SAP: Paving the way for an agile digital supply chain

As Industry 4.0 looks set to revolutionise the global supply chain, SAP and Atos are working together to re-shape the digital landscape

It’s never been more important for a manufacturer to be agile when it comes to their supply chain, is the message from John McNiff, Head of Digital Supply Chain for EMEA North, SAP. 

SAP, one of the global leaders of Industry 4.0, counts Atos as a trusted partners. Together they are focusing on how the new industrial revolution of technologies will shape the future supply chain in a more agile way to leverage the investments made by companies.

As a market leader in enterprise application software, SAP aims to simplify technology for companies.

Beyond the traditional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), SAP has been investing in technologies and solutions for the digital supply chain. 

“We are working with Atos on implementations, bringing best practice and thought leadership to our customers, to understand how they can get better outcomes from these technologies,” said McNiff.


Industry 4.0 and sustainability

“We believe we've got something quite unique,” said McNiff who points out manufacturers look to partner with SAP due to their scale, security and a long track record.

“We have delivered applications with Atos in manufacturing execution (MES), manufacturing intelligence , asset management and supply chain over many years. Atos is working with us on Industry 4.0 by implementing the new generation of solutions that we bring to market, next generation cloud, data and AI embedded tools for the domains of supply chain and operations.

“The big differentiator for us is the breadth of solutions. We're investing big. We're at the forefront of the technology switch to cloud, big data platforms & AI, and being able to use all of that in a holistic way across the whole process from “design to operate”. This is a big differentiator for us. Having one platform that scales across all those areas is definitely an advantage.


Effect of the pandemic

Commenting on how the pandemic has shaped the supply chain, McNiff says it has shone a light on the fact that manufacturers need to act now. “The pandemic, Brexit, the China trade wars have been a supply chain marketers dream as this has highlighted what supply chain disruption actually means.

“I think it's very clear at the moment, whether it be the ship stuck in the Suez Canal and what that means for getting materials and the knock-on effect to the supply chain. 

“It has never been more important for a manufacturer to be agile, find new partners quickly, and become more efficient. They need solutions in cloud, delivered quickly, stand alone, but able to interoperate with other enterprise solutions to gain quick return on their investment.”


Near-Future Investments

According to a report from McKinsey 94% of the manufacturer's carbon footprint typically comes from its supply chain, either internal or external.

“Helping companies understand the impact of products and operations, will make a big difference to their sustainability goals,” said McNiff. “We are shifting more of their client’s on-premise domains into the cloud. “The idea of having one unified business network where all supply chain partners can interact is a big area of investment.”


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