Manufacturing and operations are areas that businesses of all sizes can’t ignore — as managing customer and procurement data is not optional when it comes to optimizing the supply chain. And these areas don’t work in a vacuum. Designing products, planning production, and making and delivering products involves partners and suppliers. SAP, which has long been an industry leader in supply chain and logistics, offers its customers a variety of supply chain management (SCM) and experience management (XM) software to help facilitate digital transformations in these areas.
As organizations are looking to transform their supply chains, they are realizing that their systems need to be integrated, and they must start taking into account the customer experience (CX) to compete. The companies that truly get the combination of operations and experience data right will be incorporating customer feedback into product development, building features that meet the needs of those customers, and maximizing margins by doing all this with minimal time and cost.
While the themes of CX and XM were front and center at the SAP TechEd 2019 conference last week in Las Vegas, some additional hot topics mentioned during the opening keynote applicable to SCM professionals were innovation, integration, and roadmaps. And, according to keynote speaker SAP CTO Juergen Mueller, when SAP mentors were asked (prior to the conference) what topics they wanted to see covered at the event, the top five responses were:
- The intelligence suite and end-to-end business processes
- SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud
- SAP Cloud Platform
- The user experience
That was music to the ears of SAPinsider — seeing as the upcoming event Intelligent Customer Experience-Driven Supply Chain, to be held next month (November 6-8, 2019) in Orlando, Florida, will cover all of these topics mentioned. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to network with fellow SAPinsiders from around the world and gain insights from SAP experts, which will all serve to help them develop operational efficiency, optimize demand planning and supply chain execution, and maximize CX management.
The conference will present attendees seven separate tracks (see Figure 1) that offer in-depth instructional sessions sharing best practices and tips and providing how-to advice for overcoming common SAP challenges; case studies of how leading companies are tackling projects and achieving successful outcomes; and product roadmap sessions and demos from SAP and industry experts, showcasing SAP product innovations and learning in hands-on labs with the latest SAP technologies.
Figure 1 The seven tracks of the Intelligent Customer Experience-Driven Supply Chain conference covering key aspects of supply chain management and the customer experience
All Hot Topics Will Be Addressed
A highlight of the conference is the many case studies being presented, which include real-world stories of how companies such as Callaway Golf, Arla Foods, Campbell’s Soup, and Moen are modernizing their supply chains. One case study that ticks the boxes for those interested in both integration and the intelligence suite is “Lennox International’s successful journey in demand-driven intelligent enterprise.” Here, Mani Suresh, Business Solutions Lead Architect - Supply Chain Management for Lennox International, will share how the business transformed its supply chain by implementing SAP Integrated Business Planning to enable better demand supply matching, reduce working capital, and improve the reaction to sales needs. In this session, Suresh will detail how the business overcame common integration and implementation challenges such as normalizing master data and data mapping.
Other sessions that have a solid focus on integration include “Integrate sales and operations planning to foster collaboration and growth” presented by Jay Foster, Director, Solution Management at SAP, as well as “Integrating SAP HANA with the factory floor,” where SAPinsider’s own Pierce Owen, Vice President of Research, will help attendees understand how this integration can drive top- and bottom-line growth for manufacturers.
For those wanting to learn about innovation, check out “Digital logistics in the live supply chain: A guide to the latest SAP innovations” where SAP’s Till Dengel, VP and Global Head of Digital Logistics Solution Management, will provide a first-hand look into SAP’s full portfolio of digital logistics solutions and its vision for supply chain execution convergence.
The information on roadmaps is plentiful. For those looking for the SAP S/4HANA roadmap specifically, this session “SAP S/4HANA for the extended supply chain strategy and road map” will detail the latest SAP S/4HANA 1610 release and how attendees can leverage its extensive range of new capabilities in their extended supply chain.
There are numerous sessions that will walk attendees through all the hot topics and introduce the newest SAP solutions, such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and SAP Cloud Platform. I’ll mention here just a few more that jumped out at me. “Lessons learned from real-world SAP S/4HANA implementations,” presented by Craig Brown, Managing Director of SAP partner Xceleon, will showcase how various companies were able to create an organizational imperative to move to SAP S/4HANA. Brown will share with attendees some key considerations for scoping and planning SAP S/4HANA projects based on his own experiences.
There’s also a session called “What’s in your IoT reference architecture? Guidelines for your IoT implementation” that will help attendees understand how to leverage SAP S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform to facilitate their journey to connected products and services. There’s one on “How SAP C/4HANA supports the customer experience,” and also a can’t-miss session titled “Integrating X data and O data to understand the true customer experience,” which will show attendees how they can create a unified view of relevant data using solutions and technologies such as SAP Qualtrics.
An Experience for Insights into the CX and More
By combining the information gleaned from the sessions and the invaluable conversations had at the exhibitor meet and greets — regarding how third-party technologies fit in the picture — and from the various networking opportunities during the interactive lunches and receptions, SAPinsiders will be hard-pressed to find a more beneficial place to spend a few days in November. Hope to see you there.