Recently, at SAP TechEd 2020, we shared with our customers how i technologies like Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (iRPA), Predictive Machine Learning, Situation Handling, and Analytics compliment their business operations to provide more valuable insights and, ultimately, more impactful business outcomes. These technologies are available for all SAP S/4HANA customers in all deployment options.
During discussions at TechEd, we learnt that some customers are looking to improve the use of innovation and automation to help them to keep up with the constantly changing forces in their markets. Clearly agility and speed are key to successfully navigate and take advantage of these market adjustments. Some other customers are looking to be more proactive and to understand possible areas of innovation opportunities. Regardless of the use case you are evaluating, SAP is here to provide you best in class and next practices content with intelligent SAP technologies.
If we look at intelligent processes, we want business users to be enabled to operate at their best by leveraging these technologies to assist, adapt and to automate some of their current repetitive tasks so that they can focus their attention on additional value creation.
Let’s start with taking a closer look at Intelligent Robotic Process Automation. SAP offers S/4HANA customers with out-of-the box content they can use to create automation within their current processes. For instance, if a Warehouse Supervisor is looking to reduce inventory carrying cost and reduce the potential revenue loss due to stock-outs as a result of an increase in demand. The Warehouse Supervisor will need to accelerate and improve the flow of physical activities on the warehouse floor. Automation of the system tasks is also a must as it needs to be in synch with the speed of physical activities, here SAP can help by providing automation bots. Examples include the automatic picking or post good issue for outbound deliveries or to help automate physical inventory counts, proof of delivery with Automatic confirmation and inbound delivery creation triggered by delivery notes, to name just a few.
Predictive Machine Learning can also help the Warehouse Supervisor and the Material Planner to proactively anticipate potential challenges that might occur. This will help the business to improve on-time delivery performance to their customers. SAP provides, among others, the option to make use of Predictive Training Models. For the Warehouse Supervisor, for example, we recommend to use the Predictive Analytics Model Training – Supply Chain (20N), which will provide an out of the box predictive model that can be leveraged in the ‘Stock in Transit App’ by getting a predicted date for the delivery of the stock in transit, based on statistical delivery data for the customer. This will allow the Warehouse Supervisor and the Planner to adjust time schedules based on empirical data and have a more reliable planning and scheduling of goods in transit.
Continuing with the example to increase warehouse productivity, we have now equipped the Warehouse Supervisor with the ability to automate and predict, but what happens when exceptions occur?
SAP offers Situation Handling (SH) functionality which helps to automatically identify urgent and important issues and brings these issues to the attention of the Warehouse Supervisor. The
functionality provides the user with intelligent support to make the right decisions and notifies them when actions are needed. Continuing with the stock in transit example, SAP actually provides a template to manage situations when a stock transport order is overdue., This will allow the Warehouse Supervisor to respond immediately to goods receipts that are delayed due to open stock transport order items. SAP provides best practices on this topic and several templates.
Automation and Situation Handling functionality have led to more predictability for the Warehouse Supervisor, resulting in reduced warehouse costs and increased productivity, but this is not all. The Warehouse Supervisor now also has all the needed insights at his fingertips to make necessary adjustments or drive actions according to the constantly changing market situations. SAP provides users with a complete set of Best Practices for Analytics content and, if SAP S/4HANA is used in conjunction with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC), there are also a lot of pre-delivered Industry and Lines of Business content available. Please keep in mind that SAP is constantly delivering new content.
Now, if the delivered content doesn’t cover your pressing business needs, customers can create customized content based on released analytical queries built on CDS views. Going back to our previous example, the Warehouse Supervisor could potentially use the Query View for Stock Transports to adjust it and create the necessary insights to monitor and make the right decisions.
As you can see from these examples, applying intelligent technologies to traditional processes can increase business outcomes significantly, the Warehouse Supervisor was looking to reduce inventory carrying cost and reduce the potential revenue loss due to stock-outs based on an increase in demand, per our description above. With the right innovations in place, the improvements made can impact the bottom line KPIs by reducing Warehouse Management cost as a % of revenue, and by reducing the days in inventory and thus preventing stock-out revenue loss.
If you are an SAP ECC customer looking to transition to SAP S/4HANA and if you are interested to discover what value innovation technologies can bring to your business, I recommend you try the spotlight program. The spotlight program can help existing SAP S/4HANA customers as well.
If you are an SAP S/4HANA customer and know exactly what you want to implement, but need help with a quick guide on how to get started with these innovation technologies in SAP S/4HANA, I would like to recommend that you have look at the newly released Quick Guides, and I also would like to advise you to read Amitha’s Blog to get additional details.
In addition, I highly recommend that you explore the productivity improvements to your business processes by discussing the potential implementation of innovation technologies with your IT team as well as your implementation partner.
For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:
The power of best-in-class and Next Practices business content for a modern ERP Blog Post by Sven Denecken
SAP S/4HANA Cloud: The Intelligent ERP Link Collection Blog Post by Sven Denecken
SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation Content Here