3 Ways to Select Your Mobile Inventory Solution for SAP

Automation within your inventory processes is crucial for your business’s management of its supply chain. We know how beneficial automation can be for us, but in spite of that knowledge, we still have quite a bit to learn regarding our understanding of the way we practice inventory management. It is a fact that businesses have only recently started to look into the link between cashflow and efficient inventory management. With the advancing world today, most supply chains are facing a lot of challenges with traditional inventory processes.

This is why companies have come to realize that just managing inventories in a proper manner is no longer going to be sufficient on its own. Various other challenges need to be tackled with strategies and tactics that will ensure the wildly growing inventory networks can be efficiently managed without doing any harm to the customer service experience.

Going Mobile
In order to reduce the costs for carrying inventory, you should consider enabling your management system for the inventory in your organization’s supply chain mobile.Mobility has truly been a disruptive innovation within the inventory management for enterprises. A majority of companies already have employed mobile strategy for their company or are currently working for solutions which will enable them to do so. There are a lot of benefits involved with going mobile. For instance, going mobile improves the efficiency and significantly lowers the margins. It also eliminates the need for most of the paper work between the departments and it saves a lot of time with improved levels of accuracy.

Here are three ways to find the most adequate solutions by making use of SAP mobility solutions:

#1 Remove the need for Complicated Configurations
Organizations which have a large number of users require the kind of solution which has to be very carefully selected. Even the IT teams in such organizations are looking to minimize time wasted oninitially setting up and then maintaining everything as time goes on. Going mobile means a huge chunk of the costs for the company that would be incurred in the installation and maintenance will be essentially eliminated.

Existing ERP solutions for these organizations can have good SAP mobility solutions that easily fit into existing ERP and sync with the SAP server effortlessly. This allows for the recovery and processing of transactions while setting up an intra-network communications network. The end result is that it enables every element of the organization to operate in unison with each other.

#2 Enable Multiple Customization’s
One important necessity is being able to have an unlimited amount of customizations that you can make to the basic configuration of the SAP mobility solution.That includes the option of adding and removing modules as required by your organization’s operational procedures while progressing and expanding.

A good SAP mobility solution should be able to provide you with the opportunity to customize it based on the needs of your business as they change.

#3 Attain Features Which Improve Returns on Investments
A really good solution should be one which is able to offer you the ability to keep a track of your inventory in real-time. Thatcan help you better gauge data and levels of inventory. Enable the option to view your stocks or to generate reports so you can be quick on your feet with important decisions.

Reinvent Manufacturing Facilities by Mobile Solutions

It does not matter if your company is manufactures automotive parts , edible products, or soap. What is important is to remain in control of the daily processes. Every organization wants to have the ability to properly address all of the planned and unplanned work speedily, without compromising on efficiency and accuracy. Additionally, they also want to consistently improve upon it at the same time. They want their assets and their employees to improve as well.

The Challenges Posed by Traditional Systems and Business Workflows

Even though mobility is something which has entered the ecosystem of the enterprise business models all around the world, a lot of businesses and manufacturing facilities still tend to stick to the loathsome and painfully slow paperwork-based processes. In addition to being complex, they are wasting time and killing the potential of increased productivity for enterprise companies in this advancing age. Companies incur literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses, which are completely avoidable with the prospects of mobility solutions.

The competitive edge that companies can attain with mobility solutions has started getting recognition from companies. Those who have started implementing these solutions have seen several benefits for their organizations operational procedures, including the following:

Time Consuming Processes Eliminated

The right solution empowers employees and technical staff to be able to automate  complex paperwork processes for reporting status to every level of the product manufacturing process. The result: significant savings of time every year. It gives them the opportunity to deploy the inventory tracking solutions and reporting systems, which increase the overall efficiency and productivity of the whole manufacturing facility.

Accurate Real-Time Information

Traditionally, plant managers and supervisors were required to remain within close-proximity of all the plant’s processes and monitor work on the plant floor in order to have real time access to information and effectively communicate with the employees. Even with the personnel present there, they would find it a very hard task to monitor the efficiency and the progress of the employees. The right mobility solution not only eliminates the issue, but also provides the employees with actual real-time access to all the information. This improves the business processes while allowing the managers to be able to see what is going on across the facilities. As a result, they are able to better track the progress and efficiency, and be in constant communication to quickly resolve issues. That helps in faster decision making.

Retention of Customers and Increase in Revenue Generation through Services

Retaining the existing consumer base is one of the most important things for any manufacturing company and maintaining their customers’ satisfaction is one of their top priorities. If the operational procedures of your organization are not efficient and cannot stay up to the required standards, it can lead to the loss of existing customers. This, in turn, can ultimately be very harmful for a manufacturing company. If your field service management is more optimized and automated, it will allow you to keep your customers informed about the status of their orders and delivery dates in real time from their mobile devices. That will in turn help increase revenue, and all of it is possible with making use of SAP mobility solutions.

There are plenty of advantages that come with implementing mobility solutions. It is something especially helpful in simplifying the complexities of manufacturing procedures and eliminates most of the challenges faced by the manufacturing companies and give them a competitive edge over those who have not yet decided to go mobile.

Connected Vehicles and SAP

On the 27 of February in 2017, SAP SE demonstrated new technology that is aimed at making life easier for drivers and users of rental car services by making use of the Internet of Things in collaboration with Concur Technologies, Hertz and Nokia.

The SAP Vehicles Network as part of the SAP Leonardo portfolio, created an intelligent and automated driving experience. Everything — from car rental to parking and payment to integrated navigation systems and expense management systems for business travelers — is encapsulated by the SAP Vehicles Network solution.

SAP also made the announcement that the connected vehicle platform by the name of Mojio has also joined the SAP Vehicles Network and it will provide the parking and fueling using its app in the United States and Europe.

SAP Vehicles Network has been built on the SAP Cloud Platform and enables all the participating network companies to provide the services of mobility to their drivers and the passengers. SAP Vehicles Network enables integration and collaboration in order to facilitate new revenue streams and business opportunities for network members by standardizing the business processes. By making use of the network, member companies are now able to offer secure and convenient services like parking, fueling and location based food services that are tailor-made for the business traveler or any individual customer – all without being dependent on devices or vehicles.

This new collaboration draws on the strengths of each vendor that is participating. Concur, Hertz, SAP and Nokia have founded what is called the IoT Community. It is an ecosystem throughout the world where companies are collaborating with each other to come up with revolutionary IoT solutions and drive the development of the connected rental car service. Nokia has provided its IMPACT (Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things) platform to manage and securely control devices and sensors within a vehicle. That includes personalization of the driver settings and the entertainment systems along with the auto-configuration of the in-vehicle communications without the use of a Bluetooth connection. This ensures the privacy of data for the users. The IMPACT IoT platform by Nokia works hand in hand with the payment systems employed by the SAP Vehicles Network for the services of parking and fueling authorization. This makes for a smooth and optimized driving experience.

A Little About SAP

SAP is the current market leader in the Enterprise Resource Planning application and software. It helps companies of all sizes and shapes to function better via its Enterprise application solutions. Everything from the back office to the boardrooms, the warehouse all the way to the storefront, from the desktop to a mobile phone, the SAP software provides people and organizations with required facilities to be able to work in a very efficient manner and stay ahead of the curve as far as competition is concerned.  SAP solution caters to over 345,000 businesses in both the public and private sector to pursue the success of their operations in a more efficient and profitable manner. The solutions SAP provides are helping them adapt with the changing times and advancing technologies and maintain sustainable growth.

ERP Solution and Post-Acute Care

Information is an important aspect of the healthcare industry. The need to share information has become more important over the years in order to be able to reduce costs and improve services being rendered to the patients. Therefore, the healthcare system needs to be able to accumulate the necessary information and relay it to several entities like clinics and the customers themselves. It also needs to provide the information relevant to billing and the medical knowledge within the healthcare organization to every stakeholder.

In general, the current business environments have taken a lot of shapes and forms. Enterprise Resource Planning applications are now an essential element in providing an organization the improvements in their efficiency and its strategic decision making. This means that the healthcare industry is not an exception to the new changes which are taking place in the business landscape. So as it is with other businesses nowadays, Enterprise Resource Planning is going to play an integral role in tackling a lot of the problems being faced by the medical care industry and improve its efficiency and overall track record.

Healthcare all over the world is facing a lot of challenges right now such as the rising costs of healthcare services. The management of the medical industry now involves a significant number of stakeholders for instance governments, clinicians, service providers and the customers.

Clinicians, doctors, nurses and the managers need the adequate tools in order to deal with and improve the emerging medical technologies and methodologies better healthcare can be provided. Previously, IT was just used in the medical industry for the purposes of account management and billing. This trend however has now started to extend towards more complex areas which include cost reduction, improving efficiency and managing and caring for the efficiency of an organization.

Healthcare systems rely on the information coming in from different sources in order to carry out the duties such as the diagnoses done by physicians, the patients’ home care and from chronic care. This is why the integration of different services and processes would be a great benefactor for the healthcare industry. It will remove the traditional method of segregated systems trying to coordinate with each other and make for a more streamlined medical care system.

Patients nowadays are managed by different physicians, unlike the days in the past when a single physician would be responsible for all the healthcare needs of a patient. A rough architecture of an ERP system pertaining to the healthcare of a singular patient would involve a patient’s central database which is updated by different physicians the patient is going to for different problems. With such a system, all the physicians will be able to access specific information regarding the patient. This comes in handy because physicians often have to coordinate and collaborate with each other to manage the healthcare needs of a patient.

Enterprise Resource Planning applications can help healthcare organizations to be able to facilitate their services using various ERP information platforms in different locations making the whole industry more efficient and more effective.

How Digital Transformation is Influencing Utilities

Technology is witnessing rapid changes and the changes are affecting everyone in every business in every industry. The field of power and utility is no exception and is also subject to the change being provided by advancing technology. In fact, the majority of changes being made which are impacting the utility business actually represent a digital transformation as things are unfolding in front of us. The future is not exactly certain but the information we have about digital transformation right now gives us an insight about the influence it is having on the utility industry.
What are the most profitable business models today?
The business models that were in place as little as two or even one decade ago are no longer as effective as they were back in the day. There was a stringent selection of options available to users in the times of the long standing archaic systems but with the advent of the digital transformation, users now have plenty of options to choose the company and their services, which are most befitting for their use. Customers are now savvier and expect companies to provide more services and the surplus of eco friendly practices.
According to the Digital Utilities Roadmap, these are the three business models which will most likely emerge:
• Renewable energy generation at minimal cost
• Distribution which is smart and efficient (particularly attractive to the savvier customers)
• Services which can balance the demand and supply concerns
What are the best ways to meet the power needs of today?
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, sustainable power is achievable by making renewable energy the focus of our concerns. Customers are more willing to choose solar and wind powered sources of energy since they provide an alternative to the less cleaner and more costly options, which have been in use (fossil fuels and nuclear energy). As the advent of choice is becoming more common, alternative sources of power will become more reliable and extend their reach to even the most remotely located customers. Almost everyone shares a digital connection now and through that connection, word about the benefits of renewable energy will spread.
Which tech trends have the biggest influence on the utility industry today?
Smart electronic devices and home products are not just a convenience for customers nowadays. These advancements humankind has made in technology have had a big impact on the utility market as well. To put it in the most simplistic way, smart products are inhibiting the creation of smart consumers. The users are now able to measure the usage of their utilities and get a better understanding of where and how their energy is coming from and where it is being expended. This also gives them a better insight on how to more effectively make use of energy and manage their utility bills better.
The Big Data which smart home and smart device industries are providing utility companies makes for a big difference. Big data was never available to these companies before and by using the information that they have now, utility companies can adjust the services that they are providing to make the optimal usage of resources.
The utility industry and the world at large are in the midst of great changes being made so the story about digital transformation and the utility industry has not yet reached a climax. In light of the current circumstances however, the future looks bright and it is best to take advantage of all the benefits advancing technology is providing.

Radio Frequency Identification and SAP Mobility

Radio Frequency Identification is becoming more and more prominent in the context of the manufacturing industry. This is happening in light of the search that companies are constantly in to improve the accuracy of data recording and collection along with the identification of products. Radio Frequency Identification has been used extensively by the retail industry to identify and track inventory. These benefits of RFID are now being recognized by the manufacturing industry as well.

Many manufacturing companies make use of the Enterprise Resource Planning application solutions, and to make sure that they can maximize the potential usage of RFID, they need to ensure that their RFID solutions are appropriate for integration with their ERP solution.

Radio Frequency Identification and SAP

Manufacturing companies that use SAP can make use of RFID for the purpose of tracking their products along their supply chain. This means that the goods can be identified during the process of inbound delivery when they are stored in the inventory and also during the outbound delivery process. Customers are also able to track their items during the shipping process when it is making its way to them using the RFID tags attached on them.

The tagged items can be processed by using automated goods receipts and validation by the Advanced Ship Notice when the inbound deliveries reach a plant. This goods receipt process is also able to identify any wrong items or incorrect quantities sent by the vendor. In the outbound delivery process, the goods can be tagged and loaded on to cases and pallets and then the automated goods receipt can be achieved by making use of the RFID.

The ASN can be sent over to the customer with the details pertaining to the item. During the time a tagged item is stored at a plant, it can be tracked using the RFID tag attached on them. If the item has to be used in the processes involving plant maintenance, such as work orders, the information about the item can be recorded on the tag attached to it.

SAP Auto ID

The SAP solution for the utilization of RFID along with an ERP is called SAP Auto-ID or SAP Aii. It’s a middleware system that receives the data from a RFID data capture source (usually an RFID reader) and then integrates the data it has received from the tag directly into the Enterprise Resource Planning application. The SAP Aii consists of two main components:

  • Core Services – It includes the flexible definition and the rule set environment.
  • Integration Services – The Auto-ID interacts with three different types of environments. The backend systems, the RFID devices and the web user interface for the control and user maintenance

The SAP Aii offers two interfaces for the users. One of them is a mobile interface which can be used on mobile devices or PDAs and a desktop version, which allows users to enter the SAP Aii settings. The Standard SAP Aii system has a set of predetermined rules and all activities related to them. The users can modify the rules and settings via the user interface depending on their need except for these predefined processes in SAP Aii:

  • Goods Issue
  • Goods Receipt
  • Returnable Transport Items
  • Kanban
  • Product Tracking

SAP Direct Store Delivery – What is it?

Direct Store Delivery or DSD is a strategy for distribution, which offers an alternate option to the centralized distribution strategy. Direct Store Delivery allows for retailers to reduce operations costs by circumventing the retailer’s own distribution center. The goods travel directly from the supplier to the retail store instead. This saves a lot of time and money for the retailer. Also, sidestepping the distribution center and having direct lines of communication with the supplier gives retailers better control over the contents of their inventory, and that can help drive the growth in sales.

The DSD system represents a commitment to stay flexible and highly responsive. They adjust their deliveries in order to cater to the changing needs of customers. The Direct Store Delivery system is best applicable to the food  and beverage industry when seen in the context of the consumer product ecosystem where reducing the supply chain time to accommodate maximum freshness takes utmost precedence.

The suppliers do not have just one huge storage warehouse. More often, they tend to rely on a network of distribution centers that serve as hubs for regional distribution. Some distribution centers like Commercial Warehousing also provide value-added services like repacking in order to prepare the products for sales promotions at the Point Of Sale (POS).

DSD also covers the planning and managing of the customer delivery with drivers being responsible for presales, sales, delivery or mixed delivery to the customers. Direct Store Delivery is one of the integral parts of the Logistics Execution System and integrates into the following areas:

  • Customer Master data
  • Material Master data
  • Equipment Master data
  • Transportation planning
  • Inventory management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Mobilizing Direct Store Delivery

Adopting the DSD distribution model can benefit those retailers and their supply chains greatly who have certain characteristics:

  • If your product and supply chain require control of deliveries then it is an important factor. For example, the delivery windows are very tight or limited to certain times of the day.
  • If a large portion of your customer base consists of small retailers like small convenience stores where they have a lack of huge storage space. They cannot store excessive amounts of inventory and need to get resupplied on a regular basis.
  • Drivers should be good when it comes to people skills because direct contact with retailers is a key element of customer satisfaction. This means that the drivers will be the ones brokering your relationship with the retailers.
  • Security and theft is always an issue, especially when it comes to high value goods like alcohol and tobacco.

How SAP Mobility is Reinventing Business Processes and the User Experience

As part of its user experience mantra of “new, renew and enable”, SAP has been dedicated to providing a user-level experience to employees across the enterprise. SAP recognizes that the ultimate goal of its software is to help users achieve their business tasks and goals; so the tools must be as functional and accessible as possible.

Whether an enterprise is looking for SAP Mobility Solutions that will aid in discovery and evaluation, purchasing or configuration and installation, each business process offers various opportunities for simplification.

The Move Away From Laptops and Desktops

While home users have been quick to adopt mobile platforms as their primary method for communication, research and shopping; at the enterprise level the change has been slower to come. Therefore new SAP Mobility tools are designed to work seamlessly across multiple platforms, whether employees are using their desktops, tablets or phones — they can expect the same functionality and information at hand.

Business Process Improvements that Benefit Users

While technology has helped simplify many aspects of enterprise management, it has also added extra layers of complexity to many functions. Now increasing management and user competencies are required to adequately monitor and process new systems and data requirements in place.

When mobility first came to the enterprise, it was often only available in a very constrained fashion — either tools were made specific to one device or operating system or a consistent online connection was needed to accommodate the architecture and application requirements. Today, workforces demand an intuitive, convenient user experience that translates to any platform or device.

SAP allows developers to deliver on business process improvements which provide: Complete enterprise management, better control over processes, the ability to assign accountability for corrective and preventative maintenance procedures, real-time data online and offline all with the better more intuitive user experience.  Developers can make use of tools such as push notifications, GPS and scanning to alert users to potential areas of concern, provide detailed location-specific information and real-time imaging, and on-site documentation.

Improving Client Interactions

SAP Mobility tools provide a supporting function to your business’s core competencies. Businesses may be busy investing heavily in capital resources to fuel greater growth but if software interfaces are causing delays and errors then the user can easily become frustrated.

This is especially true for customer-facing employees such as call centre representatives and salespeople, an unsuitable interface can make it difficult to access relevant customer data, product information and it will make it impossible to make changes to design and project requirements on the fly. The result is lost sales and orders.

The user interface advancements engendered by SAP Mobility allow customer-facing personnel to access retrieve analytics and detailed customer information from any mobile device in real-time. A better interface means that these tools are designed for better visibility and functionality too. A more intuitive design also means that your business doesn’t need to spend as much on training and development.

Best Practices for Using SAP Fiori 2.0

With SAP Fiori 2.0, SAP has taken its commitment to the user experience to the next level. It has been providing employees with the opportunity to make use of simple, personalized and responsive business tools that can function equally well across all devices.

Amongst the new applications offered as part of the Fiori 2.0 suite are:

  • Transaction apps that allow users to perform functions such as creating administrative requests, and confirming approvals, on desktop or mobile.
  • Highly detailed fact sheets that provide on-to-go details about vital business elements, also allowing users the ability to examine related information.
  • Analytical apps that allow users to delve into in-depth performance indices and other metrics that measure the effectiveness and efficiency of business processes.

While these, complex technological innovations certainly have the ability to optimize your business their effectiveness is based entirely on how your employees are able to make use of them. Here are some best practices for getting the most utility out of SAP Fiori 2.0.

Get Familiar with SAP Fiori Design Guidelines

A large part of the success of Fiori is built on its consistent design principles. In order to make best use of the different application types it’s important that you aware of these.

  • SAP has separated the different transactions that were once bundled together, offering each individual transaction in a different interactive application. That only presents the most relevant information to users.
  • Because Fiori is built on the underlying SAP HANA platform, applications respond more quickly than ever before.
  • SAP has also simplified the interface to make it even easier for users by restricting each use case to 1 user across 3 screens.
  • All Fiori apps are provided in the same language to ensure a seamless experience across all devices; it is also designed to integrate with ECC 6.0 in order to ease deployment on existing SAP systems.

Make Sure You’ve Read the SAP Notes before Implementation

Without reading the notes you may find yourself constantly troubleshooting, trying to identify the reason why your apps aren’t working. While notes may take a week for your system admin to install, it will save you 2-3 weeks in time spent troubleshooting. You can speed up the process by checking with a Fiori consultant that should be able to guide you towards the right notes to install. If you can’t find what you’re looking for then don’t be afraid to make use of Google to locate bug fix notes.

Learn Some Basic Web Development Skills

In order to better understand the underlying behavior of custom-built Fiori applications it’s important that you have a working knowledge of basic coding. Resources such as Codeacademy, and Codeschool provide a good series of developmental courses that can help you better identify and manipulate the language and syntax of these apps.

Learn How to Use Browser Debuggers

For those of you who’ve spent time with SAP’S ABAP debugger, it’s important to get to know the web debuggers available. While most of you will be making use of Chrome dev tools, it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with other tools such as Firebug for Firefox, and Safari Developer Tools.

How Are Major Companies Driving Their SAP Mobility Strategies

When an organization buys into SAP, it’s making a decision to place its long-term future in a full suite of business technologies that will drive performance and processes for decades to come. Adopting SAP means that a business is committed to making digital strategy a core component of its business objectives.

CIO’s are making every effort to ensure a competitive advantage for every IT initiative within the organization. Here are the SAP mobility strategies that major companies are using to drive innovation.

Embracing the Cloud

Through the popular in-memory database technology SAP HANA, SAP is now able to offer business processes and analytics on the same platform. This in turn simplifies consumption and user experience through the SAP Cloud Platform.

Now, all major SAP business apps such as Concur, Ariba, Hybris, SuccessFactors and Jam are easily accessible from any device at any location. At the same time SAP advances in the Internet of Things, machine learning and big data analytics are all made available through this network as well.

These tools are being aimed at global organizations that are looking to move all or most of their IT, technology and development to the public cloud. At the same time the platform can be scaled to meet the needs of any size organization, which means that CIOs can easily match their platform with strategic partners well into the future.

A Superior Customer Experience

Major organizations need to organize hundreds, sometimes thousands of employees to provide them with a real-time overview of what’s happening. In comparison to SaaS solutions offering only a narrow range of solutions, SAP has the ability to create end-to-end processes that provide a unique customer experience.

Through SAP representatives can examine inventory, factory data, supply chain information, and customer histories to help tailor their offerings based on the business constraints and customer preferences. This breadth of functionality is necessary for major companies, where the number of business processes taking place is far greater, and the need to coordinate between them must be optimized.

Extending Legacy Systems

Many larger businesses are already committed to on-premises systems where the vital data required to fuel business growth, help diversify the customer base and widen channels of delivery; is locked away. Unleashing this wealth of customer, pricing, operational and service data through radical new integration strategies is required to drive further revenue growth .  Fortunately automated solutions are now being offered by SAP to help migrate legacy applications to the cloud. The process can speed up performance exponentially, help eliminate errors and preserves the time and money spent sustaining these systems previously. Most importantly companies are now able to make use of real-time business insights coupled with the wealth of stored information to help scale operations across all delivery channels.

Data Monetization is Becoming a Primary Source of Revenue

For 1/3rd of Fortune 500 companies information driven products which provide insights across industry lines, are forming a major source of revenue growth.

Using the in-memory computing capabilities, Big Data solutions and cloud platform provided by SAP; companies are finding new opportunities to innovate and grow business. IT functions can be upgraded and enhanced with better enterprise architecture. Deployment time and costs can be reduced by shrinking implementation cycles and accelerating adoption, and companies can establish comprehensive SLAs and manage services throughout the service environment.

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