SAP Executives Named Leaders in Supply Chain and Procurement Innovation for Eighth Year in a Row


It’s a wild time to be in business right now. Vast unpredictability – whether it be inclement weather, labor shortages, or international tariffs and regulations – is putting current supply chain strategies to the ultimate test.

As we look to the rest of 2019, organizations should expect to face many roadblocks and added pressure to evolve supply chain planning from siloed, sequential, and manual processes into a driver of pivotal business decisions.

With supply chain innovation top-of-mind for organizations across the globe, there’s never been a more exciting time for this line of business generally and within SAP specifically.

Supply Chain Leaders Take a Seat at the Table

While supply chain leaders have been viewed as supporting characters within the greater C-suite landscape historically, the current movement toward building digitally-enabled intelligent enterprises means supply chain executives actually have the greatest insight into how to create competitive differentiation within businesses.

Our supply chain leaders are a driving force in eliminating information silos to create a truly customer-first mindset, from product development to delivery. Four of our own – Hala Zeine, president of Digital Supply Chain at SAP; Hans Thalbauer, senior vice president of Digital Supply Chain and Internet of Things at SAP; Darren Koch, chief product officer at SAP Ariba; and Michael Balduino, Customer Engagement director for SAP Ariba – were all recently named to Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s 2019 Pros to Know list, affirming their central roles in delivering technology solutions that enable sustainable, responsive supply chains.

An 18-year SAP veteran, Zeine’s dedication to the organization is clear to all who know her, and her extensive expertise in supply chain operations and IT helps customers navigate today’s business challenges as they power digitally-driven global supply chains. She’s passionate about solving customers’ business problems and helping them implement solutions that enhance and support mission-critical business processes.

Under Thalbauer’s leadership, his team has released a steady stream of digital supply chain innovations, including demand management, transportation management, warehouse management, sales, inventory, and operations planning tools, response and supply management, and supply chain integrity. His role in developing new technologies enables companies to operate with increased agility, resulting in lower lead times, better customer service, and higher profitability.

As chief product officer at SAP Ariba, Koch leads SAP Ariba clients in making a full digital transformation, helping to ensure their procurement organizations are as strategic and effective as possible – beyond just a cost-savings machine. Since joining SAP Ariba, Koch has led the charge in reimagining the processes that have previously defined procurement and reworking those tasks into the digital world, delivering cloud-based procurement solutions that have made the entire sourcing process smarter, simpler, and faster.

And finally, Balduino is a true digital transformation trailblazer, assisting companies across various industries as they overcome today’s most pressing supply chain challenges. In his role, he is currently responsible for SAP Ariba’s most strategic customer relationships and regularly advises on defining and implementing various collaborative commerce strategies, processes, and technology adoption initiatives.

Businesses today are looking to adopt the technologies needed to drive customer experience and cost efficiency. Supply chain leaders have a bird’s-eye view of the entire enterprise, giving them a unique perspective on how different technologies may be implemented in multiple business areas like product quality, research and development, human resources, IT, and more.

A Recognized Industry Leader

But the momentum doesn’t stop at our industry-leading executive bench.

Within the past six months alone, SAP received significant third-party validation touting the success of its product portfolio. SAP was named a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning System of Record and “The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2018” recognized 25 companies that are all SAP customers.

SAP Ariba was also recently recognized as a leader in contract lifecycle management in a recent Forrester report titled, “The Forrester Wave™: Contract Lifecycle Management For Source-To-Contract Suites, Q1 2019.” Companies all over the globe reduce risk and drive cost savings by digitalizing important records with SAP Ariba Contracts while automating the entire contract lifecycle, standardizing contract development, and strengthening operational, contractual, and regulatory compliance. Additionally, Global Finance magazine recently named SAP Ariba the “Best E-Procurement Provider” in its World’s Best Supply Chain Providers 2019 annual list – further validating SAP Ariba’s leadership in the market and capabilities to transform procurement for today’s businesses around the world.

To succeed in this fast-paced world, organizations need to run more efficiently and intelligently, which starts with a streamlined supply chain. Fortunately, cutting-edge technologies and the right expertise can empower enterprises to accelerate that journey.

Richard Howells is vice president of Solution Management for Digital Supply Chain.