A joint project team from Paul Hartmann AG and SAP recently collaborated on a research project to develop a dashboard that plans and predicts medical demand and supply in the future — developed in only four weeks. Based on SAP’s Business Technology Platform, Paul Hartmann AG will use data intelligence and analytics solutions to predict relevant medical demand requirements, both in these times of COVID-19 and beyond.

In April 2020, healthcare provider Paul Hartmann AG and SAP came together to explore how to improve the medical demand and supply processes. Based on their long-term relationship, the two companies aimed to improve the processes for medical supplies, such as disinfection liquid, face masks, and other medical material all over the world.

The companies formed an interdisciplinary team of industry and technology experts to work on developing an intelligent solution based on SAP Analytics Cloud. Along SAP’s human-centered approach to innovation, they conducted systematic user research and gathered information such as order details and customer location data, along with external data like digital maps. They found out which data was available and helped come to informed decisions. This was valuable in terms of “lessons learned” from a crisis that affected the global economy and hit the world by surprise.

Internal Dashboard: “Medical Supplies Demand Analysis”

In four weeks, the joint project team developed and implemented a first pilot dashboard solution to plan and predict medical demand and supply, now and in the future. Built on SAP Analytics Cloud, the pilot solution not only used internal business and historical data, but also included up-to-date external data such as number of intensive care beds on a regional basis and daily updated case information of institutions such as the Robert-Koch-Institute. A machine learning algorithm was then applied to predict and extrapolate future demand of certain medical material.

The dashboard can support the decision-making process for Hartmann’s internal regional sales managers and for customer engagement teams in the future. The implementation project is currently ongoing.

“It is incredible what you can achieve if the right people and the right mindset come together to solve a problem under time pressure,” emphasized Marcus Dorfmeyer, project lead from SAP AppHaus within the SAP Customer Innovation team. “It is amazing to see how SAP’s Business Technology Platform can help solve societal challenges by combining operational and historical customer data with external sources of information.”

Using analytical and predictive technology from SAP was a big step toward the Intelligent Enterprise, both for this Hartmann research project as well as a showcase for other use cases.

“We started this project together with SAP from scratch, with a mere vision of supporting the fight against the coronavirus,” Alexandra Fibitz, project lead at Paul Hartmann AG, stated. “It is amazing to see the effort and engagement the project team has invested and how much we have reached in this limited time frame. The digital transformation is pushing the usage of new technologies. Especially in challenging times like the ones we are currently facing, we can see how our machine learning algorithm can help us in the future ‘go further for health.’”

Imke Vierjahn is communications lead for SAP AppHaus.