Uncertainty, complexity, and regulatory oversight are increasing in today’s market. To help ensure sustainable growth and performance, chemical companies must constantly innovate and adapt their products, processes, and business models.
They can do it by
- Safely optimize asset performance
- Meet demand at maximum profitability
- Position for Globalization and Growth
But there are many obstacles preventing that. Let us look at most common hurdles for a chemical company in daily business. In this blog post I would like to show how SAP Suite on HANA can help to grow profitable business globally by overcoming obstacles for business excellence.
It starts with the need to respond to permanently changes in demand and supply that needs to responded cost efficiently and flexibly. It is continued by Equipment Effectiveness for maximized return on investments. Shop floor data can help to increase that if I manage to access and analyze them. Margins in chemicals are under pressure for many reasons. Understanding where profitability comes from helps to increase it. Batch Jobs are used to make complex planning, reconciliation, scheduling and calculation runs for performance reasons. Waiting for the results takes business processes on hold extending process lead times and limiting productivity and flexibility to react. Think about social media and the trend towards a knowledge driven economy – the volume and importance of unstructured information hidden in any kinds of texts and documents increases and needs to be discovered and combined with structured, quantitative information.
And last but not least – you do not want to drive a car by looking back through a mirror. Why driving a company like that? Looking through the front wind shield is better. And since the future is unknown you have to help yourself by making predictions about what might happen.
SAP HANA can help to overcome these obstacles. Formerly used as acronym for High Performance Analytic Appliance referring to an in-memory data base technology SAP HANA converges now database and application platform capabilities in-memory to transform transactions, analytics, text analysis and predictive processing so businesses can operate in real-time. Based on the HANA platform which combines online transactional processing and analytics and comprises a predictive and text retrieval engine the applications of SAP Business Suite can be enhanced accordingly integrating social networks into business processes and providing a new user experience. The combination of real-time insights with real-time processing of transactions and simulations allows re-design and optimization of business processes. One example is the planning of demand and supply for manufacturing. Based on material shortages identified the system can make suggestions how to overcome those and the selected solution can be executed immediately. I will come back to this example later in next (2nd) part of this series of blog posts.
To summarize. Suite on HANA helps to overcome obstacles for business excellence by
- Adaptive Business Management resulting from Acceleration of Transactions to replace Batch processes. Immediate execution of process steps that had long run-times in the past and were therefore executed as batch process can now be more often repeated (like MRP) or shorten the whole process (like Financial Fast close) which gives the opportunity to be more adaptive.
- Live Insight which stands for the Combination of Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) and Online Transactional Processing (OLTP) on one platform. Getting rid of data replication provides real-time insight and the combination of Insight and action.
- Digital segment of One which refers to the combination of structured and unstructured data and incorporation of non-SAP data including Big data like those from the shop floor (sensor data).
But how does all that match now with a chemical company? I will explain this in the next part of this series of blogs which is about chemical uses cases. For some background info please refer also to this Webinar Recording (Log-In required for SAP Sevice Marketplace)