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SAP Innovation Awards 2022: The Finalists

The winners of the SAP Innovation Awards will be announced this year on the 14th of April. The shortlist of 60 entries for selection has just been published and includes dynamic and far-sighted companies representing all areas of commerce and industry.

Customers and partners of SAP receiving a place on the awards shortlist have been selected on the basis that they have recognised and addressed needs in business and in society. Some of the innovative solutions created by these companies with the power of SAP technologies have helped the world bounce back from economic recession. Others aim to provide sustainability solutions which will benefit everyone in the long-term by reducing the environmental impact of industrial and business activity.

The finalists of the SAP Innovation Awards 2022 have been chosen from among hundreds of entries by a panel of expert judges, including thought and community leaders, and SAP executives, as the best examples of companies and organisations “creating value, contributing to communities, and improving lives through technology innovation”.

IgniteSAP’s Favourite Finalists

This week IgniteSAP is delighted to share with our community our favourite SAP innovations stories from among the Finalists for SAP Innovation Awards 2022. We believe these examples of innovation and best practice in the implementation of SAP software are a valuable resource for our community and encourage you to take a look at some of the others for further ideas and inspiration in your own professional practice.

Bboxx – Solar Power to the People

Over a billion people worldwide lack access to reliable energy, and this severely restricts lives and economic development. Providing infrastructure for electricity supply in extremely remote locations is almost impossible by traditional means.

Bboxx manufactures, distributes and finances decentralised solar powered systems in developing countries. By creating access to affordable power generation Bboxx enables the economic development of off-grid communities, particularly in rural areas, positively impacting the lives of over 2 million people, and contributing directly to 11 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Based in the UK and with manufacturing in China, Bboxx has over 900 staff in nine offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, and Togo. Bboxx was the winner of the Zayed Sustainability Prize in 2019.

Antony Osijo, CFO of Bboxx has said: “We want to accelerate access to power in developing countries. Because of the scale of our targets, it’s vital to have a strategic global partner like SAP that is flexible and innovative enough to want to work with us on that journey.”

In order to expand Bboxx chose SAP Business ByDesign. In the third phase of their expansion, (which aims to more than double the number of countries provided for) over the next five years, SAP Business ByDesign will integrate with Bboxx Pulse.

Bboxx Pulse is used to manage the business remotely and at scale, because their customers are often distributed widely in rural locations. SAP ERP, finance and supply chain solutions are used to automate business processes, helping to create global consistency while still allowing for local reporting needs.

SAP Business ByDesign covers the whole product lifecycle, and automates accounting processes. According to SAP “Business ByDesign delivers pre-built processes for everything from finance and sales to product management and purchasing on a single, unified solution.”

The Bboxx finance model has enabled over 35,000 people to support an enterprise, generating additional income of $78,846,917 so far in these locations.

Off-grid solar energy is cheaper, more reliable and healthier than traditional fuel alternatives like kerosene and petrol generators. The average saving per household is $200 annually. The systems are easy for low-income households to access on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The knock on effects of this power generation includes: avoiding emissions of carbon dioxide (an estimated 681,449 Metric Tons to date), the creation of solar powered irrigation systems (increasing farm productivity by 300%), reducing indoor pollution using the Bboxx clean cooking solution, and 92% user connectivity through an affordable internet service.

The result of these extra benefits is enabling 126,585 people to engage in more economic activities, with a further associated benefit to local economies.

Maersk – Integrating Container Logistics

The Coronavirus Pandemic initiated a change in the way people think about logistics, and it was the catalyst for A.P. Moller – Maersk to bring to reality their “Global Integrator of Container Logistics” vision with an initial roll-out in Italy.

This concept was designed to minimise disruption to logistics in between sea and inland journeys, while simultaneously making substantial advances towards net zero supply chains. In view of the problematic external influences on logistics Maersk wanted to give their customers increased visibility and control while also simplifying supply chains.

“The challenge was mainly driven by the different surrounding systems that must be integrated, and the high number of order amendments received, and this independently of the transportation status, resulting in complex planning and execution processes.”

Working in collaboration with SAP and Deloitte, Maersk sought to integrate a SAP S/4HANA platform to manage the inland transportation of Imports, Exports and the replenishment of empty containers: managing consignments in more detail and reducing CO2 emissions.

By increasing the amount of “triangulation” of container journeys the solution reduced the miles of empty container transportation. Full containers were delivered, empty containers transported the shortest possible distance to be refilled at the nearest depot and then the full containers transported to the next delivery location.

The platform created by Maersk and Deloitte enabled a solution which multiplied the number of possible triangulated journeys by a factor of 18: saving substantial transportation costs and reducing carbon footprint.

Using the SAP Transportation Management System in 90% of instances, the solution is live in 24 Italian Ports and is expected to be rolled out in multiple countries through 2022.

Jean-Philippe Draye, Deloitte’s SAP Transportation Management Leader for the EMEA region said:

“Building a unique SAP solution that will be the foundation of the new Inland Transportation Platform of the Ocean worldwide industry leader was a privilege. This has been achieved by working all together on this transformation journey and today we can be proud that this solution is live in Italy and see week after week the ramp up in the different ports and terminals”.

BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. – Overcoming Production Challenges

The global automotive production supply chain has been severely tested since the beginning of the pandemic. BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. has been navigating this uncertainty and has used software solutions from SAP to bring more insight into their end-to-end processes in order to compensate for this uncertainty.

BMW Brilliance Automotive is a joint venture between Brilliance Automotive and BMW covering production, sales and after-sales services in China. The BBA manufacturing base in Shenyang comprises of two vehicle production plants, an R&D centre and a Powertrain Plant, and is one of the largest in the BMW group.

BBA experienced three key production challenges over the last two years. The Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns, a semiconductor shortage (effecting automotive electrical assemblages), and energy restrictions which were due to China’s 2060 carbon neutrality target.

The business worked directly with SAP to deploy SAP Analytics Cloud on top of SAP ECC to monitor and analyse the supply chain in real-time. This Unified Management Cockpit integrated data from SAP ECC, the Supplier Portal, and the Mobile Survey System. Business Intelligence capabilities were enhanced using SAP HANA and SAP Business Warehouse in conjunction with AI Algorithm and R server.

SAP Analytics Cloud enabled intelligent monitoring of purchasing processes, and a bespoke Supply Chain Crisis Management Platform was created to unify data and visualise business processes. In this way BBA minimised the time taken to react to changes in the supply chain.

BBA’s Manager for Purchasing Process & System Projects, Jake Zhao, commented:

…With SAP Analytics Cloud’s powerful functionalities, we managed to develop a tailor-made dashboard for power rationing right away to cope with the new scenario. This tool significantly enhanced our insights of supply chain and protected manufacturing from disruptions.”

Carrefour – Full Digital Transformation using Rise with SAP

Carrefour is a leading global retailer that has been a pioneer in food retail for 60 years. Founded in France, today Carrefour has 12,225 stores in over 30 countries.

Carrefour Brazil sought an SAP implementation partner to help them move from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA, and also to move some other products to the cloud. They chose to partner with Mignow because their option facilitates automated migration from ECC to SAP S/4HANA using AI. The system uses AI tools to analyse the existing database, recommends a method and automates the conversion steps, performing updates automatically later on.

Carrefour stipulated that the project was to be up and running by Black Friday and so they worked hard to implement the entire system in just 3.5 months, instead of the more usual project duration of one year.

The existing SAP environment was hosted on-premise in an IBM CMS and this was moved to SAP’s Cloud SaaS Rise with SAP, hosted on Google Cloud, and simultaneously upgrading from SAP S/4HANA version 1511 to the 2020 version.

After Carrefour and Mignow completed the migration to a new data centre and connectivity services structure Carrefour had also gain new functionalities, agility and improvements in their business processes. The running costs for the system were cut by 30% (using SAP BTP), and the process means that new updates and roll-outs of new technologies and processes will be much quicker and less disruptive.

Cloud hosting has reduced Carrefour’s energy consumption by 45%, and new customer experience capabilities have been found to engage customers with personalised offers, resulting in boosted sales. Productivity of end-users of the system has increased up to 64% with easier to use Fiori interfaces. This benefit for mobile employees is augmented with consistent UI appearance and workflow across devices.

The end result is a lightening fast implementation which has enabled more than 200 end users across the Carrefour Brazil business network, which caters for their more than 100 million customers annually.

Hamburg Ministry of Finance – Platform for Cultural Covid-19 Aid

The Federal State of Hamburg, Germany has more than 70,000 employees, catering for over 1.9 million people. Their digital innovation laboratory Digitalfactory took responsibility for the implementation and control of the Covid-19 Aid Application Platform for Culture across all German states during the Coronavirus pandemic on behalf of the German government.

This required them to establish a standard process for the payout of German government short-term financial aid as fast as possible in order to compensate for the negative impact of the lockdowns on the cultural industries sector.

This involved the quick construction of a payment process that dealt with extreme variations in types of applicants and different regulations in each German Lander (federal states).

Hamburg’s Digitalfactory created the Cultural Covid-19 Aid-Application Platform. It was implemented as a cloud application on SAP’s Business Technology Platform using SAP’s Cloud Application Programming Model (CAP). This consisted of a webpage, an application platform using SAPUI5 and a back-office platform based on Fiori Elements.

In order to evaluate applications automatically Digitalfactory implemented an AI based automated process using elements like Document Information Extraction (DOX). The German federal tax office authentication service (ELSTER) was integrated to prevent fraudulent applications, and payments were processed on the existing SAP S/4HANA system of Hamburg via Cloud Connector.

This paperless system was implemented using the SAP Extension Strategy in a hybrid landscape so it did not interrupt existing services and consequently was up and running live in just three weeks.

47,000 applications have been processed to date, with more than 160,000 documents being automatically processed and evaluated, meaning that 2.5 Billion Euros of aid was paid out legitimately to arts and culture organisations: ensuring the cultural life of Germany could continue during and after the pandemic.

Olaf Scholz, then Finance Minister and now Chancellor of Germany commented:

This is important, because artists have a special burden to bear in this pandemic, the cultural organisers, the singers, the actors, the musicians and the stage builders. In addition, art and culture are of great importance for our community and for social cohesion…The special fund for cultural events is the largest cultural funding program since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany. And it comes at just the right time. I am confident that diverse cultural life in our cities and communities will soon be able to start again.”

ElectraMeccanica – A Digital-First Business Strategy

ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. established in 2015, designs and manufactures electric vehicles. Their flagship vehicle is a single seat, three wheeled affordable electric vehicle called the Solo.
The company has been transitioning from attracting investors to selling its first cars, and needed a way to quickly expand its organisation.

ElectraMeccanica is going straight into running its intelligent enterprise using a suite of SAP products, with a core ERP system built around SAP S/4HANA and SAP Commerce Cloud to service its customers. PwC helped ElectraMeccanica to develop their digital strategy, select and implement the technology, and support the complete solution for front and back office.

Using Rise with SAP, ElectraMeccanica, in collaboration with PwC has completed its digitalisation in just 8 months. With Rise with SAP they have a solution running for finance, supply chain, sales, distribution, and after-sales and services.

They are now able to deliver electric vehicles across the globe. 61 vehicles were delivered to customers in the last quarter of 2021, and they have the capability to expand quickly and at scale.

The CEO Kevin Pavlov commented:

SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the technology foundation that will enable us to manage rapid growth for years to come, enabling an unparalleled level of insight into our vehicle assembly operations. The implementation of this comprehensive system will best position ElectraMeccanica to scale operations, future-proof our business and obtain critical feedback to empower more informed operational decisions. We look forward to closely working with the team at PwC to improve operational efficiency firm-wide as we ramp production to meet the strong demand of our SOLO vehicles”

The implementation has used process automation to eliminate repetitive work, freeing up employees for more value-added tasks which is particularly crucial at the beginning of this company’s operations. By choosing cloud-based ERP the company has reduced the need for expensive IT infrastructure, and increased access to real-time information on business operations: ensuring that they can make the right decisions at the right time to expand quickly to meet high demand.

Walgreens Boots Alliance – Modernising Global Operations

Walgreens Boots Alliance is an integrated healthcare provider, pharmacy and retailer, which serves millions of customers and patients each day. The company employs 315,000 people worldwide and operates in 9 countries.

The alliance has 9,300 stores and 20 distribution centres in the US segment, along with a nationally scaled, and locally delivered healthcare platform. It also has an international segment consisting of Boots Pharmaceuticals and other brands.

WBA is seeking to become an omni-channel retail pharmacy, and digital transformation is a core pillar of that strategy. During this digital transformation it is crucial to maintain inventory accuracy and granularity so customers can always find the products they require: in many cases this can include prescription drugs to help treat heart problems and blood pressure.

WBA chose to implement S/4HANA with SAP Customer Activity Repository as its new digital core in a phased implementation, initially focussed on finance, retail, supply chain and inventory management, to bring together its various ERP systems. The implementation of S/4HANA is hosted on Microsoft Azure, meaning that it can be expanded quickly to even greater volumes of information. The SAP Customer Activity Repository applications module feeds all point-of-sale (POS) transactions into SAP S/4HANA, automating the process and providing real-time visibility into inventory, reports and dashboards.

As a result of this integration WBA now has improved financial outcomes such as margins improvement and working capital improvement, and better control of Sales General and Administrative expenses.

Along with these financial gains, WBA has now immediate access to real-time information on its supply chain from end-to-end, and on inventory information. Inventory management automation and automated document processing have allowed employees to spend more time working with customers on helping to resolve their health issues.

Francesco Tinto, WBA’s senior vice president and Global CIO said: “SAP S/4HANA gives us visibility into each and every store. We know exactly what is in any store, at any moment. Every change is immediately updated in our inventory management system.”

Good Luck to the Finalists

The Finalists of the SAP Innovation Awards will be considered further over the next few weeks and the 25 award winners of various categories will be announced on the 14th of April.

The stories behind each of these digital transformations are a great source of inspiration for SAP professionals and they can be considered a good resource for ideas to be applied elsewhere.

All of the Finalists have demonstrated a high degree of innovation: reacting to a changing world and adapting SAP technology to each new context, but at IgniteSAP we particularly admire those which have helped society itself to adapt to changing socio-economic conditions, and to help businesses to change their operations to have less of an impact on the environment.

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If we had to pick one application of SAP technology which seemed to have the potential for the most impact, it would be the expansion of the Bboxx scheme for solar power in remote communities.

It is of course a truly great aspiration to bring energy equality and access to digital resources to those that need it most, but because the need is great for the product, then the need for the project’s expansion at scale and with consistency is equally important, and anything that can bring that about is really innovating for the benefit of society as a whole.

Are you looking for ways to use your SAP skills to bring a positive impact to the world? Please get in touch with our team at IgniteSAP so we can match you with an employer that shares your ambitions.