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Author's profile photo Timo ELLIOTT

Schnellecke Logistics Achieves Data Transparency with Their Digital Boardroom

Fostering continuous supply chain innovation: find out how Schnellecke Logistics saved two hours per day by developing a centralized digital solution

What if you could gain a bird’s eye view of your supply chain?

In the past, businesses took a ground-level approach to logistics management. They relied on limited information from a specific viewpoint to make decisions and reacted to obstacles rather than preventing them.

But with a better vantage point, companies could unlock a whole new range of insights.

Enter the Digital Control Tower (DCT), an intelligent solution that provides advanced visibility into organizational processes. These solutions empower users to anticipate challenges before they occur, make data-driven decisions, and avoid costly disruptions.

This episode of the Better Together series features Schnellecke Logistics, a technology leader in automotive supply chain management that transformed its business by building its Digital Control Tower.

Their design team leveraged SAP Business Technology Platform to develop a DCT that delivers real-time insights into enterprise-wide data for employees and customers. Schnellecke implemented an automated data collection system that reduced manual effort and errors. The team also incorporated a live connection to their SAP Analytics Cloud solution, giving users access to the control tower for self-service data analysis.

Schnellecke chose to innovate and, as a result, increased its operational efficiency, employee productivity, and customer satisfaction.

We spoke to Karsten Keil, Member of the Management Board (Vice President Group IT & Digitalization), Schnellecke Logistics, who joined us on the thought-leadership podcast. Then in the practitioner’s LinkedIn session, we met with Denis Wirries, Head of Competence Center IoT, Schnellecke Logistics, and Dr. Michael Stollberg, Business Architect, SAP.

  • Podcast: Karsten Keil sits down with Tamara McCleary, CEO of Thulium, to discuss supply chain digitalization. Karsten explains the genesis of the DCT project and the importance of integrated data.
  • LinkedIn session: I joined Denis Wirries and Dr. Michael Stollberg to learn more about the technology they used in the DCT build. They break down the design process and share advice with the audience.

Here are my key takeaways from our conversations.

Build in Iterations

The Schnellecke design team recognized the importance of developing the project in stages. They chose to iterate to improve the Digital Control Tower as they built it; in doing so, they saved time and resources.

“You need iterations because you need feedback, and to learn from the feedback to improve your actions,” Denis said. “This is one of the biggest points when you do a project in digitalization.”

The design team also incorporated user recommendations into the build. Schnellecke prioritized their employees’ responses and tailored their DCT features directly to their end users’ needs.

Leverage Existing Data

The team examined their business model in Design Thinking workshops. Together with SAP consultants, they identified opportunities and threats and outlined their digitalization strategy. Schnellecke initially chose to gather more data, but they quickly decided that this would not be necessary.

“We realized that we already process and collect an infinite amount of data—structured and unstructured,” Karsten said. “But that data was lying uselessly in storage. This gave rise to the ideas on how we could structure the data, analyze it, and generate value from it.”

Schnellecke unlocked advanced insights after optimizing their data. More importantly, though, they took the initiative to leverage established processes rather than choosing to create new systems. Karsten emphasized the importance of harnessing information from existing operations before implementing new ones.

Put People First

The key to any successful digital transformation is change management. Companies must ensure their employees are supported before introducing a new solution or process.

Dr. Stollberg highlighted the importance of employee collaboration. “The end-user involvement and engagement—very early, get them on board to get what they need,” he said.

He also spoke about the value of communicating the intention behind the technology and sharing the expected results. Dr. Stollberg explained that this unites the team under a common goal, provides a shared vision for the company’s future, and includes everyone in the transformation.

Tune into the Episode

Join us to hear more about Schnellecke’s outstanding digital transformation journey, and check out these additional stories involving real-time data and streamlined operations:

  • La Poste: Improving Customer Service with a Unified Technology Platform
  • ITOCHU: Reinventing Business and Work with an Enterprise-Wide Integrated Data Infrastructure

Visit to find the whole Better Together: Customer Conversations series.

Let us know if there are topics you’d like to learn more about and questions you’d like us to explore. Please contact us if you’d like to be a guest on a future episode.

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