New GRC solutions from SAP help mitigate trade risk across global supply chain

JohannesburgThe current economic downturn, combined with an increasingly complex global business and regulatory environment, has left international businesses more vulnerable than ever to supply chain risk, and it is imperative that they find better ways to manage that risk.

SAP (NYSE: SAP) today announced a new version of the SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services application, part of the SAP BusinessObjects governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) family of solutions. Combined with the SAP BusinessObjects Risk Management application, also a SAP BusinessObjects GRC solution, the new application automate regulatory compliance across numerous trade processes such as logistics and order fulfilment, helping customers to identify and mitigate supply chain risk easily, quickly and effectively.

The SAP BusinessObjects GRC family of solutions promotes a unified approach to addressing compliance issues across lines of business, regions and industries. Today’s announcement enhances these solutions by helping companies address supply chain risk and improve performance. The announcement was made at GRC 2009, being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, 17 to 20 March.

“Supply chains have become both more strategically important and risky over the last several years,” said Mark Smith, CEO and EVP, Research, Ventana Research. “The world’s economies have become simultaneously more integrated and uncertain as companies have expanded the geographic scope of their potential sourcing and addressable markets. That’s why businesses are examining SAP for better visibility into increasingly complex, geographically dispersed supply chains. Solutions from vendors like SAP can help organisations spot potential risks before they become problems and enhance supply chain performance.”

Supply chain and logistics professionals need solutions that help them increase their control over risk factors that impact operational efficiency. By leveraging SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services with SAP BusinessObjects Risk Management, supply chain executives improve their visibility and management of global trade risk factors and performance issues.

SAP BusinessObjects GRC solutions help give customers updated status information on supply chain logistics and order fulfilment, including: supplier and customer service, cross-border trade and international trade regulations. With prompt access to data, supply chain professionals can formulate smarter action plans and risk-mitigation strategies that can ultimately improve “delivery performance”, or the time from the supplier’s receipt of an order to customer delivery.

SAP BusinessObjects GRC solutions provide a proactive, preventive approach to helping minimise risk and improve performance. For example, if a vice-president of supply chain wants to improve delivery performance, he or she can use SAP BusinessObjects GRC solutions to establish quantifiable key risk indicators (KRIs) that measure and monitor aspects of the order to help ensure that deadlines are met. These quantifiable KRIs estimate the financial impact of various risk factors, showing supply chain executives how risk vulnerability can affect their bottom line. Through the interaction of global trade services with risk management solutions, organisations can create KRIs that alert them to quantified risks associated with an inability to meet customer commitment goals or aggressive order fulfilment times. Additionally, KRI alerts let supply chain professionals know when they need to enact risk mitigation plans to help ensure delivery timelines are met. KRIs can also be triggered if there are errors in the electronic filing process, or improper, inaccurate or missing shipping documentation.

The comprehensive global trade services and risk management approach offered by SAP also helps customers determine if their suppliers are authorised economic operator (AEO) certified, meaning that suppliers’ business transactions have been certified to be safe and transparent according to international trade standards. If an issue arises, customers are notified, thus helping to minimise some potential supply chain disruption and expedite the flow of goods through ports worldwide.

Consistent with the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio, SAP BusinessObjects GRC solutions work across customers’ heterogeneous IT environments. SAP customers gain additional benefits from deeper integration with SAP Business Suite software, linking supply chain risk, trade compliance and execution. For example, the new version of SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services works with the SAP Transportation Management application (part of the SAP Business Suite) to help customers further streamline cross-border trade and visibility. Together, the SAP applications promote a holistic approach to trade and transportation, managing both trade compliance and transportation logistics issues, and helping ensure that organisations execute efficiently on their international trading strategy.

“Supply chain risk has become a top challenge for companies worldwide, and without a unified GRC approach, these issues can spiral out of control if they are not proactively managed,” said Narina Sippy, senior vice-president and general manager, GRC Solutions, SAP BusinessObjects division. “SAP recognises that a company’s ability to meet its corporate objectives – ranging from revenue to customer satisfaction to sustainability goals – may hinge on how well it can identify and mitigate supply chain risk. That’s why the SAP BusinessObjects GRC offerings are designed to help proactively flag supply chain risks and vulnerabilities, empowering business users with the information they need to help develop an immediate plan of action to respond to a potential crisis across their global trade operations. With the insight provided by our solutions, companies may develop more risk-aware, productive business strategies and promote consistent execution upon them.”

Merle van Eeden, SAP Africa Solution Principal – governance risk and compliance (GRC), says South Africa takes the matter of corporate governance very seriously. The release of the draft King III Report and draft Code on the 25 February 2009 by the Institute of Directors of southern African confirms SA’s commitment. In terms of this draft, as in the previous one, the process of risk management remains the responsibility of the board, which may delegate its implementation to a risk committee. The SAP BusinessObjects Risk Management solution supports King III as it provides the tools needed for the entire risk management process on an enterprise wide basis, including the transparency and accuracy of information required by the board to enable it to fulfil its risk management obligations.

“South Africa is an increasingly active participant in global trade and companies that are involved in the import and export of goods will benefit from the unique offerings,” concludes van Eeden.


SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software (*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 82 000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP”.

The SAP BusinessObjects portfolio transforms the way the world works by connecting people, information and businesses. With open, heterogeneous solutions in the areas of business intelligence; information management; governance, risk and compliance; and enterprise performance management, the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio enables organisations to close the gap between business strategy and execution.

For more information, visit http://www.sap.com.

(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications.

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