Stronger Together: Supplier Relationships, Sustainability, and Profitability
Put three economists in a room, and you’ll likely get four different opinions. That’s because our financial and economic systems are so complex that it’s incredibly challenging to predict the future. But after three years of cascading turbulence and interlinked crises, businesses hope that 2023 will bring the normalization and stability they need to face any situation.
And it seems that most businesses are working toward turning that wish into a reality. Supply chain delivery times and producer prices are coming off their peaks and trending lower toward more reasonable levels. Even commitments toward sustainability goals are becoming more strategic as organizations increasingly recognize the connection between environmental, social, and governance (ESG) responsibility and their long-term growth and profitability.
The key to achieving such progress is having a digital-first mindset. According to the IDC, this approach is the primary lever that CEOs and C-suites pull to focus on achieving outcomes that translate into business value. But the full benefit from digital-first strategies is best realized with a flexible, extensible, and open business technology platform.
Innovate and grow with a platform backbone
For years, organizations have increasingly incorporated digital processes, automation, and data-driven decision-making in their business transformation strategies. But unfortunately, far too many still struggle with realizing the full value of their efforts.
IDC reports that only 38% of organizations have gained bottom-line improvements from their digital initiatives, and even fewer (27%) have experienced positive changes in their top line. The challenges getting in their way are related to organizational silos, the absence of metrics, digital skills gaps, and a lack of technology and data integration.
For many SAP customers, SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) plays a critical role in overcoming these obstacles in their transformation journey. The cloud-native platform’s flexible infrastructure architecture enables organizations to modernize IT aggressively and quickly with a continuous flow of data and ecosystem feedback loops, orchestrated and automated processes, and digital innovation.
A prime example of the power of SAP BTP as a backbone for innovation and growth is the experience of Royal Greenland A/S when earning and maintaining its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for sustainable fishing.
Royal Greenland depends on the hard work and perseverance of more than 2,000 independent fishermen and women doing backbreaking work under the Nordic Seas’ bitter cold and harsh winds. So the idea of requiring fishers to complete catch registration paperwork in the freezing cold and walk long distances to submit it at the procurement office was too time-consuming, inconvenient, and counterproductive. Plus, the additional step of keying purchase orders into back-end ERP systems increased the risk of suboptimal pricing and errors in traceability reporting.
The entire company, especially its local suppliers and individual anglers, welcomed the opportunity to develop three mobile apps to simplify and accelerate the documentation and reporting of daily catches. Using SAP Extension Suite (part of SAP BTP), Royal Greenland created a native iPhone app that lets anglers quickly and digitally submit their catch data and legally required signatures and validate licenses for specific species. A second native iPad app was then designed for procurement staff who entered additional information needed for MSC certification, such as texture, quality, temperature, and weight. A Web-based app was also developed to allow back-office teams to approve the procurements.
Across all three apps, data integrates with the SAP HANA database and the SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain solution. The Web app also connects to the SAP ERP application for further processing and storage of data. Plus, capabilities for offline tasks, push notifications, authentication, device registration, logging, and more were supported by SAP BTP SDK for iOS.
“With these groundbreaking apps built using SAP BTP, we are strengthening our supplier loyalty, optimizing internal processes, and helping local fishermen document that they have fulfilled the sustainability requirements that allow them to obtain higher prices for their catch,” explains Lars Bo Hassinggaard, corporate IT manager of Royal Greenland.
Furthermore, Royal Greenland defined several additional scenarios for future development. They include an e-commerce platform for buying fishing equipment, apps to help authorities find boats lost at sea, and tools to gain a total overview of finances, set budgets, and build savings.
Shift change from problem-solving to meaningful impact
When it comes to growth and innovation, the trifecta of supplier relationships, sustainability, and profitability can be powerful. Developing solutions that bring suppliers, staff, and customers together creates a mutual value that is impactful from the supply chain to the customer experience.
To realize the full potential of that combination, Royal Greenland and hundreds of more companies worldwide are taking their transformation journey to the next level with SAP BTP. The flexibility of the platform with applications, services, tools, and prebuilt content they need helps create a strong, intelligent, and sustainable future.
Find out how SAP Business Technology Platform can accelerate and augment your business transformation initiatives across internal departments and external stakeholders, including your supplier network. Read the IDC white paper, “The Business Value of SAP Business Technology Platform.”