- A new collaboration between SAP and project44 is designed to improve shippers' access to accurate, real-time data across the supply chain, according to a press release on Tuesday. Project44 is a data analytics solutions provider that "ingests, cleanses and normalizes high-quality data."
- The goal is "information that pinpoints their shipments’ location at all times and provides dynamic, predictive delivery ETAs," Franz Hero, senior vice president of supply chain development at SAP, said in a statement.
- This marks the latest addition to SAP's Logistics Business Network, which allows customers to integrate data across SAP platforms and with other third-party providers in the supply chain. The platform includes digital freight booking services such as Uber Freight, which SAP partnered with earlier this year.
Data is most helpful if it's "clean," or formatted in a standardized, accurate way. As the amount of data firms generate and collect grows, making sense of it and keeping it organized becomes a challenge.
"We've got a host of real-time information coming from sensors on product sensors, on equipment sensors, on trucks and vehicles in the network and pulling that information together to make better decisions, I think, is one of the key drivers to gain real time visibility," Richard Howells, VP of solution management, digital supply chain at SAP, told Supply Chain Dive.
"Shippers often struggle with little transparency across their logistics ecosystem due to volatile market conditions and siloed operations, which makes everything from staffing operations to keeping stock on shelves more difficult," Hero said.
Project44's integration into SAP's "network of networks" cleans and harmonizes data automatically across a user's platforms before it gets loaded into the ERP system, removing the need for customers to enter data into multiple systems, which takes extra time and can raise the risk of human errors.
By combining SAP's existing data solutions with project44's real-time data collecting and cleaning ability, SAP envisions shippers will receive up to date information on where their shipments are, end-to-end throughout their supply chain. And this spans more than a shipper's internal operations, it can include its third-party network as well.
"In the complex network, no company does it alone," Howells said. "You get [things] done with a network of partners, whether it's contract manufacturers, whether its suppliers, suppliers who are collaborating in the R&D process, or whether its logistics service providers ... sharing information about visibility goes both ways."
This is especially crucial for logistics operations, he continued, which are often subject to unpredictable factors from traffic jams to natural disasters. Having accurate data on shipment locations in transit can enable shippers to reroute cargo and maintain on-time orders, and their brand's reputation.