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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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As I got off the plane at I caught myself singing the Danny Kaye song “Wonderful Copenhagen” from the Hans Christian Andersen film that I remembered from my (distant) youth. It was quite appropriate as I (with about 400 customers, partners and colleagues) was heading to the wonderful SAP Insider event in Mr. Anderson's home town.

Keynote –  How IOT is driving digitization across supply chains

Hans Thalbauer kicked off the event with a keynote session on “How IOT is driving digitization across supply chains”.

Hans explained how a Digital Supply Chain powered by SAP Leonardo enables companies to connect the emerging world of intelligent devices with people and processes to achieve tangible business outcomes. He provided many examples of how companies are realizing a digital transformation of not only existing end-to-end business processes, but also evolving new business models to run digitally, and create new work environments.

Hans also introduced the concept of “the supply chain of one” which drives business processes that are centered around the customer (the segment of one), who demands individualized products and services. This then drives processes across the complete supply chain to :

  • Design products with individualization in mind (Design for one)

  • Flexible manufacturing processes that move from “continuous production to configurable cells (Manufacturing for one)

  • Omni-channel logistics processes that enable all types of shipments, all the way down to individual products (Shipment of one)

  • Visibility of products and assets in the field leveraging a Digital Twin that provides a digital mirror of assets through the complete lifecycle (Asset of one).

This was a great introduction to the SAP portfolio for IOT and Digital Supply Chain and provided a great set up for the next 3 days.


The Spotlight on Supply Chain, Manufacturing and R&D

During Day 1 there were two spotlight sessions that targeted LOB executives:

  • Panel discussion: Running a live supply chain – Where I moderated a very interactive session with Martin Barkman, Patrick Crampton-Thomas and Bill King. We discussed business challenges, recent releases, roadmaps, best practices and what “powered by SAP Leonardo” means to the respective LOB’s.


  • Industry 4.0 — Digitizing manufacturing with IoT and Industry 4.0 and transforming R&D through “Live Engineering” - Where Thomas Ohnemus and Mike Lackey gave many customer examples of how to meet the challenging demands faced by R&D and Manufacturing executives by leveraging advancements in IoT technology, automating end-to-end processes, and enabling real-time analysis of operational performance.

The fast track to success

During the three days, attendees could attend sessions spread across 9 tracks. Here are a few of the highlights based on sessions I attended:

  • Supply chain strategy and design

    • Case study: Achieving supply chain efficiency to enable global growth at Givaudan (Robert Sacks, Givaudan)

  • Demand planning and S&OP

    • A first-hand look at the new capabilities in SAP Integrated Business Planning (Martin Barkman)

    • Case study: How IDEXX Laboratories created a more robust S&OP process leveraging SAP Integrated Business Planning (Justin Weyand, Pat O'Brien, IDEXX Laboratories

    • Case study: Reimagine demand planning: Discover how Lennox International leveraged an agile approach to implement SAP Integrated Business Planning for demand (Mani Suresh, Lennox International)

  • Supply and production planning

    • SAP strategy and solutions for digital response and supply management (Patrick Crampton-Thomas)

    • Digital business networks: Latest road map for direct material collaboration with SAP Integrated Business Planning and Ariba Network (Volker Wilhelm)

  • Warehouse and inventory management

    • Case study: How Vistaprint improved its quality processes through low-impact integration within its warehouse operations (Vlad Selsky, Vistaprint)

  • Transportation management, logistics, and order fulfillment

    • Digital logistics in the live supply chain: A 2017 guide to the latest SAP innovations that enable end-to-end logistics, order fulfilment, and real-time track and trace (Markus Rosemann)

  • Product Lifecycle Management

    • Case study: Inside Varian Medical’s SAP journey to digitisation (Arnab Mukherjee, Varian Medical)

  • Manufacturing operations and execution

    • An overview of SAP’s manufacturing solution strategy and direction (Mike Lackey)

  • Internet of Things

    • Think big, start small: How to get started with the Internet of Things (José Márquez)

    • Accelerate your adoption of Industry 4.0 through digital manufacturing (Ralf Lehmann)


    • SAP S/4HANA for digital supply chain transformation (Patrick Crampton-Thomas)

    • The SAP S/4HANA Interactive Simulation: An engaging, real-time, decision-driven exercise at Logistics & SCM 2017 in Copenhagen


In conclusion

I learned a lot from these sessions and think that all attendees left the event with new information and actions to bring back to the office.

As Copenhagen’s most famous son once wrote ……..

      “When we get to the end of the story, you will know more than you do now”.

- The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Andersen