Celebrating Wholesale Distribution Transformation Excellence

The 2022 SAP Innovation Awards are now open. We are excited to celebrate wholesale distributors that are leading the way in their industry by their use of SAP intelligent solutions to transform the way they do business.

As we enter a new chapter of the pandemic, the use of technology within the wholesale distribution industry continues to accelerate. Distributors are in the perfect position to showcase their successes and innovation leadership as an essential member of the supply chain.

Last year, we were excited to receive a significant number of SAP Innovation Award submissions, with six finalists and two notable distributors winning the honor. In 2021, trailblazing customers and partners truly stood out by combining their ingenuity and the power of SAP solutions to achieve operational excellence and business innovation.

Wholesale Distribution Innovation Award Highlights

AmerisourceBergen

The leading global healthcare company makes a positive impact on the health of people and communities around the world by advancing the development and delivery of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products.

In 2013, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) was passed to protect the safety and security of the supply chain due to the counterfeit drug market in developing countries causing thousands of deaths. To protect the U.S. market, the DSCSA required that drugs be traced for millions of daily shipments across thousands of companies.

AmerisourceBergen and SAP stepped up to the plate, along with 12 other pharmaceuticalpartners, to pursue the development of SAP Advanced Track and Trace for Pharmaceuticals. This allowed them to manage the drug supply chain at the batch and unit level. SAP and AmerisourceBergen also collaborated on the SAP Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences to meet the messaging regulations for AmerisourceBergen and its thousands of trading partners.

This solution now tracks the supply chain at the batch level for more than 100 customers, protecting business continuity for the $185 billion pharmaceutical supply chain, 250,000 messages exchanged daily among hundreds of trading partners, and 14,000 employees protected from the burdens of these new regulations. Eighteen of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies and two U.S. distributors, responsible for 65% of the distribution volume in the U.S. market, are all on SAP Advanced Track and Trace for Pharmaceuticals.

TRUSCO

The industrial distributor supports Japan’s manufacturing industry with its PRO TOOLs consumables, tools, furniture, fixtures, and other goods that are needed in factories and construction sites. To meet its growth goals, the company needed an agile, next-generation solution to support a digital transformation initiative.

To streamline business operations and eliminate manual processes, TRUSCO implemented SAP S/4HANA, SAP Integration Suite. This enabled the company to automate business processes and inventory management. Customers enjoyed increased convenience with improved business productivity, speed, and accuracy through automating quotations and inventory management based on historical information and sales insights of over 2 million products and 380,000 stocked items.

The benefit of improvements allowed Trusco to automate 2,949 hours per month worth of previously manual quotation tasks, shorten response time to customers’ orders by 29%, and reduce replenishment time from several hours to zero, offering customer-specific and seasonal inventory directly to the customer’s location.

PROMESA

The leading distributor of tools, hardware, and automotive products based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, supplies spare parts for vehicles and construction machinery, plus a long list of smaller hardware items that includes everything from nails to industrial drills.

In order to automate aging manual processes to better meet customer expectations for the right product at the right time, PROMESA implemented SAP S/4HANA as its digital core and integrated SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Concur, SAP Sales Cloud, and SAP Service Cloud solutions to shape itself into a true intelligent enterprise.

PROMESA immediately saw immense results, with a 30% increase in sales due to product design improvements, only two hours to process a typical report that normally took 12 days, and only five seconds to run an average core process that used to take five minutes. With this implementation, PROMESA was able to meet customer expectations, improving the overall customer and employee operations experience.

Bechtle AG

One of Germany’s largest IT systems houses, the European leader in IT e-commerce combines services for the operation and maintenance of industrial and public sector infrastructure. With 75 systems houses, offices in 14 EU countries, and partnerships on every continent, its business knows few boundaries.

Bechtle AG and SAP collaborated on a warehouse robotics solution, which integrates robotics into SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM). On a Kubernetes backbone, the company created a smart, flexible automation system, allowing multi-vendor robots to move crates from point-to-point.

The advantage of this solution is that it can support many use cases. It hooks together robotics fleets, even heterogeneous ones, into an existing system using SAP EWM. IT governance procedures integrate plug-and-play collaborative robots that perform “3D” — dull, dangerous, or dirty — tasks in logistics and help bring operations beyond Industry 4.0, resulting in a yearly 30% ROI from this robotic project.

Border States Electric

Border States Electric (BSE), the seventh largest electrical distributor in the U.S., provides innovative supply chain products and services to the construction, industrial, and utility markets. As COVID-19 impacted supply chains, BSE needed to optimize and streamline its purchase and sales order management to specifically manage delayed and escalated orders. It was critical to consolidate disjointed systems and tools, increase cross-team visibility, and reduce the duplication of work.

By implementing an integrated order management cockpit on SAP Business Technology Platform, the company was able to experience end-to-end, real-time visibility into sales and purchase orders. This enabled colleagues from procurement, customer service, and application engineering to collaborate and efficiently manage material delays, escalations, reduce duplicate work thereby increasing CSP and buyer productivity by 2% and save 16,000 CSR hours so that they could deliver value-added services to their customers.

Emerging from the Pandemic Stronger

Groundbreaking wholesale distributors transformed their business models while adjusting to the change in buyer behavior and supply chain constraints, not to mention workforce limitations. They seized on these opportunities to digitally transform business to accommodate these monumental shifts in business dynamics.

In 2021, distributors have continued to ensure operations run smoothly, delivering essential goods around the world and keeping the supply chain on track, all while balancing volatility in demand. The time is now to have your innovation story heard and recognized.

Share Your Wholesale Distribution Innovation Story and Win

The objective of this year’s SAP Innovation Awards is to celebrate the achievements of cutting-edge companies that have harnessed the power of SAP technology to become an intelligent enterprise, thrive in new business realities, differentiate themselves, achieve tremendous business outcomes, and adapt to evolving customer needs.

SAP is delighted to showcase these inspirational customer and partner stories. More information on the award timeline and list of prizes is available here.  For details on the judging criteria and category definitions, visit the SAP Innovation Awards website. The submission period is open now and all entries are due by February 1, 2022. Get started today and be sure to join the conversation online using the hashtag #SAPInnovation. For more innovation stories, follow @SAPIndustries on Twitter and join us on LinkedIn.


Magnus Meier is global vice president of Wholesale Distribution at SAP.