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Is competitive differentiation in manufacturing sustainable?


A recent McKinsey Report highlights how Digital Transformation is upending competition in many industries by rapid market entry of new participants and providing rapid scaling up of enterprises.  China rocked the capital and especially manufacturing world last week with the greatest currency devaluation in it’s history after several years of steady rise toward parity with other trading partners but recent challenges in it’s capital markets.  The initial labor arbitrage so many manufacturers quickly restructured and chased after the last financial crisis turned out to be a fleeting advantage with many now looking to automation or the next low labor country to find this “sustainable” competitive differentiation, which historically has shown to be temporary avenues as well.

At SAP we believe that a dynamic Demand Network + Product Network + Real Time Insights can provide an agile Extended Supply Chain to deliver competitive differentiation under rapidly changing markets of consumer demands, advances in technology, and geo-political and costs volatility.  At the International SAP Conferences on Extended Supply Chain 2015 you will hear firsthand from industry leaders including Mondelez, Whirlpool, Unilever, Philips, Colgate-Palmolive, RWE, Beiersdorf, Caterpillar, Ferrero,  ÖBB, Schindler Elevator, Marenco Swisshelicopters how they are creating and extending the traditional concepts of manufacturing into a flexible digital extended supply chain network.

The International SAP Conference on Extended Supply chain is actually an event series of conferences.  Click on the links to register.

I would especially like to invite you to the manufacturing event to hear exciting customers tell how they have transformed their company, such as a helicopter startup, a consumer products company lowering their warehouse costs, an analyst view of the internet of things, a paperless factory at a chocolate manufacturer, improved energy management at an automotive manufacturer, how to incorporate real-time big data process and quality analytics on CNC machines complex variant assembly at one industrial machinery company and a full show floor execution with traceability implementation at another.

One of the greatest opportunities is the pre-conference half-day workshop with one of SAP’s true manufacturing experts, Paul Lausance.  Below, you can watch Paul provide a quick whiteboard overview of the SAP Manufacturing Landscape:

I say Paul is one of those guys who has forgotten more about manufacturing than I have known in my 20+ years.  HIs brief overview will give a hint to the great discussion you can have, but better yet register and join Paul for his pre-conference 1/2 day workshop as well as the rest of the great discussions and presenters.  Hope to see you there but if you can’t make it, please leave a comment, join us on twitter @SCMatSAP or visit us on the web at

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks for sharing this, Chuck!