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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

And how SAP partners are helping global supply chains contend with disruption

If you’re in the UK and yearning for a smooth and creamy strawberry milkshake from McDonald’s to cool off during these last days of summer, unfortunately you’re out of luck. Due to truck driver shortages and COVID-19 safety protocols, the fast-food giant can’t offer milkshakes or bottled drinks in its 1,200+ locations in Great Britain.

We’ve all experienced empty store shelves on occasion in the past, whether due to hurricane prep or the typical holiday shopping frenzy. But extreme pandemic-related challenges like the one at McDonald’s, reveal the delicate nature of our global supply chain.

While some industries have recovered, ongoing developments continue to affect supply chains worldwide.

A number of factories in parts of Asia, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, have closed due to outbreaks in recent weeks. China’s Ningbo-Zhoushan port, the third largest container port in the world, shut down for two weeks in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus after just one case. Massive cargo ships were forced to wait or were diverted to other ports.

The impact of port closures on global brands like Adidas and Steven Madden come as markets are experiencing the rise and fall of “revenge spending,” an influx of purchasing because of an unprecedented event. Suddenly we see scores of people splurging on luxury goods like Cartier and Louis Vuitton, with Chinese consumers leading the demand.

All these variables continue to contribute to unpredictable inventories across industries.

Easing the Supply Chain Strain

Take The Config Team, based in the UK. Its PreBilt™ Supply Chain Mobility solution offers a suite of mobile applications that can be deployed in mere days, replacing time-consuming manual processes and outdated technology.

One of the most important aspects of managing inventory is knowing when supplies will arrive. With FourKites’ Smart Forecasted Arrival, companies can see exactly where their materials are at any given time in the supply chain, so they can better project what’s going to show up and when. With that valuable insight they can more accurately decide how big their labor and capacity needs are. The FourKites platform integrates with SAP Logistics Business Network, an open network of logistics companies that share critical information about risks and disruptions to keep everyone’s supply chains moving.

Late shipments, unplanned costs, and spoilage are a few of the calamities that Everstream Analytics tackles with its Supply Chain Risk Management solution. Using artificial intelligence, the tool helps businesses plan for port congestion, higher prices due to geopolitical events, and other threats. Everstream’s solution integrates with the SAP Logistics Business Network.

Once goods successfully arrive to their respective ports and warehouses, there are still many steps to ensure the cargo makes it to stockrooms and shelves. Orlando, Florida-based OneRail provides efficient final-mile workflow via automated order creation, delivery route optimization, and smart-courier matching among its key features.

We look forward to the days when milkshakes flow freely once again, as SAP partners and others continue to deliver new and powerful tools to customers.


All partner solutions noted above are available on SAP® Store. It’s where customers can find the SAP solutions and SAP-validated solutions they need to grow their business. And for each purchase made through SAP Store, SAP will plant a tree.

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