Earlier this year, customers were provided with the deepest, broadest AI-powered (Artificial Intelligence) functionality in the ERP market with the 1805 release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP’s flagship intelligent ERP solution.
This unlocked 12 new AI-powered scenarios which allows user systems to handle more manual tasks while freeing employees to drive business results.
Today, with the latest 1808 release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP have now delivered dozens of new AI-powered scenarios that further power the intelligent enterprise. What makes this release particularly exciting are the updates available for the Manufacturing and Professional Services industries. These updates will increase customer agility and flexibility, as they adapt to rapidly changing business conditions.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud for the Manufacturing industry
With the 1808 release, SAP are enabling organisations to exceed their customer expectations with the lowest possible inventory and resource costs. SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers can be assured they have the “most intelligent manufacturing cloud” on the market today, which includes these features (not an exhaustive list):
- Capacity evaluation and adjustment: Offers the ability to visually detect load capacity and quickly resolve any overload (or “bottleneck”) situations.
- Dynamic buffer level adjustment: Improves manufacturing efficiencies as buffers are dynamically managed and automatically adjusted based on average daily usage changes.
- Buffer positioning visualisation: Enables production planners to easily see buffers and manage inventory positioning, thereby simplifying the analysis required to relocate and reorganise decoupling points.
- Product marketability and chemical compliance: Simplifies and automates compliance processes, and therefore increases speed to market and reduces compliance costs.
- Quality management analytics: Provides deep insights for quality engineers to understand and manage KPI performance.
- Subsidiary assemblies for headquarters (support for two-tier ERP): Supports subsidiaries acting as an assembly plant for the headquarter organisation. Provides automation of inter-company processes and transparency of the subsidiaries production activities to headquarters.
What new business outcomes can these features deliver to companies in the Manufacturing space? The following scenario is just one example of what’s possible:
Delays between forecast and production that create a bullwhip effect, leaving manufacturers with poorly matched production and demand. As actual demand changes, inventories across the production cycle can be left too high (a waste of working capital) or too low (a missed sales opportunity.) What is needed is rapid synchronisation to manage inventory and fulfil demand while avoiding expensive overstocking or expensive expediting.
As SAP is certified for Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning, it today enables automation at a higher level than ever before. A demand driven operating model with supply order generation, operational scheduling, and execution uses actual demand in combination with strategic decoupling of material flows and control points. Stock, time, and capacity buffers create a predictable and agile system that promotes and protects optimal flow. The complex network of internal and external partners can be synchronised, and demand driven planning with real-time information across the network can be effectively implemented.
In this scenario, capacity and materials planning across the supply chain is synchronised. As a result, manufacturers can potentially realise inventory reductions of 30-45% while improving customer service.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud for the Professional Services industry
Professional Services customers will also benefit from the 1808 release, namely from these three innovations:
- Staffing analysis: Provides a new user interface for monitoring resources needed to ensure all requests are fulfilled on time so that users can review the demands of an upcoming project, as well as the respective supply and effort distribution.
- Cap in time and expense billing: Enables project managers to define the upper cap limit for projects at the billing line item as negotiated with their client – and further monitor the cap value in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system to ensure that billing and invoicing does not cross this defined limit.
- Consultant time-sheet entries: Empowers consultants to react immediately to any notifications received whenever a project manager rejects their time entries, so they can make any needed adjustments before resubmitting the time-sheet.
Based on these innovations, let’s consider the new business outcomes enabled within the Professional Services space in this scenario:
A growing professional services practice generating more client engagements than it can manage. The practice needs to bring in qualified contractors to properly handle the additional business without diminishing profitability. One major hurdle for achieving success is the lack of transparency into the status of any high priority resource requests. The practice cannot ensure that projects will be staffed on time with the best people. In addition, they don’t have a good way to monitor and ensure projects are being managed within the contractual caps agreed upon with their clients.
With SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the practice’s project managers can have a complete view of all resource requests for projects – supported by the precise utilisation rate of each consultant across multiple projects. The practice can view key skills of any given contractor brought in to assist with the engagements and match them to the requirements of a project. Project managers also receive notifications when project revenue approaches a pre-defined limit, thereby ensuring on-time and on-budget delivery.
Transparency into the availability of resources for projects, and better control over project delivery within client expectations, allows the professional services organisation to drive improved resource utilisation, on-time delivery, and project profitability.
Our world today moves at breakneck speed and the first companies to lead change will have the ultimate edge. Through continuous innovation and access to the most intelligent technologies, such as the the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, keeps SAP customers ‘best run’.
What’s more, SAP S/4HANA Cloud recently became SAP’s first cloud service to receive a C5 attestation, which supports stringent compliance requirements, particularly for highly-regulated industries such as Banking and Insurance.
If you are interested in leveraging this technology then please do get in touch.