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The Future is Now at Severstal

Robotics.  Artificial intelligence.  Machine learning.  Chatbots.  Hyperscalers.  We’ve all heard the technology buzzwords over the past year or two and sometimes it can be hard to tie a business need to the latest tech trend.  How exactly do these innovations make business easier?

Steel giant Severstal found a way to do just that.  In the past, their material request process was highly manual. The consequence was that their more than 550 new material requests per day had a 21% return rate due to misclassification of material. This impacted procurement turnaround and consequently production and plant maintenance process time. Moreover, personnel were consuming valuable time correcting these issues instead of on more value-add tasks. They needed a way to add new materials in their system more efficiently, automate common process steps, and empower their users by automatically suggesting commonly used entries.  That’s where Severstal used the Data Attribute Recommendation service, part of SAP AI Business Services to create a solution.

SAP’s Development team created a custom algorithm based on neural networks (machine learning technique) and trained the neural networks with Severstal data. This co-innovated functionality as part of SAP AI Business Services now incorporates Data Attribute Recommendation. SAP’s Services team helped with the design and implementation on SAP Cloud Platform.

“With Data Attribute Recommendation, we reduced the effort for new material creation by approximately 20%. Hierarchy matching has provided us with the first step to enable intelligent master data governance throughout our enterprise,” said Evgeny Eliseev, Head of Master Data – Automization of Procurement and Logistics Operations, Severstal-Infokom.

By embracing innovation, Severstal realized multiple benefits.  Maintenance of their master data is simplified, saving time by eliminating repetitive tasks.  Accuracy of material orders has increased, and efficient methods of training AI algorithms have been established.  The resulting reduction in procurement time has led to smoother plant operations. More details about the benefits are outlined here.

Severstal turned buzzwords into real business solutions and significant business value.

AuthorTatiana VaichukunsTechnical Quality Manager, SAP Organization

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