LoB-Supply-Chain-Management

New Line of Business: Supply Chain Management

After four years of dynamic growth, Inspiricon has decided to establish a new line of business: “Supply Chain Management”. This restructuring will help Inspiricon further raise its profile, combine its process skills in the field of supply chain management with its extensive SAP Business Intelligence knowledge, and better align its expertise with market demands.

In its relatively short company history, Inspiricon has already build an impressive track record: From the introduction of a global price tracking tool for the strategic purchasing division of Giesecke & Devrient GmbH and the provision of targeted and systematic project management and coaching services to ensure the timely introduction of a production control center at Kulmbach Töpfer GmbH to the optimization of the global logistics processes for a world leader in the additive manufacturing sector – over the past few years the list of success stories has only grown longer.

The main focus of the line of business:

Supply chain analytics and performance measurement:

Supply chain analytics creates transparency and visibility along the supply chain, unlocking hidden potential in logistics and supply chain management. Typical objectives are the improvement of delivery performance, responsiveness and adaptability of supply chains, lowering order lead times, reduction of inventories, increasing capacity utilization and/or an improved planning accuracy. To achieve that performance metrics are selected and visualized.

Performance metrics help to resolve conflicting objectives and identify deviations, opportunities, and risks; provide insights on inefficiencies, help determine opportunities and allow companies to measure the performance of their processes, organizational units or employees. They provide a foundation for the implementation of required optimization measures.

To maintain the validity of performance metrics, their number should always be limited to a reasonable amount. Additionally, companies need be able to identify interrelationships and assess root causes. In a well-tuned system of performance metrics, these relationships can be broken down all the way to the level of basic operational data. The initial question in the definition of such a system is always: Which metrics are worth analyzing at all?

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Supply chain analytics applies analytical software and methods to supply chain processes and data – from planning, procurement of raw materials, manufacturing and distribution to final transport to the customer. In addition to big data, real-time data analytics, and self-service BI, mobility and cloud are becoming increasingly interesting in this field. When aligned to business requirements on the one hand and IT-strategic prerequisites and considerations on the other, these disruptive technologies already today are transforming the way companies plan and steer their supply chains in a meaningful way.

Our services in the new line of business: From the development of a performance measurement strategy and the definition of relevant performance metrics to concrete implementation of SAP technology – with the new line of business, Inspiricon leaves no relevant aspect of a supply chain analytics project uncovered. Once we have developed a customer-specific strategy and captured every single requirement, the next step is to discuss implementation scenarios, design customized solutions, and implement them with a constant eye on meeting the stated objectives.

By giving actionable recommendations on the selection of suitable tools and providing helpful best practice guidance on how to apply them to the implementation of visualizations as well as for analysis and assessment of data, we help our customers to take care that essential information and insights do get to the right people in the right way and at the right time. Hereby we enable our customers towards faster decisions, which do support their continuous business success.

Do you require assistance in selection of strategic performance metrics or would you like to know more about the performance metrics in SAP’s Business Intelligence software? We will be happy to bring you up to speed in a one-day workshop.

Supply chain digitalization and Industry 4.0:

The increasing pace of digitalization, which is further accelerated by the internet of things, is creating new challenges in the business intelligence space. Industry 4.0 goes beyond opening up new perspectives and opportunities in shaping the supply chain, creating never-before-seen processes and business models. How can analytics technologies support this process and how are future requirements on modern BI systems going to change? What new possibilities and insights will come from applying them to the changing process landscape?

In their joint study titled “Procurement 4.0”, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics and the German Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics have come to the conclusion that, given the increasing levels of digitalization, complete autonomy in operational procurement processes could already be achieved today. Essential process activities would be implemented by means of modern technologies, which would not only result in a shift of focus towards strategic procurement and along with it in increased expectations and growing complexity, but also in a fundamental change in how the procurement role is perceived. It would increasingly move towards interface management or data analytics.

At the same time, the number of modern technologies employed in modern production lines is steadily increasing. “Smart factory” is a term used by researchers to describe the vision of manufacturing environments with production lines that, for the most part, are capable of organizing themselves without human interaction. Cyber-physical systems are to communicate with one another using the internet of things while being controlled using artificial intelligence (AI) methods such as machine learning.

Several logistics-related surveys have found that the majority of forwarding agents – companies, that contract logistics service providers (LSPs) to move cargo – and almost all logistics companies already leverage various technologies to track locations and movements. On top of that, there are several other basic technologies in the field of sensor or Auto-ID (RFID), mobile communications, or planning and simulation, which are very popular and widespread. And given the fact that these technologies don’t seem to be fully rolled out yet on a broader scale or used universally, one thing quickly becomes apparent: There is even more untapped potential, when it comes to the technologies that are built on top of them, for example in the area of big data. There is no shortage of companies that fall into the trap of collecting data without having a clear idea of how they can actually leverage it to their advantage.

Major objective of the line of business SCM is therefore to bring the two worlds together – the process perspective of the supply chain and the latest analytics technology – to combine them into new and innovative use cases. We focus on today’s trends and challenges in supply chain digitalization and keep a close eye on the latest technologies surrounding big data, advanced analytics, machine learning, and predictive analytics. Current approaches are already bringing actionable improvements in the context of supply chain risk management and tracking and tracing.

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Companies from a wide range of industries, from manufacturing and trade to consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and many more, do find that the services in our new line of business are exactly, what they are looking for. Would you like to find out more about our methods and projects or is there anything else we can do for you? Be sure to come back to our blog for regular updates. Also, don’t hesitate to contact us directly, we’ll be happy to hear from you!

Sources:  Supply-Chain-Controlling mit SAP BW (SAP Press)

Author
Daniel Schauwecker Lead Consultant Visualisation
Phone: +49 (0) 7031 714 660 0
Email: info@inspiricon.de