Process Analytics for Supply Chain Optimization

It all started with an innocuous conversation last year with life long friend and CIO Brendan...and a beer of course. He explained the transformation he was going through and the vision he had for optimising operations at his company. It was ambitious to say the least. Leveraging real time data coupled with the theory of constraints, Brendan implemented niche technology that sought to improve customer satisfaction, quality of service and increase throughput at the same time. Successful implementation would see their business increasing business operations capacity by significant amounts without increasing headcount.

Having witnessed the success first hand as he walked me through the office and DC with wide screen TV monitors on every corner it had me thinking, does SAP have an equivalent solution. Of course they do and some. SAP Operational Process Intelligence is a real time cockpit that gives you a holistic view of any end to end processes you choose to configure.

In the case of Order to Cash, you can see your entire WIP at once, where orders are breaking down and make corrections before failures materialise. It's the perfect example of exception based analytics. SAP OPI allows you to see what is happening and what is about to happen if no action is taken. By focusing only on the things that require action right now, you reduce the noise and create a powerful ability to improve performance. As I'm writing it reminds me of the Tesla. Less noise, more torque. And that is a great analogy for the benefits of SAP OPI.

Our customers are enjoying the delights of such power and it is a delightful experience. Simply knowing. Knowing your business. Knowing where to focus your energy. Knowing you can make a difference. Predicting the result. It is profound and so are the benefits. In addition to having visibility within your own organisation, the opportunity existing to share access to your customers, creating transparency into process and fostering greater relationships and partnerships.

Whilst this is an SAP product, it doesn't care where the data is coming from. It will work on any source that is capturing the process event data. The Workflow modeler allows us to model any process from any system and visualise it.

Forefront has taken OPI and supercharged it. Our methodology allows us to deliver this profound benefit in as little as 2-4 weeks. In addition, we can provide OPI as a Service, taking care of integration, infrastructure, innovation and support. Our roadmap includes additional cockpits and automated reporting to compliment the suite.

For any business undertaking digital transformation program, in particular those where process engineering is involved, OPI is a great solution for under-pinning this transformation.

For a more forensic approach to process analytics, SAP also offer Celonis, a process mining tool that gives you great insight into how processes are being followed. As we gain a deeper understanding, the opportunity to introduce robotic processing becomes the next opportunity.




Craig Cauchi