User Experience Insights
Maple Leaf Foods tastes success
Introducing an early adoption customer for SAP’s industry cloud solution SAP Intelligent Trade Claims Management
What is industry cloud?
SAP’s industry cloud is a portfolio of solutions that brings SAP’s intelligent enterprise strategy into specific industries, for example, the automotive sector or the consumer products field. It can help you to cost-effectively transform into an intelligent enterprise, add additional business process functionalities, and then maintain sustainable growth through specialized applications that address needs that are specific to your industry. These solutions are built by SAP and by our partners on an open platform as a service using SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) and they work with your existing systems to extend the value of your investments.
Industry cloud makes it easier to access innovative vertical solutions that help you to drive business transformation profitably and sustainably, seize new opportunities, and manage business disruption and changes within your industry.
The solutions accelerate innovation and optimize, extend, and transform your core ERP business processes and help you to learn from your wider, global, industry, and customer insights.
What does Industry Cloud do?
SAP’s industry cloud helps customers in all industries to deploy specialized solutions that enable them to optimize, extend, and transform their core business processes. Customers can easily use these solutions to digitize and automate operations across every part of their business.
These modular, industry specific solutions are developed by SAP and our ecosystem to deliver business innovation – not just the technologies. They are interoperable and extend our intelligent suite and SAP Business Network. Our open APIs, business services, and data and process models help customers to rapidly adopt these innovations and simplify your IT landscape.
In order to fine-tune and prepare for a larger scale roll-out of an industry cloud solution around the world, SAP Services and Support supports the first customers who use that industry cloud solution. This is the incubation phase for first adopters.
Introducing Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a Canadian consumer packaged meats company with a head office is in Mississauga, Ontario. They make high-quality, nutritious, and innovative food products under leading brands that are very well known and admired throughout the industry and the markets in which they operate. Maple Leaf Foods employs approximately 12,500 people and does business in Canada, U.S. and Asia. It has a values-based culture and a clear vision to be “the most sustainable protein company on earth”.
What led Maple Leaf Foods to ask SAP for help?
Maple Leaf Foods, as with many other consumer products companies, had an issue with a claims management process that was highly manual and took too much time and effort. It required a lot of work to match documents by hand and invoice amounts for trade promotions with their suppliers. The team lacked the ability to provide instant, accurate information from one source and Maple Leaf Foods recognized that their claims management process needed better visibility and automation.
Fortunately, SAP Intelligent Trade Claims Management is a solution that could help, especially as it is now in form of an industry cloud solution. It is a virtual assistant for the consumer product and retail industry, enabling efficient deductions and invoice claims management by aggregating and enriching market activity in real-time, making manual matching and audit obsolete. It can:
- Remove manual steps in the claims management process, extracting relevant information from retailers
- Serve as the single source of truth to help research and resolve the deduction
- Give visibility and accountability into outstanding open deductions
How did SAP support Maple Leaf?
SAP Services and Support supported the implementation of the solution with software architect project management and a consumer products consultant who acted as the subject matter expert to implement and fine tune the application at Maple Leaf Foods. SAP Services and Support offers advisory services and provide technology guidance on how to integrate industry cloud and intelligent applications into an existing system landscape.
A new solution like this often requires different skill sets in the customer organization and SAP helped to define them for Maple Leaf Foods.
What benefits has SAP Intelligent Trade Claims Management brought to Maple Leaf?
The benefits at Maple Leaf Foods were recognized pretty quickly:
- Automation in the claims management process made everything faster and more accurate, removing human error, delay, and indecision
- A single source of truth gives reliable information, instant reports and true visibility
The machine learning capability of the solution helps:
- Extract relevant information from trade documents
- Create, classify, and match claims with trade promotions
- Recommend actions to the accounts receivables analyst for faster processing and learn from previous actions
- Integrate and analyze data from all relevant systems in a central dashboard for channel partners to verify and track claims
These benefits have already been realized by others as Maple Leaf Foods rolled out SAP Intelligent Trade Claims Management to its partners and retailers.
How does a first incubator help the rest of the industry?
By taking the lessons learned from this early adoption at Maple Leaf Foods, SAP has developed a quick-start service for SAP Intelligent Trade Claims Management.
Our quick-start services are designed to launch and run industry cloud solutions and create value rapidly. The services apply SAP best practices and internal knowledge of the solution while using agile project deployment. They share a common structure and approach, but their scope and content are specific for each industry cloud solution. The quick-start services are also a foundation for a larger-scale deployment that may be in future plans.
For questions related to the article and SAP’s industry cloud solutions please ask here.
Feel free to browse the SAP community topic page for Industry Cloud.
For generic information on SAP’s industry cloud solutions, please go to sap.com