Recode Supply Chain, Decode Demand

Steven Thorne

Above Image: Hans Thalbauer, SAP general manager, extended supply chain

“Digital technology has changed the game, but customers changed the rules,” Hans Thalbauer, senior vice president, extended supply chain and IoT at SAP, to supply chain, procurement, manufacturing, and logistics executives attending the Gartner Supply Chain Conference in London on September 19–20, 2016. Informed, connected consumers across the globe want a customizable shopping experience and personalized products. To respond, companies must connect people, processes, technology, and data across the organization—from design and planning to manufacturing, logistics, and after-market services.

“Companies must develop an environment in which they can manage information and processes simultaneously across the extended supply chain,” Thalbauer said. This will transform their supply chains to become “more connected, intelligent, responsive, and predictive.”

Thalbauer joined more than two dozen presenters, including former Rugby World Cup coach Sir Clive Woodward and executives from BASF, Merck, SanDisk, Schneider Electric, and Unilever to explore the impact of digital technologies on innovation, manufacturing, planning, customer service, and logistics. Below are some of the attendees’ live-Tweeted highlights.

From Silos to Networks

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__1Richard Barnett New #DigitalInnovation & Management challenges: #SCM cross functional alignment key, Veracity + Value + orchestration key.

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__2Dominic Regan 63% of companies with no plan alignment deliberately add bias into demand plans— no trust between commercial & supply chain ops

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__1Richard Barnett Strategic customer collaboration: gain sharing, common metrics, executive sponsorship, “agree up front,” no “boil ocean”




Trevor Miles Existing org structures not fit for purpose in #digitalworld #network effect.



Richard Barnett #Digital evolution: formal organization not match actual work process: network, social “Hyperconnected”.

A Winning Formula: People, Data, Smart Machines

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__3Trevor Miles @CliveWoodward rounding interesting presentation – key point is #talent only the starting point

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__2Dominic Regan @CliveWoodward, champion needs ability, teachability (be a sponge not a rock), thinking correctly under pressure & attitude

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__4Bram Desmet Because the players have the #IT skills, they’d use the software. How data changed rugby. @CliveWoodward

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__5Mark Mirsky @CliveWoodward Champion individuals share share share! The best don’t keep things to themselves. Never learn alone

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__4Bram Desmet By 2020 10% of warehouse operations will be done by smart autonomous machines
Dominic Regan bimodal supply chain strategy merges the traditional linear supply chain alongside the agile and innovative non-linear approach

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__2Dominic Regan bimodal supply chain strategy merges the traditional linear supply chain alongside the agile and innovative non-linear approach


Richard Barnett Mike Dominy on #Bimodal #SCM Mode 1 Predictable, Mode 2 Exploratory with Partners Fail Fast, Risky, Transformative. Both needed

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__1Richard Barnett Karthik @SchneiderNA#bimodal – Mode 1 funds Mode 2 Innovation, reinvest 15% of operational savings to support innovation

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__5Mark Mirsky As #supplychain leader you must own your IT agenda. We incubate ideas together with our IT team – Annette Clayton @SchneiderElec

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__3Trevor Miles [Ken] Chadwick introduces new term to me: #cobots Love it, augmented #human #decision making in #digital #transformation

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__1Richard Barnett Mike Dominy: 66%+ CEOs have or will start a digital transformation effort, 70% of companies believe 50% of $ from digital 2018

What an Algorithm-Driven Supply Chain Looks Like

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__4Bram Desmet Algorithmic planning? complex algorithms for speed, scale + improved decision making through automation + connections

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__6Melissa Clow Merck: audited every five minutes, managing complex #supplychains – 40-45% cost of business

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__6Melissa Clow Merck: 3 yrs ago had high operating costs & inventory levels; operating blind


sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__6Melissa Clow MSD/Merck can determine levels quickly; integrated planning – work collaboratively w/ suppliers & distributers; transparency

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__2Dominic Regan #Unilever supply chain transformation delivered agility, improved service, reduced CapEx & over €1bn cumulative material savings

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__7Kaushal Dave Real success is being able to respond quickly and having a flexible #supplychain NOT just quality and service @Unilever

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__5Mark Mirsky [Neil] Humphrey @Unilever moved from cost focus to margin focus showing increased value to customers. Critical to their improvements


sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__6Melissa Clow @BASF has #supplychain segmentation to satisfy customer needs thru responsiveness & flexibility

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__7Kaushal Dave Focus on demand signals not forecast, focus on cash-to-cash cycles where possible and tier the #supplychain @BASF SC maturity

sap_q416_digital_double_crowdsource__5Mark Mirsky @BASF aspires to create control tower to orchestrate their #supplychain & actively manage disruptions with predictive analytics

Steven Thorne

About Steven Thorne

Steven Thorne is the social media lead for the Marketing Strategy and Thought Leadership team at SAP. Responsible for the social amplification of SAP thought leadership content, he delivers on the team’s digital-first thought leadership content marketing strategy. Along with digital marketing, Steven's extensive experience includes product, developer, partner, demand generation, and channel marketing for SAP and other tech leaders including Intuit and Macromedia (now Adobe). In his spare time, he is an avid traveler, cook, and volunteer. Share your thoughts with Steven on Twitter @sthorne.