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I would like to start my blog with a very sincere wish – Happy 2023 to all of us, sending heartfelt wishes to everyone to have best year ahead of us. In this blog, differently from previous blogs topics, you will be able to find out some highlights and key takeaways from World Economic Forum (WEF)* 2023. They provided a great online live stream infrastructure for external audiences to watch the sessions. This blog contains only the key takeaways captured out of WEF 2023 and is limited to the topics which relate to Supply Chain management of which Product Lifecycle Management plays a key role. In the second half of the blog, I describe at a high level, how SAP PLM software tackle challenges outlined in WEF 23 by enabling companies to create sustainable businesses.  

As we experienced a critical inflection point of the global Supply Chain during pandemic, topics such as climate change, circular economy sustainability, decarbonization, responsible production, greenfield manufacturing have all come to the forefront of the agenda in WEF 2023. Global supply chains sit right in the middle of the challenge and there is a need to become carbon neutral over the next decade. Although many companies set up goal and develop mission statements on sustainability, most of them lack the ability to capture, measure, monitor their emission and how they waste the resources.  The messages leaders highlighted in different panels was highly consistent with each other. Let me directly jump into 5 key highlights: 

  1. Manufacturing is the enabler of the supply chain and serves as the real driver for economic growth. They are the beating blood of industrial society. The common goal is to maintain economic growth while using resources effectively and responsibly. 

  2. Manufacturing will not be the same and will evolve by learning through mistakes accrued in pandemic times. The future of manufacturing brings opportunities but also responsibility – there is a new buzzword that emerged called “responsible production”.  

  3. Advanced manufacturing is the key. It means that manufacturing should be digital, resilient, and green. New approaches such “greenfield manufacturing” shall be adopted, where the latest technologies are leveraged and will be used as a default of supply chain management. 

  4. The adoption of digital twins will accelerate. It is one of the important pillars to apply in advanced manufacturing.  Digital twins are not only about visualization, but it is a real image of the real world which we simulate and optimize. Moreover, it is also about how to utilize digital data to optimize the physical space again and again with agility.  

  5. Supply chain management requires collaboration of partners in the network in order to be green, resilient, profitable and sustainable.  

The highlights can be extended beyond the abovementioned ones. They only reflect what I took away which is consistent with my daily work, being part of SAP PLM organization.  

How does SAP PLM help customers tackle challenges highlighted in WEF 23? Our mission is to deliver an integrated digital thread from idea-to-market. SAP Enterprise Product Development (SAP EPD) is a software-as-service (SaaS) solution, designed to empower enterprises to innovate, iterate, and introduce products and services by close looping insights, processes, and people. It helps companies achieve their sustainability goals by meeting regulatory and sustainability demands. It empowers enterprises to bring new sustainable and profitable products that the market wants, with accelerated pace and efficiency.  

The success of any enterprise in the manufacturing industry highly depends on the products they develop sustainably. So, this means that the right innovation strategy is key. With SAP EPD as an enabler, companies can:   

  • Digitize the product development process to speed up time-to-market and increase the return-on-investment. It facilitates customers to adopt the “greenfield manufacturing” approach.  

  • Build a product data foundation for product data & product specifications  

  • Manage and streamline product data and exchange with suppliers 

  • Efficient change management including tracking and managing continuous change & collaboration with suppliers 

  • Manage sustainable processes with substances, raw materials, components, and packaged goods and adapt formulation, ingredients, raw materials, and packaging to align with sustainability goals 

  • Use as a basis for legal requirements for sustainability reporting and reducing ecological product footprint and facilitate the demand for structured product data by regulatory agencies 

  • Design for recyclability (extended producer responsibility, plastic taxes) to optimize material choices and build a regenerative business by facilitating product reuse and recycling 

  • Establish a single source of truth with no manual data replication 

  • Streamline processes and workflows across the extended enterprise  

  • Curate product experience and develop sustainable products with high marketability that addresses customers’ needs and improve ability to fulfil custom product demand 

On top of the business highlights I shared, a personal key takeaway captured out of WEF is that I notice how well SAP PLM solutions address todays` real world business challenges pragmatically, which have been commonly shared in global platforms like WEF. It was great to hear common sense on the topics, which we continue to bring the values for customers.    

Info on WEF:  

* From 16 to 20 January, the Swiss town of Davos hosted the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, which meets under the theme "Cooperation in a fragmented world". The event brings together more than 2,500 stakeholders such as heads of state and government, business CEOs, civil society representatives, global media and youth leaders across the globe to work together to rebuild trust and shape the principles, policies and partnerships needed to meet the challenges of 2023. The goal of annual meetings provides a platform to engage in constructive, forward-looking dialogues and help find solutions through public-private cooperation.  
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