SharePoint makes businesses flexible, responsive and competitive
Power up the FMCG supply chain using SAP-SharePoint
A global FMCG company does business through a complex mesh of manufacturing, distribution and transaction points.
The effective functioning of this supply chain –consisting of a a system of organizations, people, technology, activities,
information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer – is the backbone of a FMCG business.
To illustrate with an example, if a FMCG business has to cover the entire range of countries in South East Asia it could easily
have a thousand delivery points and a few hundred manufacturing plants. In such an environment, supply chain responsiveness is the
key for a productive FMCG business.
Enhancing Supply Chain Responsiveness
At a global scale FMCG businesses easily operate a network of suppliers who provide a variety of raw and packaging
materials that generates hundreds of different finished products. After manufacturing, the delivery happens to a diversified
network of distribution centers and key customers. This undoubtedly is cost intensive and the challenge is to maximize
profitability without compromising on customer service. Either businesses’ try to increase sales volumes and margins, which is
not always feasible in an intensely competitive environment or the other alternative is to lower inventory levels and reduce lead-times.
To be able to do so, it is important to maintain very high levels of accuracy on raw and packagin
g material supplier’s delivery schedules and also have a well-balanced inventory of finished goods.
Challenges to building a streamlined supply chain network
In such a scenario, boosting the supply chain network by overcoming
following challenges will significantly enhance business prospects. Such challenges are,
- Finding and adopting a cost effective manufacturing and packaging processes
- Optimizing the supply chain network and managing deliveries to support smaller and frequent orders (JIT - Just in time)
- Introducing flexibility in the expensive supply chain processes
- Capacity utilization of the total warehouse and resources/work centers.
- Transport optimization of inbound and outbound flows
- Effective usage of Auto-ID technology
- Simplification of supply chain infrastructure
In addition, continuous manufacturing operations have to be carried out with optimal resource use, problems need to
be anticipated and resolved, and, there should also be the provision for having consolidated and trustable information which is
available quickly.The backbone of such a supply operation is automated and integrated processes.
The Technology Enabled Supply Chain
IT Systems and Processes have now made it possible to respond effectively to all these issues in supply chain efficiency. This is where SAP and SharePoint collaboration empower FMCG manufacturers to easily integrate additional participants in their value network and respond swiftly to changing MARKET conditions. With SharePoint it is possible to securely share design, product, process and inventory information, for example, to all stakeholders across the fulfillment lifecycle. ERP-Link tool provides a bidirectional and interoperable functionality that tightly integrates SAP with SharePoint and is essentially the key for the entire technology enabled efficiency. By leveraging this functionality SharePoint could be used as a fully transactional ECM system with workflow enablement. SAP could be used as the system of records. Using this connectivity feature, practitioners gain access to performance-driven dashboards in SharePoint, using SAP and SharePoint data, tailored to their role that guide them through personalized metrics to handle exceptions promptly. The dashboards empower these end users with Situational Business Insight to quickly determine the root cause of the issues flagged.
SharePoint can also be leveraged aggressively for streamlining the Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process, another top priority for manufacturers. It can help manufacturers overcome the reliance on traditional methods of using Excel, PowerPoint and other desktop tools for information SHARING and analysis. It is error prone given the involvement of multiple cross functional teams. Using this functionality user could execute transactions, enable workflows, create approvals, and view KPIs on a mobile device without connecting to the native systems. This feature is especially useful for professionals in the field, who real time data and need quick turnarounds.
As businesses look for smart solutions to make their operations effective and efficient products such as SAP-ERP Link-SharePoint will see increased adoption because of its practical ability to solve supply chain problems in flexible ways. It will maximize productivity and power up the all links in the supply chain.