The planet runs on warehouses. Whether we like globalization or not, a lot of our products and support services spend an unavoidable amount of time somewhere in a warehouse, usually on a wooden pallet, moved by a forklift, and usually covered with some kind of protective plastic coating. .
People moving our products within these facilities typically wear coveralls or some type of one-piece coverall-type garment designed to protect them. These people are the front line of modern supply chains and we need to care about them. While we can provide good working conditions, competitive wages, and well-being support services to improve the lives of workers in our supply chain, we can clearly also use technology to improve the way these systems work.
people and planet
German software company SAP used its annual Sapphire user convention this year to focus on this aspect of the global economy and introduce a host of new products and services designed to accelerate innovations that will benefit our heroes in overalls, us consumers and ultimately, hopefully, the planet as well.
Describing its latest solutions as industry-specific, modular cloud offerings that automate supply chains with data-driven insights, SAP’s youthful-looking CEO Christian Klein has pointed out the obvious flaws that have been exposed in recent years. global supply chain systems as a result of pandemic-driven disruptions and broader economic upheavals.
“For 50 years, SAP has been helping companies adopt digital processes so they can thrive in a rapidly changing world,” said Klein. “We understand the urgency of the current digital transformation, as well as the problems and challenges that it can bring. Our new innovations are designed to help our customers transform to be more agile, build resilient supply chains, and turn data into greater business value.”
To help keep warehouses running smoothly, SAP is partnering with Apple to create SAP Warehouse Operator, a new mobile app that enables workers to complete warehouse tasks using their personal iOS devices, available now on the Apple App Store. The company is also taking warehouse automation to the next level with SAP Warehouse Robotics, now part of SAP Extended Warehouse Management.
The suggestion here is that by connecting supply chains to warehouse robotics, companies can make supply chains more powerful and effective, increase workforce performance, and make warehouses safer.
To help customers optimize manufacturing performance, the new SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud is said to bring together analytics, edge computing (i.e. Internet of Things), and automation with next-generation manufacturing processes, including integration of SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud planned and processed orders.
His Majesty’s logic
SAP echoed Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s comments on climate inaction and called for moving from well-intentioned conversation to meaningful action on sustainability. According to SAP, many companies have made significant commitments to improve the sustainability of their operations and supply chains, but in most cases, they are not doing enough to make the kind of impact they could.
“Each industry has unique business needs, functions and processes that require customization of the core functionality of the solution. While cloud solutions generally support agile and continuous innovation, [our] Experience helping companies across the industry build and connect end-to-end digital business processes, elevating their cloud offerings to a level unmatched by other providers,” SAP said, in a product statement.
New capabilities in SAP Cloud for Sustainable Enterprises are expected to help companies develop in key areas of sustainability management. SAP Product Footprint Management promises to enable customers to reduce product carbon footprints at scale with live S/4HANA connectivity, now including travel and transportation capabilities. SAP Responsible Design and Production, which helps customers manage the obligations of extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations, now extends to plastic taxes, such as those recently implemented in the UK.
Enabling technologies in action
If we achieve all these things, will we really have improved the lives of tomorrow’s workers who wear general clothing (other specific clothing for factories and warehouses is also available) and for us the users, with the planet in general also benefiting? In theory, yes, the push to digitize workflows should exist in the boardroom, on the sales floor, in the warehouse, and in the field; this is the era of data-driven work management and its benefits must be applied at all levels of the business.
Does SAP have all the answers? It’s not nice.
There are many large-scale enterprise software companies out there and it would be foolish to put all your eggs in one basket, especially a forklift. But negatives aside, the fact that the global narrative has moved to uphold these essentially environmentally friendly concerns and human well-being is encouraging.
Let’s be more general careful about all the monkeys, did someone say tea break?