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Q&A with Implico Group about their certified apps “Connected Truck & Connected Depot”

The Implico Group optimizes logistics and business processes for oil and gas downstream companies. The international consulting and software company with its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, has subsidiaries in Malaysia, the USA and the Netherlands. Implico Group worked very closely with Partner Innovation Lifecycle Services team to develop an application that is Co-Innovated with SAP and to deliver an SAP-certified solution tested against SAP product standards.

Tim Hoffmeister, CEO of Implico Group: “With the newly certified SAP Co-Innovation apps Connected Truck & Connected Depot 1.0, we are taking an important step towards our vision of a fully digitalized, intelligent downstream supply chain. The increase in process optimization for tank farms and carriers is immense.”

Thank you very much for accepting our request to talk about your journey and experience with Co-Innovated with SAP service. Could you first give us a brief overview of Implico Group, what solutions and products you are offering and who are your customers?

We are 250 experts worldwide who have been working for the oil and gas industry with commitment and passion for more than 35 years. Our mission is to accompany downstream units like refineries, tank farms, fuel retail networks and logistics companies on their way into a digital, intelligent future. For this purpose, we provide software solutions, cloud services and consulting for the entire supply chain.

As the only software factory for SAP in the secondary distribution and fuels retailing sector, Implico is responsible for the development of SAP S/4HANA Oil & Gas for secondary distribution management and- SAP S/4HANA Oil & Gas for Retail Fuel Network Operations the standard solutions for demand forecasting, truck scheduling, process automation and fuel retail network management. Our partnership with SAP, of which we are very proud of course, lasts for 20 years and counting.

Our vision for the digital downstream future is an across-the-board architecture of easy-to-use web services for all supply chain processes with multiple participants. We call this concept the “Supply Chain United”. The recently certified apps Connnected Truck & Connected Depot 1.0 are part of this idea.

Can you share your expectations towards the Co-Innovated with SAP service – what were the reasons for applying for this service and how was your experience during the project?

Co-Innovated with SAP program promised us a huge advantage: to tap into a global expert network and get access to best-in-class technologies and platforms. Also, it enabled us to work directly with the market leader, combining our own ideas with SAP’s high-tech expertise. Another benefit was the granted access to the infrastructure of the SAP Cloud Platform. It allowed us to share resources collectively and collaborate on a common vision. Furthermore, the Co-Innovated with SAP service helped us to seamlessly integrate the two apps into the SAP software landscape. Here, we also profited a lot from our in-depth knowledge of SAP S/4HANA Oil & Gas for Secondary Distribution Management which is being developed at our company. Another important point: since the experts at SAP examine and test all submissions extensively before they certify them, customers trust in the quality and user value of SAP-certified products. We can build upon this trust when we promote our apps to our customers.

Can you tell us about the solution you built and why you decided to build it (the apps) on SAP Cloud Platform?

Implico’s aim is to create best-of-breed solutions that provide our customers with operational process excellence and further added value. In this undertaking, the vast possibilities, services and tools of the SAP Cloud Platform helped us to achieve great results.

The app “Connected Truck” establishes a direct link between and the truck driver. This heaves the trip planning and reconciliation for bulk deliveries to a new level, rendering the whole process more transparent and efficient for all parties involved. “Connected Truck” is available for Android and iOS. It allows for Plug & Play integration with SAP Integrated Dispatch Management

The app “Connected Depot” revolutionizes truck handling in tank storage facilities. Via the new cloud-based functionality “Online Check-in”, it simplifies and streamlines product loading in oil, gas and chemical terminals. Since it is easy to integrate with trip scheduling and terminal management solutions, “Connected Depot” ensures a seamless process from planning to execution across a variety of customers and terminals. The functionality supports both web-based and mobile input by the driver. Alternatively, it can be integrated with fleet transport scheduling systems.

How do customers benefit from this solution?

The certified solution Connected Truck & Connected Depot 1.0 improves logistics and process optimization for terminal operators and carriers alike, saving them time and money. The apps provide higher efficiency, increased transparency, full control and seamless integration of supply chain participants. By doing so, they help to shorten the entrance-to-exit process significantly. At the same time, they render it more secure.

“Connected Truck” supports trip execution by mobile features, eliminates information gaps and provides real-time process visibility for drivers and planners. The customers benefit from a bi-directional communication between scheduler and driver as well as advanced fleet tracking and monitoring. Also, they receive full transparency of the delivery status. Load results, unload results and trip event information are available in real time at any point.

By integrating all supply chain participants, “Connected Depot” boosts efficiency and security for carriers, drivers, terminal operators, stockowners and all other involved parties. The overall process improvement leads to efficient logistics and reliable supply of end-customers. As they see truck arrivals and loading plans early on, terminal operators can make better and more accurate plans. Carriers, on the other hand, benefit from the prevention of driver input errors at the gate. And they also no longer need to worry about failed terminal load attempts – which are now being eliminated by proactive verifications. Additionally, faster entrance handling boosts trip performance. Another group that gains advantages from “Connected Depot” are the drivers. They profit from improved entrance handling and minimized queuing at the terminal gate. Plus, they now receive real-time information about trip-related issues at the terminal.

How does the Co-Innovated with SAP program and certification help in improving the positioning of the solution to customers?

Digital transformation offers companies a wealth of opportunities. But how do they know which technology to pick and which route to take? Here, SAP is a trusted partner with many years of experience, an enormous power of innovation and an impeccable reputation among market participants. Companies know: Certified SAP solutions are best-in-class. They meet diverse needs, they are highly innovative, and above all, they are future-proof.

Naturally, we benefit from this trust, when it comes to distributing “Connected Truck & Connected Depot 1.0 on the market. After all, these apps were developed in cooperation with SAP and they integrate seamlessly into the SAP software. Comprehensive support is available on request, too. When a company opts for an SAP-certified co-innovation app, it can be certain to receive the best technology and service to boost its business.

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    1. A very informative read that gives you a good idea of the capabilities, benefits and scope of “Connected Truck” and “Connected Depot”. Well done, everybody!