SAP S/4HANA Cloud Adds Exciting New Capabilities to Manufacturing and Professional Services Industries


Earlier this year, customers were provided with the deepest, broadest AI-powered 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 significantly enhanced our customers’ ability to run faster – allowing their systems to handle more manual tasks while freeing employees to drive business results.

Thanks to real-time and predictive insights enabled by SAP S/4HANA Cloud, pladis recently described the solution as a “complete revolution.” The global biscuit and confectionary giant turned to SAP S/4HANA Cloud to move away from paper-based business processes – which has in turn allowed employees across the supply chain to make quick decisions based on real-time information.

Today, with our latest 1808 release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we have now delivered dozens of new AI-powered scenarios that further power the intelligent enterprise. What makes the 1808 release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud particularly exciting are the updates now available for the manufacturing and professional services industries.

Building on SAP’s unmatched industry domain expertise to help every customer become a best-run business, these updates will increase customer agility and flexibility, as they adapt to rapidly changing business conditions.

Enabling the Most Intelligent Manufacturing Cloud

With the 1808 release, we are enabling organizations to exceed their customer expectations with the lowest possible inventory and resource costs.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers such as SMA Railway Technology and Topcon are already enjoying reduced total cost of ownership, less IT hassle, and faster business decisions through real-time information. 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 visualization: Enables production planners to easily see buffers and manage inventory positioning, thereby simplifying the analysis required to relocate and reorganize 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 organization. Provides automation of intercompany 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 scenario below 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 synchronization to manage inventory and fulfill demand while avoiding expensive overstocking or expensive expediting.

What’s Possible
As SAP is certified for Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning, we are today enabling 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 synchronized, and demand driven planning with real-time information across the network can be effectively implemented.

The Impact
In this scenario, capacity and materials planning across the supply chain is synchronized. As a result, manufacturers can potentially realize inventory reductions of 30-45% while improving customer service.

If you’re interested to find out more, please join our SAP S/4HANA Cloud Manufacturing webinar.

Professional Services Just Got Even Smarter

Professional services customers such as Beyond Technologies will be thrilled with the following three innovations from the 1808 release:

  • 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 timesheet 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 timesheet.

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.

What’s Possible
The practice’s project managers can have a complete view of all resource requests for projects – supported by the precise utilization 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.

The Impact
Transparency into the availability of resources for projects, and better control over project delivery within client expectations, allows the professional services organization to drive improved resource utilization, on-time delivery, and project profitability.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud is Delivering on the Promise of the Intelligent Enterprise

Our world today moves at breakneck speed and the first companies to lead change will have the ultimate edge. We understand that yesterday’s accomplishments won’t guarantee tomorrow’s success, which is why our focus is, and will remain to be, keeping our customers “best-run” through continuous innovation and access to the most intelligent technologies via SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

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.

Interested in leveraging our technology today? Then check out our features page to learn more.

We are brewing something big for the next release – so watch this space!