How to Streamline Your Supply Chain Labeling from SAP and SAP S/4 HANA
Efficiency in processes can considerably speed up a company’s operations, whether it’s packaging, shipping or even administration. The heart of efficiency is the processing of information, and the most common methodology for dealing withy this information is labeling. Supply chain labeling needs to be able to deliver accurate labels every single time. Sadly, because of the disconnect between supply chain software and label making software there can be problems in accurately transferring that information to the required label. SAP combined with Loftware provides a streamlined solution for the printing of labels that always have the information from the SAP database embedded on them. Taking a look at how Loftware works can help us to appreciate the process.
Integration with SAP
The crux of the matter comes from developing a seamless interface with SAP. By tapping directly into the information within SAP, the information contained can be safely and securely printed without having to leave the SAP system. Integration ensures that the process can be done directly from inside SAP when required. Loftware seeks to build automation into SAP alongside its integration making the system ideal for a global supply chain software suite. Thanks to the ability to configure the system, labels can be generated and printed regardless of what type of information that needs to be transmitted on such a label. This integration is even available immediately out of the box with standard SAP configurations meaning that there’s no need for a complicated configuration process before labels can be printed.
Usability of Labeling Worldwide
Loftware when integrated with SAP can produce all sorts of labels in a myriad of designs. Through configuration of the label itself and inclusion of design within that configuration, clients have the option to produce highly individual labels, even going so far to include RFID labels and asset tags. Due to its close relation to SAP, Loftware’s suite can adapt to changes of information quickly by automatically updating the labels and even use business logic to generate new labels. The speed and accuracy come from utilizing the native printer language to reduce overhead in the interfacing of the printer with the software.
Custom Specialized Cases
Regardless of what industry, the labels produced by Loftware can reflect many native formats of description. A good example is the automotive industry where OEM numbers and descriptions are specific. Depending on which OEM component is to be labeled, the system can select from the available source and update the label dynamically to reflect the hardware in question. By combining business rules with the data from the transaction a label can be printed that accurately reflects the transaction and the component in question that the transaction dealt with. Similar systems can be developed and implemented for supply chain management.
In order for information to be passed to the label printer, having a handful of interfaces is necessary. These interfaces can range from a text drop or an API interface (since the system is completely SAP certified) for data field extraction and common layout software formats like Smartforms, Adobe Interactive Forms or RDI for the label layout. In order to further speed up efficiency, clients are usually asked to design labels that use variable information as much as possible in order to limit the amount of data included on a single label. In such a case, individual labels can be automatically generated when needed rather than having them laboriously designed by hand. Interfaces also include a methodology for real-time capture of data through input to be used for updating dynamic fields within the label.
Adaptable to a Company’s Needs
Loftware can be used alongside SAP to deal with a lot of the demands of a company’s label production, including the ability to create labels on-demand through the same label printers that are used to do batch jobs. Additionally, multiple template libraries mean that different labels for different departments or products can be stored separately and recalled as necessary. Business rules for updating fields can be created using simple XML in order to ensure that the right information is inserted in the right fields. The system runs the same regardless of whether SAP or S4/HANA is used because of the similarity of the technology stack in both cases. Overall this adaptability makes it ideal for a wide range of industrial and commercial applications, not just supply chain management.