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Author's profile photo Marko Lange

Growing Profitable Business Globally with SAP Business Suite Powered by SAP HANA – Part 2: Chemical Use Cases

Having introduced Suite on HANA in first part of this blog series the question now is where Suite on HANA can create highest value for a chemical company.

In Manufacturing Suite on HANA can help to improve Equipment Effectiveness through increased access to shop floor data and based on that predictive maintenance, more frequent MRP runs and more accurate scheduling of maintenance work orders.

In Supply Chain Management visibility on Inventories and shipments can be increased. Simulations and shorter planning cycles help to become more adaptive to changes in demand and supply.

A better understanding of customer needs and sales history helps to grow revenue making the right offerings at better prices.

In Financials Planning, Budgeting, Forecasting and Closing can be accelerated due to replacement of Batch Jobs shortening process lead time while increasing productivity of people in Finance. More important is higher granularity of CO/PA reporting providing deeper inside to understand better profitability and how it can be improved.

Finally, more performant scheduling and re-scheduling of project tasks help to reduce project lead times to drive productivity in R&D and maintenance thinking especially about shut down projects where every hour can save thousands of Euros.

Let us have a look now in more detail to some examples for the above starting with Regulatory Impact Analysis. Maybe not the most important use case but one with a lot of chemicals flavor. Think about a regulation like REACH. Registrations and Evaluations have been made now it comes to authorizations which mean restriction for substances. Substances being subject of authorization are published on REACH candidate list. But what does it mean for my business if a substance is published on that list that I use? Which products and raw materials are impacted since they contain this substance? A Regulatory Impact Analysis combines chemical composition information of products and raw materials with revenue, supplier and customer data so that the business impact of substances can be understood and decisions taken about product changes, substance registrations and in the worst case even withdrawal of products for legal reasons.

The 2nd uses case refers to Real-time analytics for SCM planning scenarios as provided by newly introduced Supply Chain Info Center. It offers Decision support based on near real time information (e.g. forecast accuracy,  stock coverage, supply projection), Highly attractive UIs for operational reporting on APO data, Pre-defined dashboards for different use cases (analytical workflows) for SAP APO based planning scenarios and a Virtual Data Model that allows customers to develop reports and analytical applications. With all that it overcomes limitations of dashboard reporting for APO planning data which is not available without BW. It by-passes Data extraction and loaded into BW, where reporting, queries and dashboards have to be created by each customer or user group on their own.

The next use case refers to MRP controller cockpit. MRP main challenge and responsibility is to ensure that customers receive their goods on time. Often orders are placed on short notice and we have to react immediately. With traditional MRP, material decisions might be made on out dated information and without a real-time, holistic view of material information across multiple systems and sites. Running MRP on HANA provides real-time visibility to all supply and demand data from across the enterprise which allows identify issues more quickly and find more and better solutions to material shortage issues. 

For the last use case to be discussed here – which is CRM on HANA – I can point to a customer example. Bayer Material Sciences uses CRM for different processes, like the typical order entry. It also powers their web shops used by end customers. The CRM system is by nature leveraged to capture information about customers, so sales and marketing now have a complete picture of customers, and can use that in key activities such as marketing plans. Information needs to go into the CRM system quite easily, but the retrieval of information should also be fast. Bayer Material Sciences created a better user experience for users by giving them faster access to information, real-time reporting and analytics whilst reducing operating costs in IT. In addition, Bayer Material Sciences expects to leverage new applications powered by SAP HANA moving forward in order to extend the scope of the Business Suite and bring more innovations to the business. Bayer Material Sciences also intends to innovate the way products are being developed by being able to leverage new data helping them to focus more on the individuals than generic markets.

There is another use-case to be mentioned which I would call a mega-use case. And that is the Chemicals Best Practice implementation template for ERP and how it can be improved by making use of optimizations that were made for ERP on HANA. The next version of this template is planned to come on Enhancement Pack 7 next year. And this Enhancement Pack runs on HANA so that the door is wide open to benefit from this fact. What this can mean will be discussed in 3rd and last past of this series of blog posts about Suite on HANA in the Chemical Industry.

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