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SAP Supply Chain innovations shown at Berlin Logistics Conference

Berlin looks quite different during these days of European soccer championship 2012, with the main East-West road through Tiergarten being blocked for traffic and the Brandenburger Tor being hidden behind a giant screen for public viewing.

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At the European Supply Chain & Logistics Summit in Berlin, you could also gain a fresh perspective on Supply Chain solutions from SAP.

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Innovations for Supply Chain were the main topic, both at the SAP booth and in the workshop, that was attended by roughly 100 attendees who had a hard time finding a free seat in the conference room.

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SAP presenter Matthias Vogel started with Sales & Operations Planning, the new HANA-based cloud solution from SAP, that helps companies engage key stakeholders in an efficient, integrated planning process that profitably aligns demand and supply. If you are interested in more information, read this solution brief. The audience then saw a preview of an upcoming solution called Demand Signal Management powered by SAP HANA, that is mainly addressing Consumer facing Industries, and provides real-time demand analytics including market sentiments to avoid out-of-stock or out-of-shelf situations.

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Next showcase area of innovation was Supply Chain Execution. SAP Extended Warehouse Management is recognized as a rival to best-of breed solutions, and is used by companies like Hilti and Bechtle to deliver flexible, automated support for processing goods movements and managing stock in high volume warehouses. There is also lots of market traction with SAP Transportation Management, which boosts transport visibility and responsiveness by consolidating orders and optimizing shipping. In a short video, French chemicals company Arkema commented on their experience with the new solution. The audience was specifically impressed by the top-notch user interface and a mobile app for transport tendering, which enables easy integration of request for tender to carriers which do not have the possibility for a complex B2B integration.

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In the final minutes of his workshop, Matthias Vogel showcased two innovative supply chain risk solutions: SAP Supplier InfoNet powered by SAP HANA, a business social network that helps predict (sub-tier) supplier risk and manage operational performance leveraging cutting-edge machine learning tools. Jason Busch from “Spend Matters” magazine comments that “anyone tasked with monitoring supplier risk, supplier performance and related information could very well find Supplier InfoNet an invaluable supplement or even replacement for existing solutions they may have deployed already”. And lastly, the attendees got a first impression of upcoming SAP Global Batch Traceability solution, that provides fast insights into cross-system product genealogy, to enable precision product recalls or withdrawals.

Overall, Supply Chain risk management remains one of the key challenges and innovation areas for software, and every logistics manager should ask herself: Can My Business Survive the Butterfly Effect?

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