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Author's profile photo Petra Diessner

Proactive inbound logistics with SAP Business Network: better control your supply chain with immediate insight-to-action

The past few years have been quite challenging for every logistician: the daily routine of massive supply chain disruption and firefighting efforts brought both the best and the worst in supply chains to light, and led to a new normal of a constant need of adoption. While there fortunately has been quite some relief with respect to freight costs, supply chain resilience stays at C-level attention. As the situation has improved, now is the time to take a step back and check what your company’s most immediate needs are.

In a recent blog of my colleague Richard Howells, one of the top recommendations for future proofing your supply chain against risk is putting real-time and accurate data into the hands of supply chain practitioners so that they have the visibility to make timely and intelligent decisions. ­In addition, he suggests unleashing the power of collaboration across your network by breaking down silos across both departmental and company boundaries for more informed and collaborative end to end business processes, as visibility across the supply chain is a key enabler to solving todays and tomorrow’s business issues. This is where the SAP Business Network comes into play!

When it comes to visibility, companies so far mostly centered their energy onto outbound operations and customer satisfaction. However, managing the inbound supply chain is equally important for running a healthy, global business operation: not knowing when goods will actually arrive can have a massive impact on your production and/or fulfillment schedules. Luckily, real-time shipment visibility solutions are meanwhile adopted more broadly, but most of these are focused on a specific region, or mode of transportation, so both a central place for global insights into your goods in transit, irrespective of mode of transportation and region, as well as the extra business context that only SAP can provide, are needed to be able to determine the best course of action in case of delays or disruptions.

SAP Business Network Global Track and Trace with the intelligent insights add-on provides all that: it marries the overarching order fulfillment business context with multi-modal shipment milestone updates provided directly from your logistics service providers, as well as allows funneling in real-time geo location insights from visibility vendors. That way, the physical movement of goods is connected with the information flow of all relevant business documents –  across all related order items, deliveries and shipment legs. The combined breadth of 3rd party real-time location, risk insights plus this business context allows you easily assessing the monetary impact of deviations from the plan and your order fulfillment. A rule framework is leveraged to trigger notifications and automated follow-up activities so that every stakeholder gets the information at hand they need for educated business decisions.

See for yourself: Proactive Inbound Logistics with SAP Business Network.


I hope you enjoy the demo video. More details on Logistics Collaboration with SAP Business Network can be found here. In addition, I would like to recommend the related blog on Network Aware Supply Chain Planning, which shows how those insights can fuel planning for the better. Lastly, I’d like to encourage you to bookmark our blog content so that you are always on top of things regarding Logistics Collaboration with SAP Business Network, including the introductory series, and the regular release updates by my colleagues. Until next time!

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      Author's profile photo Douglas DeLuca
      Douglas DeLuca

      The demo was very clear and concise.  Really helped me understand how logistics visibility looks on SAP Business Network.  Thank you.