May 19, 2023

SAP launches AI solutions for ‘future-proofing’ supply chains


Artificial intelligence has proliferated throughout the FreightTech scene, becoming the buzzword at conferences as the industry looks for ways to boost supply chain productivity and eliminate waste.

While it is important to look within current logistics systems to apply AI solutions, FreightTech providers are examining disruptive global shipping modifications that would be detrimental without AI’s support.

These changes inspired Walldorf, Germany-based SAP SE to launch its solution, SAP Business AI, at the company’s Sapphire conference in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday. In partnership with Microsoft, the company will integrate its solutions with Microsoft 365 Copilot and Azure OpenAI to enable customers to expand their logistics capabilities while training employees to tackle future logistics difficulties.

“In a world of geopolitical tensions, product and skills shortages and new regulations, our customers continue turning to SAP for the solutions they need to solve their most pressing challenges,” said SAP SE CEO Christian Klein.

Klein went on to explain that SAP’s 50 years of leading business software transformations, which recently earned the company leader status on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems, “is why we are convinced that embedding AI in SAP software will deliver enormous value for your business.”

The ability to change

SAP’s focus on creating intuitive solutions for its customers is not new, as the company entered 2023 unveiling its SAP Business Network for Logistics, a solution that enables global shippers to mitigate risk while increasing operational response time to developing regulatory demands in environmental, social and governance reporting.

For example, at the beginning of the new year, Germany enacted its Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, which holds companies responsible for the unethical practices and environmental harm of its supply chain partners. Companies found guilty of using unethical partners could be fined 50,000 euros ($53,827.25) and administrative fines of up to 2% of their average annual revenue.

Leveraging SAP’s Business Network for Logistics, shippers and carriers will be able to expose those vulnerabilities and make changes in real time to provide resiliency as these global regulations become more abundant.

Watch now: Retailer Investment in AI

The company on Wednesday unveiled another AI-powered solution, SAP Business Network for Industry, that applies the data the company has secured from its 80 largest customers that utilize more than 250,000 trading partners for over $200 billion in trade.

Pfizer, an SAP customer, shared how the solution is being utilized to prepare the company for future environmental audits.

“In addition to the top and the bottom line, consumers, your employees, investors and auditors, they all want to support enterprises that care about the planet. Today, CFOs and chief sustainability officers need to ensure compliance with 20 times more climate regulations than they had in the past. … The SAP sustainability portfolio will enable you to record, report and act on actuals, not on averages, based on a green ledger — including scope 3,” said Klein of its environmental reporting capabilities at the Sapphire event.

As the event wrapped up Wednesday, executives at SAP had a clear message: The AI technology being produced today is not just about solving today’s problems as much as it’s being generated with tomorrow’s unknowns in mind.

“Fifty years ago SAP built the first [enterprise resource planning] system; 30 years ago we made real time a reality; and 10 years ago we entered the cloud. … Today, we are actually innovating together with all of you to redefine enterprise software and future-proof your business entering the era of AI. We’ve been alongside you, your businesses and your industries with continuous improvement and continuous innovation,” said Thomas Saueressig, SAP’s head of product engineering.

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Future of Supply Chain


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