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The Future of Track and Trace in a Globalized World

Feature Article | July 11, 2017 by Petra Diessner Hot Story

Today’s global economy presents a huge market opportunity. But it also includes increased competition and risks, including supply chain disruptions and threats to brands and revenues. Traceability is a core capability for efficiently orchestrating goods to market and mitigating risk.

Complete supply chain traceability includes visibility into both product creation and the movement of goods and assets across company and system boundaries. Achieving this can be challenging, but the right tools make it possible.

Staying Ahead in a Globalized Economy

Over the past years, SAP has created a comprehensive track and trace solution portfolio closely integrated with SAP S/4HANA. Available on premise or in a private cloud deployment, these SAP solutions include well-integrated capabilities for transparency and traceability across the entire supply chain. What’s more, they track compliance with process monitoring and allow visibility of assets from start to finish at the appropriate level of detail to close any information gaps.

Businesses can harness these solutions to achieve a competitive advantage in today’s efficiency-minded economy. For more information on SAP’s on-premise track and trace solution portfolio, please visit the respective product sites: SAP Event Management, SAP solutions for auto-ID and item serialization, SAP Global Batch Traceability, and SAP Advanced Track and Trace for Pharmaceuticals.

Emerging Trends in the Track and Trace Space

But the world is moving fast. Companies are seeking ways to intelligently expand their digital core with true innovation – and this is where the  SAP Leonardo innovation system comes in, which allows enriching a company’s core business processes by IoT, machine learning, blockchain, analytics, and Big Data on SAP Cloud Platform.

Let’s explore how specific business trends and innovations impact today’s discussions around track and trace:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) : It’s no longer just a buzzword. For many businesses, it’s just a step away. By linking physical processes with the information flow, IoT provides unprecedented new insights and increased granularity.
  • Cloud/Software as a Service: Many companies struggle with poor visibility into their business partners’ operations, which can lead to bottlenecks, idle time, and delays. Improved business network capabilities in a cloud/software as a service environment can help businesses gain clarity and address these challenges.
  • Elastic, on-demand architecture: Exploding data volumes require flexible, on-demand infrastructure, enabling businesses to adapt quickly.
  • Instant insights:  Today’s business users expect an enticing, on-demand experience that includes anytime, anywhere access to accurate, up-to-date business information.
  • BlockchainAs a distributed ledger technology, blockchain may provide an irrefutable, validated record of product provenance from raw material origin to point of consumption.
  • Machine learning: This analytics technology allows for better decision making by turning data into predictions and insights that enable supply chain optimization.

SAP Global Track and Trace

With this new cloud offering, we have started the journey of a new generation track and trace solution addressing these kind of requirements with a future-forward architecture that allows integrating with other SAP Leonardo innovations. It complements our digital supply chain on-premise portfolio with cloud-based, multi-tier logistics network capabilities and comes with:

  • A Big Data architecture for scalable storage and indexing
  • Native integration with SAP IoT Application Enablement
  • Easy business partner on- and offboarding
  • A generic modelling tool and SAP Fiori user experience, including milestone status visibility and reporting of planned and unplanned events, with outbound delivery as a pre-configured example
  • SAP Cloud Platform integration to connect to SAP systems and third party systems

SAP Global Track and Trace will be continuously delivered and aims to provide real-time situational insights across global sourcing, production, and fulfillment networks to holistically address cross-industry as well as industry-tailored use cases.

Check out the SAP Global Track and Trace overview presentation and video, as well as the respective help site for more information.


Read more news and coverage from the SAP Leonardo Live event

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