As supply chains have advanced, they have become more complex to manage and operate. SAP has risen to the challenge with the launch of its Business Network.
SAP is dedicated to providing innovative businesses with cutting-edge technological solutions for optimal operational performance, business efficiency, and customer satisfaction. One of these powerful solutions is SAP Business Network, a platform that utilizes popular tools, seamless collaboration, and the ambitious application of emerging technologies to elevate business outcomes. It’s perfect for businesses that operate as part of supply chains as they need to maintain strong working relationships.
If you’d like to leverage the potential of SAP Business Network, here’s everything you need to know about it.
During the pressurized period of the Covid-19 pandemic that caused global supply chain disruption, SAP noticed a gap in the market that needed to be filled to enable businesses to continue to meet customer needs. That gap was a solution to simplify workflows and drive collaboration. In response, they unified intelligent businesses through their open business network to tighten the connections between procurement, supply chain planning, logistics, plant maintenance, and other supply chain enterprises.
There are multiple already existing solutions that form the base of the SAP Business Network and solidify it as a supply chain management software that prioritizes transparency, resilience, and sustainability. These are the core already-in-use modules that make up the SAP Business Network solution.
The Ariba Network is a legacy solution and forms the basis of the procurement module for SAP Business Network to support buyers and suppliers in managing the purchase cycle. It was one of the first innovations SAP introduced to the business world, digitizing common exchanges such as purchase orders and invoices. The data exchange between partner systems is still a valuable process in the smooth running of supply chains today. The capabilities of Ariba Network have developed over time, giving businesses the ability to ensure compliance, quality control, and inventory management in the supply chain using guidance forecasting.
This is an open logistics network to support collaboration between stakeholders. It monitors key exchanges including purchasing, sales, and delivery even with third-party logistics partners. With full supply chain visibility, advanced business management is facilitated including the exchange of documentation with key business partners and other important transactions. As the single hub for key supply chain data, responsive collaboration is possible among logistics connections, no matter their location or other complications.
The management of operational assets is also a key process that can include multiple parties. To keep each partner in a supply chain on track to deliver on time, their assets and equipment need to be in a state of high performance. Usage data is tracked and held centrally so the performance analytics can be shared between the asset owners, manufacturers, operators, and any other parties involved. Therefore, issues, areas for improvement, and solutions can be quickly identified and formulated to minimize disruption and maximize efficiency.
With the combination of these tried and tested tools with the interconnectedness of SAP Business Network, members can take advantage of the most innovative supply chain management solution to achieve the best possible results.
This is a network that facilitates collaboration with its ecosystem of business partners involved in the supply chain processes. It includes material suppliers at multiple levels, subcontracted manufacturers, packagers, shippers, carriers, and third-party logistics. Companies can work together in forecasting and planning their supply needs, order management, inventory handling, and quality assurance processes. This is achieved by sharing crucial information, strengthening transparency, visibility, coordination, and operational alignment, and anticipating any disruption or impact on supply plans involving the various actors mentioned.
As a unified portal for a network of supply chain parties, businesses can eliminate delays and friction in supply chain processes that in any way rely on other enterprises. This unlocks multiple desirable benefits.
Previously, businesses have been restricted by supply chain disruptions due to the ripple effect one problem can have on the whole network. But now, they can manage the changing landscape of supply chains with confidence. They have the end-to-end visibility to make informed decisions at any given time. Responses to delays or disruptions can be formulated and enacted with immediacy and in some cases before it has an impact on other parties or customer delivery. Opportunities for greater efficiency, cost-effectiveness, or other positive business outcomes can be seized and leveraged in a more timely manner too.
A supply chain that has the interconnectedness to perform at a higher standard will in turn meet customer needs to a higher standard. Individual businesses have the capacity to source the best materials, maintain the best manufacturing and production processes, and deliver with maximum efficiency. That means their customers are delivered high-quality products and an excellent customer experience. Customer expectations and demands can change rapidly and an interconnected supply chain is well-positioned to respond to the changes with accuracy and speed to keep customers onboard.
There is also a sustainability benefit to the capabilities SAP Business Network provides. With full transparency, businesses can track the environmental impact of their operations with accuracy and confidently report it to regulatory organizations and concerned consumers. SAP Business Network is one of the largest on the market meaning enterprises have enough choices to find partners to help them fulfill their sustainability goals, whether they are looking for suppliers closer to their base or for logistics providers that maximize efficiency.
By choosing SAP Business Network, companies are choosing the responsiveness required to be flexible, the visibility required to meet customer demands, and the capability required to operate with eco-consciousness. Businesses also have the opportunity to choose an easier transition to SAP Business Network. At NTT, we provide SAP implementation support, using our specialized expertise, experience, tools, and processes to bring a project to completion and meet defined business objectives. Reach out to explore what a guided implementation process could look like for your organization.