to be attuned to the needs of regulators as well. In 2018, 65 percent of supply chain professionals said that new regulations posed a business risk.
As a result of this environment, companies have adopted SAP en masse. According to Gartner, SAP remains number one in market share for supply chain applications, and 22 out of 25 top supply chain companies use some form of SAP. SAP doesn’t just streamline supply chain management – it also integrates with Enterprise Labeling applications to help companies deliver their products in a way that’s both agile and compliant.
To be even more competitive, companies need to leverage their SAP deployment a step further and ensure that they integrated their labeling with SAP. This helps ensure that their products get where they need to go when they need to get there. But what are the benefits of SAP integration, and how can you ensure that this integration remains useful to you in the future? We’ll explain…
Why Integrate Your Enterprise Labeling with SAP?
Short answer: supply chains are becoming more complex, but SAP helps companies handle complex situations.
If you need to integrate products from multiple manufacturers via multiple logistics companies, SAP works with you. If these partners are in different cities, countries, or continents, SAP works with you. SAP responds fast enough to work with you if your customers suddenly change their requirements, including if they need fulfillment and distribution according to an ecommerce model. No matter where your products lie within your supply chain, SAP can help you find them. This functionality extends to labels as well.
An Enterprise Labeling solution, when correctly integrated with SAP, can pull a wide variety of information from the database. This includes any variable data, such as shipping addresses, regulatory information, handling instructions, safety information, and more. Your Enterprise Labeling solution will use SAP as a source of truth, pulling information from the program and sending it along to your printers.
As good as this all is, there’s one problem you’re going to have to reckon with in the very near future. SAP has dramatically changed its service model in the form of its newest edition, S4/HANA.
SAP is Changing – Can You Change with It?
Supply chains aren’t the only things that are changing. SAP has changed also, and enterprises are running out of time to change with it. SAP will end support for This may seem like a long way off, but in companies where SAP is deeply tied into infrastructure planning and tracking, it may be barely enough time. How can companies pivot their labeling strategy to mesh with the new version of SAP?
First, they need to understand that some features are going away. Enterprises sometimes use SAP to create labels directly using its SmartForms and SAPscript features. Unfortunately, these features are being depreciated in SAP S4/HANA, which means that users will have to find another software workaround to meet their needs.
Although this might come as unwelcome surprise, creating labels directly within SAP has been growing more complicated for years. It now requires considerable institutional expertise, and if you don’t have that, it also requires time and money. In addition, printing directly from SAP has traditionally required an ever-expanding number of print servers, which are also notoriously complex to run and maintain. In short, although the elimination of print features from SAP might come as a short term frustration, there will be other options available that are designed to collect information directly from S4/HANA in a simple, scalable, and compliant manner.
Adapt to a Changing World and Changing ERP Solutions with Loftware
When you integrate SAP with the right Enterprise Labeling solution, you get a solution that can solve real challenges in the logistics industry.
Loftware Spectrum®, is an SAP certified enterprise labeling solution that is specifically designed to work with S/4HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA and SAP ECC. Loftware offers the SAP integrations you need in order to streamline your global supply chain, improve your bottom line, and even speed up your product launches. To learn more, contact one of our representatives today!
I think this is too important to have done at the end – it actually addresses the Why integrate. I think if you reference the web page you can get some more value prop for integrating Loftware solution with SAP.