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The insideEdge with SAP's Kerstin Geiger

by Kerstin Geiger | SAPinsider

July 1, 2013

The world of manufacturing is changing drastically due to a dramatic increase in the amount of information available, creating a new industrial revolution. In the past, manufacturers struggled to collect data around their operations — now the challenge is finding the best way to analyze and put that data into action. In this executive address, SAP’s Kerstin Geiger explains how SAP’s idea-to-performance approach can help you use this wealth of data to work smarter, faster, and simpler in the new manufacturing environment.

Kerstin Geiger
Senior Vice President of Industry Business Solutions
Discrete Manufacturing


Forget whatever you thought you knew about manufacturing. Thanks to an unprecedented convergence of technology and business trends, the world of manufacturing today is advancing rapidly, ushering in a new, technology-driven industrial revolution. As a result of this latest revolution, companies, governments, and industry associations are investing in new strategies and technology that can elevate manufacturing to levels never thought possible.

This industrial revolution is being driven by a dramatic increase in the amount of information available within the manufacturing environment. For instance, consider the introduction of smart machines that monitor their own performance and continuously generate data about their status. That intelligence — which can include information on temperature, throughput, operation hours, etc. — can be collected and analyzed to optimize local decisions and improve business processes across the enterprise and across the globe.

This kind of trend has also greatly changed the types of challenges those in the manufacturing industry might face. In the past, manufacturers may have struggled to collect data around their operations; now the challenge comes with finding the best way to analyze and put that data into action.

It is clear that the companies that are able to leverage their data most effectively to optimize performance will lead this new manufacturing revolution. That’s where SAP’s idea-to-performance approach comes in. This approach is designed to help our customers use the wealth of data to which they have access to work smarter, faster, and simpler in the new manufacturing environment.

When developing the idea-to-performance approach, we first analyzed the multitude of industrial and manufacturing processes that are crucial to our customers — from product design, to supply chain management and production, to aftermarket service and training. We then aligned these processes with our technology platforms and solutions to create a holistic framework that our manufacturing customers can use as a blueprint for how to thrive in this new industrial revolution.

This blueprint accounts for mobile apps and machine-to-machine capabilities powered by SAP Mobile Platform. It leverages SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA within the manufacturing process and SAP’s 3D visualization capabilities to help manufacturers not only optimize their design, manufacturing, and service processes by combining data and visualization, but also improve their training processes. And perhaps most importantly, it emphasizes the ability of SAP HANA and SAP BusinessObjects to quickly analyze the masses of data being collected in the manufacturing environment to provide actionable intelligence across the enterprise.

It’s an exciting time to be in manufacturing. And SAP is ready to work collaboratively with our customers to help them not only compete, but also become the leaders of this new industrial revolution.

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