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Author's profile photo Moncombu Raju

Automotive customers leading the Vehicle and Parts Supply Chain opportunities

The second annual Best Practices for Automotive 2016 was an exciting and engaging event held in downtown Detroit. It highlighted thought-provoking keynote speakers, leaders in the automotive community, our customers and partners from the ecosystem. The show floor was buzzing with conversations and networking.

After an accelerating start on day one with keynotes and customer sessions, I had the opportunity to chair the Supply Chain track for day two. The track covered the challenges in vehicle management, followed by global rollout of service parts fulfillment solution, then to essentials in automotive supply chain communication and rounding off with a sneak preview into few of the SAP innovations.

We started the track with Alberto Russo from Turin, Italy on Creating a New Perspective on Vehicle Management with a Global Solution. He was representing the CNH Industrial group, which oversees 12 brands with highly diverse product offerings. One of the challenges they faced was to create a seamless & intuitive experience for the dealer end-customers right from the vehicle configuration, quote, and order to inventory management. By collaborating with the dealers and internal users right from the beginning, CNH was able to create a scalable and user-friendly solution – offline, online with integration to core SAP systems.

The second session focused on the global rollout of the aftermarket Service Parts Management solution across the Ford Motor company, titled Orchestrating a global CRM & Finance Implementation, specifically the Commercial and Financial processes. We had Don Morton, Ford, who spoke about the end goal of “…80% common processes across the globe”. Sven Kohl, Westernacher, co-presenter for this track, spoke about the OTD, Claims & Returns and Entitlement processes. They shared interesting pieces of this SPM journey for such a rollout, starting with the benefits for their dealers and Ford internal users, as they move away from legacy systems. Further, they discussed the learnings from the project, such as the organizational needs, importance of clean master data, skilled resources, start small and scale.

After lunch, we heard from Freedom Ryan from Nemak – a global supplier of light-weighting solutions, on the business value of using EDI. She spoke about the benefits of standardizing and automating the communication with customers & suppliers, creating greater transparency and reducing manual processes. Kelli, iConnect, was the co-speaker who provided the technical aspects on their managed services offerings.

Chet Harter, SAP, gave the last session of this track. He gave an interesting perspective on the real “real-time”, our perceptions from the past to where we are now and new business processes for the future. The audience got a glimpse of SAP innovations around manufacturing and supply chain processes.

Want to learn more about the automotive industry, digital trends and how SAP is enabling businesses in their unique digital transformation journey, join our third annual Best Practices for Automotive in 2017. Check here at for event highlights and details.


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