1. What is the top supply chain challenge that SAP customers face in 2015?
Many SAP customers may have an SAP ERP platform that stretches across their business, but they still operate several localized supply chains, rather than a single, global, integrated supply chain. This leads to localized optimizations on a plant, warehouse, or regional level, but without a view of the whole. As a result, companies have limited visibility and disjointed sets of performance indicators. These remain significant challenges to customers looking to maximize their supply chains. And merely having the right supply chain technology in place does not guarantee an optimized supply chain. While SAP’s supply chain execution and planning platforms offer state-of-the-art capabilities, companies are still somewhat removed from reaping the benefits these systems have to offer and running a truly efficient, globally optimized supply chain.
2. What current market trends are impacting supply chain management (SCM)?
We see two main trends affecting SCM, and both are centered around satisfying customers’ increasingly complex demands. First, many products are being commoditized, and end customers expect to consume them quickly and inexpensively. The other trend is the expectation for all other products — from more complex, high-end consumer products to industrial goods — to be increasingly customized and customer-specific. Consider the examples of custom running shoes, application-specific pigments, high-end cars, and purpose-built printers or production machines: They cross a wide range of industries and customer bases, yet expectations in terms of production lead times and delivery remain similar both for the custom versions and the standard versions of these products. These two trends create specific challenges for supply chains. Products must be procured, produced, and shipped more quickly, and in a highly customizable fashion. Without the right supply network design, and the processes and tools to manage this increasingly complex and variable supply chain, these challenges result in a multifaceted conundrum.
Merely having the right supply chain technology in place does not guarantee an optimized supply chain.
3. How does Westernacher help SAP customers improve their supply chain performance?
Westernacher has a unique mix of process and industry experts who are well versed in SAP’s supply chain execution and planning technology. This allows us to build customized, pragmatic solutions for our customers. Our consultants understand that organizations, processes, and systems need to be interconnected to create fast, flexible, customizable, and future-proof supply chains. Our business process consultants understand that the more optimized your operations are, the more detrimental the influence of limiting factors becomes. Not only do our experts focus on today’s problem areas, but they also have the know-how and experience to recognize potential future supply network bottlenecks, both upstream and downstream. Our system solution architects’ deep system knowledge of the entire SAP SCM suite enables them to creatively leverage standard solutions for specific processes and create the necessary layer of visibility, as well as collaboration platforms with upstream and downstream partners. For more information, visit www.westernacher.com.