Design to Operate for Logistics

SAP® Digital Supply Chain solutions fully deliver on the aspirations of the Intelligent Enterprise for companies worldwide. From design to asset management, SAP customers can provide positive customer experiences by integrating across traditionally siloed business areas that include R&D, manufacturing, supply chain planning, logistics, and aftersales service and maintenance.
By connecting everything digitally, our customers are perfecting their operational reality as much as possible.

1. Design with your customer in mind

In the design phase, companies need a high level of connection to monitor trends and innovate in the direction their customers want. Increasingly, organizations want to design smarter – for example, Industry 4.0-enabled products and assets with built-in sensors to capture real-time data once they are in use in a live environment. It’s also important to think in terms of compliant product lifecycle management, which requires full integration of product development with the supply chain.

2. Plan with visibility across silos

To become more responsive and shorten planning cycles, organizations should connect across departmental silos. This approach provides a unified view of real-time supply and demand that helps balance inventory and service levels. Furthermore, planners demand synchronized planning processes that break down silos and tools to run simulations quickly for better decision-making – therefore accelerating planning cycles and reactions to change.

3. Manufacture with flexibility, speed, and efficiency

Sophisticated digital supply chain competencies and connectedness can help organizations increase shop floor visibility, identify process bottlenecks, and manage operations with greater agility. This tactic facilitates smart factory capabilities, where rigid production lines are transformed into flexible manufacturing cells. In return, the business can shift from mass production to mass customization.

4. Deliver on time

The delivery phase in the supply chain can make or break the customer experience. With Industry 4.0 capabilities, organizations can streamline logistics and help ensure better delivery experiences. Connected vehicles, for example, can optimize delivery routes based on real-time weather and traffic conditions, support real-time tracking, and monitor conditions such as the temperature in cold chains. Meanwhile, next-generation warehouse  technology leverages robots and augmented reality to assist staff, increase productivity, and get goods to customers faster.

5. Operate with new business models

Finally, many organizations are transforming the operating phase by plugging IoT-connected assets directly into the digital supply chain. This move can drive new business models, where the manufacturer owns the asset and charges customers for usage, uptime, or any other metric. With such a model, the manufacturer is responsible for providing cost-efficient maintenance services, which is now possible with advanced analytics capabilities such as asset health monitoring, issue prediction, and proactive response. Effective digital supply chains are integrated from design to operate and ultimately run more like a network. Visibility, communication, planning, analysis, and execution are all orchestrated across critical operational phases based on real-time inputs and requirements. Plus, work and data flows span functional silos, leading to greater flexibility and consistency. Additional benefits include reduced financial and operational risk through early detection and higher customer satisfaction with faster issue resolution.

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