Supply Chain Management Blogs by SAP
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As we have observed from previous blogs, collaboration strategy is not just people working in the same physical place and talking to each other in a casual way. Collaboration strategy should be providing the platform / environment that allows stakeholders to work with each other day-in and day-out seamlessly to receive and share the required information to have real business outcomes. Let us look at some of the enablers.


  • “I know of one company with five different master parts data schemas in different silos. That multiplies complexity at a time when companies urgently need to simplify their data to derive truly business-critical insights.” [Chris Cookson Advisory, Technology Sector, Supply Chain Ernst & Young LLP]

  • Data duplication, different units maintaining same data in different schemas, no single source of truth are spoilers that needs to be treated early on to avoid huge re-structuring cost.

  • Harmonizing data is crucial to get data across all levels to a structure that everyone can consume with ease

  • Companies with multiple incompatible data analysis tools must find a way to obtain a unified enterprise view of the disparate data in their systems


  • Data across various business units and teams must be organized, integrated to have a consistent data that can be shared across the organization.

  • Data driven supply chain is proving its results and hence data is the ultimate asset for any organization that should be rightly embraced

  • Data integration is the key in driving the data driven supply chain. For example: Traditional data monitoring, which would involve sales and order tracking and point of sales data, is now being supplemented with weather, events and news, with the aim being to generate insights in the short term, such as how operations will be affected this week, rather than on a broad, annual time frame.

Analytics and Data strategy

  • Big data and analytics are transforming the supply chain and manufacturing processes

  • Supply chain generates huge volumes of data and if the data are analyzed with right approach and techniques, optimizing supply chain would be much quicker and with predictable results

  • Data Growing data complexity inhibits companies’ ability to access business insights

  • Data complexity can and must be simplified by a focused enterprise data strategy

  • “Understanding how data drives productivity should be the starting point because it tells you what’s important — and that defines your data strategy,” says Brian Meadows, Principal and Leader, Digital Operations, Advisory Services, Ernst & Young LLP.

  • Big supply chain analytics uses data and quantitative methods to improve decision making for all activities across the supply chain

  • Analytics plays a major role here in gathering insights out of the big data generated by supply chain operations and planning

  • Below are the values analytics could bring to supply chain


Adoption of right tools and applications

  • Reporting, notifications, communication platform

  • To have an optimal and predictable supply chain, right tools and applications should be adopted by the right teams to quickly take right decisions and to drive better results

  • Machine learning, Big data and analytics, reporting, monitoring, instant messaging, sensors and RFIDs, etc are some of the mechanisms that could be adopted by the organization and governed by the appropriate leaders responsible for the areas in which these are adopted

  • For Example, Integrated Business Planning is an advanced application that helps to plan sales and operations reducing the complexity of gathering data from multiple stakeholders, manually fitting them together , understanding the trend, performing What-If analysis,


  • To have a successful collaboration strategy and to best make use of latest innovation mindset and company culture plays the major role which acts as an engine to fuel adoption

  • Collaborating with multiple teams, looking at data from various sources, deriving insights out of the data, distributed ownership, empowering lot of people to take decisions requires contribution and adherence from each of the member in an organization

  • Building a collaborative culture is the key to achieve a complete buy-in from everyone in the organization on the strategic decisions

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