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Inside Talk Digital Supply Chain

Published: · Last updated: · 8 min reading time

“Partners are key for our growth strategy – like Forcam Enisco with the connectivity solutions”

Inside talk with Andreas J. Wagner and Oliver Hoffman

  • Andreas J. Wagner (Chief Strategy & Market Development Officer for the global Digital Supply Chain at SAP)
  • Oliver Hoffmann (Co-CEO / CSO Forcam Enisco GmbH)
  • Interviewerin: Mikyung Inn (Global VP Customer Engagement Forcam Enisco Gmbh)


Transcript from 24. April 2024, HANNOVER MESSE

Mikyung Inn: I’m glad to share insights about the digital supply chain with Andreas and Oliver today. Andreas, you are responsible for the global digital supply chain at SAP. In light of the current crises such as the pandemic, supply chain shortages and, of course, the current geopolitical escalation: What are the biggest concerns for companies and your customers in the digital supply chain?

Andreas J. Wagner: Thank you, I am globally responsible for the digital supply chain for the Go-to-Market and the relationship with our partners and customers. What are our customers most concerned about at the moment? As you all know, the stress level of the supply chain has increased dramatically in recent years. The pressure on the supply chains has become increasingly greater. In other words, risk management, agility, and flexibility play a very important role, especially in manufacturing

We are seeing the trend of nearshoring coming back very strongly. I was just talking to a Mexican customer. We saw that more than 250 companies are currently building new factories in Mexico, for example, with the aim of being closer to the USA. We also see the whole topic in Eastern Europe.

As the cost of money increases again, the issue of stock is also gaining importance again. Many companies are now trying to reduce stock levels again after COVID-19 and further optimize stock levels.

Flexibility and agility in manufacturing is a very important trend that occupies our customers. The cloud naturally plays a major role here because it is flexible and agile. That’s why we see a very high demand for cloud solutions in the supply chain.

Mikyung: Oliver, FORCAM ENISCO has over twenty years of experience in the digitalization of production. Especially when it comes to machine connectivity in brownfield environments: What are your customers or companies concerned with in the context of digital production?

Oliver Hoffmann: Well, Andreas has already summarized everything perfectly. But of course, everything always starts with data. And our customers are extremely concerned with how to achieve transparency on the shop floor. Because that’s the only way I can ensure that I can utilize production capacity optimally and operate cost-efficiently. The requirements are: how do I get the data as quickly as possible? How do I manage to connect my legacy machines quickly and efficiently?

The second question is then: what do I do with the data? How do I use this data?

And what is also becoming increasingly important these days is how to ensure data security. Yes, we all know the topic of cybersecurity becomes important as hacker attacks are frequently happening in production. This means that this topic is also being addressed more and more frequently by our customers

Andreas: Absolutely, good point that I can only confirm. We had our Customer Executive Council in Munich last week when we had 30 of our largest customers globally in the supply chain area gathered here. And there was again the data topic in the focus, especially in connection with AI.

Mikyung: Industrial ecosystems are playing an increasingly important role in digitalization. Partners, customers and suppliers are collaborating to shape this digitalization together. In the context of the digital supply chain, what role do partner solutions and applications play and, above all, how important will this be for SAP?

Andreas: SAP’s growth strategy can only be achieved with strong partners. And especially for us in the supply chain. I think the Design to Operate concept is certainly one of the strongest end-to-end processes within SAP connected to the ERP. And this is where partners play a very important role. We have a super strong ecosystem, and we need partners for our end-to-end view.

But of course, also for the expertise in the individual pillars. That means partners are important to us for the implementation of our solutions. Partners are important to support us in our growth, also in pre-sales and sales, and to drive innovation and add-ons. Which we can then also sell on our SAP Store.

Just as you as Forcam Enisco are very important with your connectivity solutions to bring data from the shop floor into our solutions. The partner ecosystem is therefore a key component of our growth strategy.

Mikyung: You just mentioned the keyword innovation. SAP has innovation centers worldwide – the Industry 4.0 Pop-Up Factories. What can customers and partners experience there? And what can we expect from these innovation centers in the future?

Andreas: We want to bring all our innovations to the center first and make them available to our customers in the center. We get very good feedback for our Experience Centers. Because it really is software you can touch. They can see our processes live, they can see our software live and they can touch the software. And what is very nice about this center is that we represent the entire supply chain process end-to-end. From the ERP system, to the PLM software, and into manufacturing and logistics for live demonstrations including all planning solutions. That is very well received by our customers. Our centers are regularly fully booked.

I know FORCAM is also a partner in our center and your connectivity solution is shown live in the center.

Oliver: Exactly. We have been installed in the Walldorf Experience Center for a while now and recently in Philadelphia, USA. Precisely with the aim of demonstrating to customers a real continuity from the machine to the ERP and back again. So it is precisely this interplay. As you said, we have an extremely high demand and the centers are always fully booked

Mikyung: Many thanks to both of you.

Next steps

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