SAP Updates Functionality for Verticals

SAP AG announces the updated functionality in its MySAP Supply Chain Management product.

Making announcements at trade shows in Hannover, Germany and Chicago, Ill., business intelligence behemoth SAP AG updated functionality in its MySAP Supply Chain Management product.

The updates are added to SAP's advanced planning and optimization (APO) solution, which enables enterprises to determine future inventory needs based on past experiences. The product includes functions tailored to specific transactions that are performed repeatedly by enterprises.

SAP made the announcements at Germany's CeBIT, one of Europe's largest IT trade shows, and the National Manufacturing Week show in Chicago.

"We're kind of on an annual release cycle," says Sanford Markin, SAP's vice president of supply chain management. The announcements mark the sum of improvements SAP has made to the product in the past year.

Markin says SAP has a number of customer-facing units that work directly with customers in industry sub-segments as diverse as consumer soft drinks, computer OEMs and pharmaceutical vendors. These units help SAP determine the business processes the product should address. Some processes are common to an industry, while others are tailored to large players who dictate supply-chain processes to its suppliers. "This is driven almost exclusively by customer input," Markin says.

SAP first released its supply chain management product three years ago, and, today, the company is up to its 3.1 version of the product. The industries treated by MySAP SCM include high tech, automotive, mill products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and consumer products. SAP also has a services organization to further tailor the software to an enterprise's needs.