Supply Chain Management Blogs by SAP
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Through a research period of four months, Eventful Conferences has conducted extensive interviews with 50+ chemical industry companies, and held two roundtable events in key chemical industry locations – Philadelphia, PA and Houston, TX. The intention of the research is to summarize the most common and critical challenges that the industry must address – crucial to their success. These pain points have been identified by the industry during the roundtables and throughout the interviews. The Best Practices for Chemicals Conference will strive to address each challenge, pain point and trend by providing solution-oriented presentations, backed by specific evidence and packaged to provide the audience with clear takeaways on how to achieve similar results.

In this issue we will discuss the need to run your supply chain and logistics in real-time, considering the high dynamics and complexity of today's global economy. If you missed or would like to revisit the previous entries in our series, please follow the links below.

Strategic Imperatives for the Chemical Industry - Part 1: Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures

Strategic Imperatives for the Chemical Industry - Part 2: Digitizing the Chemical Enterprise

Strategic Imperatives for the Chemical Industry – Part 3: Analytics & Reporting

Strategic Imperatives for the Chemical Industry – Part 4: Business Process Optimization

Strategic Imperatives for the Chemical Industry – Part 5: Keeping up with a changing World


  1. Supply Chain and Logistics

A more visible, mobile, “real-time” world has impacted supply chain and logistics professionals by increasing the speed at which we do business, and changing the expectations of those relying on these business functions. Customer expectations have changed, with customers now wanting to track shipments and understand logistics in real-time. Geo-political pressures and changing regulations require real-time decision making as well, most of which impacts costs.

Without visibility, decision-making, cost analysis, and customer service can all be hindered. Our chemical company representatives all agreed that supply chain and logistics improvements could come in the form of better data and greater visibility through technology. The ability to simulate inventory scenarios, capacitation, network sourcing options, toll manufacturing options, and start-up/shut-down operations is now a competitive differentiator to a global sales and operations planning process. SAP’s foray into S4Logistics is interesting to customers, but they must consider what they will gain from going that route over sticking with their existing SAP solutions.

Production Planning

  • How can analytics and predictive data help us get to market faster? How can it improve my inventory and production planning?

  • Understanding Demand and forecasting better – What can I do to better manage materials and manufacturing inputs – control ordering, be sure to have enough of what I need?

  • The relationship between Sales and Operational planning - In what ways can I leverage technology and improve processes to streamline?

  • How can I best map and understand the interrelations between manufacturing and other aspects of the business?

  • What can SAP’s new IBP solution offer that I couldn’t get in older iterations like APO

Inventory Management

  • How can SAP tools help me with my hazardous raw materials management?

  • What can I do to better screen market demand and shifts, and then reflect that back in my own inventory management decisions?

  • How can SAP help me with sales forecasting? And how can it help me use that information to tie back to inventory and raw material requirements?

  • How can I leverage the concepts of multi-echelon inventory optimization, and does the value outweigh the costs?

Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

  • What tools exist in SAP to support MRP and what case studies can we see of customers using these tools effectively to drive efficiency?

  • SAP S/4 HANA allows continuous MRP runs – what does that really mean in terms of value to the customer?

  • Available to promise becomes part of core SAP S/4 – what does this mean to APO and where should I do this process in the future?

Transportation Management

  • I need to be flexible in my shipping options to meet customer and business needs; how can I manage the ever-changing options and costs associated so that I can make faster decisions?

  • What are some best practices for third-party logistics, especially as it relates to transportation management, shipping, and distribution?

  • How can track and trace technologies impact my business?

  • How can I best manage global trade compliance?


  • How can I leverage technology to understand distribution costs in real-time?

  • What SAP technologies are best for managing third-party distributors? How do I create buy-in from distributors to use this technology?

  • How can I better measure upstream and downstream effects on distribution and end-customer customer service?

To get answers to these and many more questions come and visit us at the Best Practices for Chemicals Conference, being held in Houston on April 4-6, 2017 and Register Now!

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