SAP unveils new supply chain planning solution
This week, SAP announced the launch of its new solution, the SAP Integrated Business Planning application for demand-driven replenishment. Designed in partnership with Camelot ITLab, the application helps users compensate supply chain variability, compress lead times and reduce inventories.
“SAP continues to deliver digital supply chain portfolio innovations that simplify how our customers run their organizations,” said Franz Hero, senior vice president, SAP Supply Chain and Logistics Development. “This latest offering incorporates industry-proven methodologies to help companies address the challenges of increasingly volatile business landscapes and gain immediate improvements in business operations.”
The principal methodology behind the Integrated Business Planning application is that of demand-driven material requirements planning (DDMRP), which is used to model, plan and manage supply chains, and protect and promote the flow of relevant information and materials.
The DDMRP approach allows users of SAP’s solution to Dampen the effect of demand and supply variation on the supply chain by calculating inventory buffers and assigning and managing those buffers at strategic decoupling points; drive replenishment at strategic decoupling points from actual demand; and achieve visibility and demand-driven prioritization of supply based on buffer status at decoupling points.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.