Over the years, companies have expanded their supply chain footprint, sourcing and manufacturing goods in various locations before shipping them to destinations around the world. While this evolution has benefited companies and consumers in many ways, it has made the supply chain increasingly complex.
This complexity has created more opportunities for delays or gaps in information, which is why shippers and logistics service providers have searched for technology to help them connect their end-to-end supply chain and ultimately improve collaboration.
project44 and SAP have partnered up to help solve this exact challenge. To explain how these two innovative companies are working together, David Deutsch, Manager of Solutions Engineering at project44, and Bill King, Director of Solution Management for Digital Logistics at SAP, hosted a webinar to walk through the solutions.
Why SAP Built a Logistics Business Network
SAP Logistics Business Network was created when SAP saw the redundancy of onboarding across multiple transportation and logistics tools as well as the siloed direction of these solutions. They knew there was a way to connect all of the business players involved in the process to achieve better outcomes.
The SAP Logistics Business Network is an overarching solution that provides a number of capabilities. The solution offers freight collaboration, more comprehensive track and trace, and material traceability. project44 and SAP have partnered on the Freight Collaboration and Global Track and Trace options of SAP Logistics Business Network. We’ll take a closer look at these solutions here.
Freight Collaboration is about how a logistics team communicates and transacts with external transportation partners. Within freight collaboration, SAP offers three key function categories:
- Order collaboration, including contracting, milestones and documents, and settlement
- Dock appointment scheduling, allowing to collaboratively manage appointments based on slot availability
- Standardized visibility, meshing up transportation business context with real-time shipment visibility data to understand where the shipment is located
Freight Collaboration in the SAP Logistics Business Network is about communicating with the various partners and parties in the ecosystem, meaning it’s essential to have the necessary connections in place.
King explained, “This is where you’re connecting to those outside parties. The more folks you have on the network, the more meaningful it is.”
Global Track and Trace
The Global Track and Trace option focuses on business operations and the order fulfillment. The tool enables users to define a tailored process for how to for example track the sales order process, including what milestones, exceptions, scenarios, and information to escalate to which stakeholders.
Global Track and Trace also can deliver predictive insights into a shipment and visualize the impact of that. For example, beyond seeing exactly where your shipment is located, you can gain a predictive and dynamic ETA of the goods in a delivery or order to understand when it will arrive.
“The idea behind Global Track and Trace is that you’re able to track what you planned versus what’s actually happening, so you can react as needed whether proactively or reactively, but then also take that data at a later point and do some analysis to find trends and any changes that need to be made to the process,” explained King.
Using project44’s High-Fidelity Data to Power the SAP Logistics Business Network
How does proect44 fit into the picture? project44 provides high-fidelity visibility data across an extensive global network.
When discussing the SAP Logistics Business Network King said, “What we really needed to do is connect to the outside parties. And that’s where project44 comes into play. They bring that connection to a huge number of carriers and transportation providers in multiple geographies and multiple modes.”
With an ultimate goal to track all freight from door-to-door, project44 has built a large global network and strong connections to gain accurate and timely information in an automated way, seamlessly connecting into the carriers’ backend systems or onboard devices, in case manual interactions are not an option.
“While this is a lofty ambition, we’re confident that we have a great foundation in place that has allowed project44 to scale at a rapid pace. The strength of this foundation is largely because of project44’s network-based approach to building out our platform,” said Deutsch.
Deutsch walked through four principals to project44’s network-first approach:
- p44’s network is designed with the purpose of allowing participants to exchange and share data
- The information shared on the network should be curated to ensure the network remains reliable and trustworthy
- The network should be interoperable with systems participants are already using, resulting in lower onboarding costs and easier transitions
- The network should deliver value to the entire transportation ecosystem
With these four guiding pillars, project44 focuses on delivering network effects to expand the value of SAP Logistics Business Network with instant access to reliable real-time data across an ever-growing transportation visibility platform.
What the project44 and SAP Partnership Can Mean for Your Supply Chain
project44 data and the SAP Logistics Business Network offer numerous benefits for global supply chains. The partnership has started with out-of-the-box content for full truckload and less than truckload visibility in North America and Europe as well as ocean globally.
The partnership empowers supply chains to:
- Meet growing expectations around delivery experience, leading to customer retention and expansion
- Improve exception management, flagging orders that are deviating from expectations and proactively managing by exception
- Improve resource allocation, optimizing labor and time at the dock, yard, and store
- Gain a more accurate picture across shipments to alleviate bottlenecks and make decisions about network design
By using the SAP Logistics Business Network, enriched by project44’s data, shippers can better understand their transportation landscape and make more intelligent business decisions faster. Not just at a tactical or individual shipment level, but from a broader operational perspective.
Watch the full webinar recording, Meeting Customer Demands with project44 and SAP, to learn more about the partnership and solutions.