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Don’t Let SAP Data Collection Slow Down Your Overall Time to Market

Survey Reveals Data Is a Leading Cause of Supply Chain Inefficiencies

by Heather Oebel | insiderPROFILES, Volume 8, Issue 1

October 19, 2016

As the demand for the next cutting-edge product grows, so does the pressure on the supply chain. Suddenly, companies find themselves going to market more often and with shorter life cycles, putting supply chain processes to the test. Keeping up with demand requires rapid and efficient data collection, but many companies still rely on slow, error-prone manual methods that can bog down the new product introduction (NPI) process. Get a look at trends in the supply chain, including the need for speed, flexibility, and automation.

Today, there is a higher demand to bring more products to market with greater velocity than ever before. This explosion in product variation is not only requiring businesses to go to market more often, but also reducing the life cycle of each new product. To keep up, companies need to ensure they have the most efficient supply chain processes possible to support the introduction of new products.

Major enterprise companies that use SAP software were recently polled in a Winshuttle survey. 74% of supply chain and master data professionals surveyed said their organizations still use manual processes, like paper-based forms or spreadsheets and emails, to collect data for the new product introduction (NPI) process. This is likely because it can take significant time and resources to develop and implement a complex formal process that involves most departments in an organization.

Nearly 70% of respondents cited the flexibility to make process changes quickly as a top capability needed to help improve their NPI process; yet, less than 25% had a formal framework in place to increase process flexibility. Business processes are often rigid, and it can take significant time and resources to make even the smallest modification to a process that has been used for years. At the same time, traditional tools for process automation don’t provide the flexibility needed to quickly adapt to business changes. Therefore, companies perceive manual processes to be more flexible. Manual processes have serious downsides and are not efficient or scalable enough for today’s businesses. And while they may be more flexible than legacy automation tools, they aren’t nearly flexible enough.

More than 80% of respondents also stated that their organization is under pressure to reduce the time it takes to get products to market. Systems and processes need to match the speed of the market, and today that speed is rapid. But the manual data collection processes that the majority of industry leaders still use are prone to inefficiencies, slowing their speed to market. This is where the disconnect currently lies, and in order to overcome it, companies need to invest in modern process automation tools. These tools must speed up time to market while also allowing companies to maintain and increase their level of flexibility.

How efficient and flexible are your processes for collecting SAP data and getting products to market? Discover how the right automation tool could improve your supply chain efficiency and your ability to get to market quickly. Learn more about the survey results and how to improve your NPI process in the infographic “Breaking the Data Barrier: Is Data the Biggest Roadblock to Getting Your Products to Market?” online: www.winshuttle.com/NPIsurvey.

Learn more about the survey results and how to improve your NPI process at winshuttle.com/NPIsurvey

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Heather Oebel
Heather Oebel

Heather Oebel has been with Winshuttle since 2010 and is currently a Solutions Manager, focused on bringing master data solutions to customers. With an engineering background and over 10 years of experience with SAP manufacturing companies, Heather has a passion for process improvement and loves helping customers improve their SAP processes and efficiencies.



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