07/29/2021

Enabling a Scalable & Growth Focused Logistics Transformation - Key Takeaways

Resilient and sustainable supply chains are the need of the hour. The impact of the global supply chain disruptions from the beginning of last year has been massive. Almost all global businesses experienced demand volatility of goods and services, constrained capacity at manufacturing, and logistics & labor shortages, among several other bottlenecks. The impact of the pandemic has continued through 2021 with other supply chain disruptions such as the Suez Canal blockage that impacted a daily flow of over 55000 TEU's for six days and an overall quantity of 330,000 TEU's. Or the more recent Yantian port congestion that has amounted to 357,000 TEU's over a period of 14 days. The Colonial Pipeline Ransomware attack was another instance where supply chains in North America stood disrupted as fuel prices spiked. Therefore, there is an increasing need for digitalization for supply chains to grow more resilient, be prepared to act proactively under disruption, and devise ways to mitigate risks effectively.

On 21st July 2021, we hosted a webinar with SAP and ACCO Brands on 'Enabling a Scalable and Growth Focused Logistics Transformation.' The session witnessed Stephen Byers, SVP & CIO, ACCO Brands, Cam Patters, Director Global Logistics, SAP, Garett Cry, Senior SAP SCM/TM Consultant, Novigo, and Bimal Subhakumar, Senior Consulting Manager, Novigo as the speakers. Chris Grohman, Senior Account Executive, Novigo, moderated the discussion.

Did you miss our webinar? Here's where you can watch it on-demand

Enabling a Scalable Growth Focused Logistics Transformation Blog

Evolving Supply Chain Dynamics

Changing consumer behavior is hugely responsible for causing supply chains to adapt and evolve with time. The Amazon effect in supply chains has caused customers to demand more customization and personalization of products. They are focused on quality but wouldn't compromise on the delivery speed. Also, an increasing share of consumers is now concerned about the sustainability aspect of their products, basing their purchase decisions on ethically and sustainably sourced, designed, and manufactured products.

Supply Chain Visibility is of utmost importance, and network collaboration plays a vital role in removing silos within processes and increasing efficiency. Supply chain leaders are now focused on not just increasing visibility within business processes but across the entire supply chain leveraging real-time data insights.

Supply Chain Sustainability is of critical importance to businesses in the current global scenario. SAP has a very focused approach towards Environmental Social Governance. SAP supports sustainability by ensuring customers can tap into networks to find sustainable buyers and provide insights to help them make informed decisions.

Supply Chain Innovation using advanced technologies meet various goals from enhancing customer service levels to achieving ESG targets or effectively making organizations more responsive. To streamline processes or meet customer demands or improve supply chain visibility, companies are aggressively looking for solutions in advanced technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, etc. Digital Transformation in supply chains has notably accelerated since the onset of the pandemic, and more and more businesses are now moving to cloud-based infrastructure for more flexibility. Such digitization of supply chains can increase customer satisfaction, enhance revenue streams, enhance supply chain visibility, significantly reduce costs and increase productivity.

ACCO's Digital Transformation Journey

ACCO Brands Corporation is one of the world's largest designers, marketers, and manufacturers of branded academic, consumer and business products. ACCO's primary challenge lay in innovating processes with advancing technologies. Their business processes were built on outdated legacy systems (Oracle Transportation Management OTM and Manhattan Transportation Planning & Execution TP&E) that were becoming less productive and inefficient.

With rising consumer expectations of deliveries in OTIF (On Time In Full), rapidly evolving markets, and increasing transportation costs, a complex transportation network needed upscaling with the latest and best software in the market. The strategy thus included inducing resilience and visibility in the supply chains that could eventually improve customer experience and reduce mounting transportation costs.

The critical challenges addressed in the journey were:

  • Planning: Eliminating manual planning of orders & EDI communication with carriers
  • Reconciliation: Lack of freight settlement integration with finance for accruals and invoice verification
  • Data Integrity: Non-reliability of data from legacy TMS systems & accuracy of the rating engine
  • Processes: Loading of rates in the legacy TMS systems was labor-intensive
  • Cost: Inability to choose the correct parcel service level based on rate and dates

The digital transformation journey started in 2016 and in April 2020 ACCO witnessed the first Go-Live. Throughout this tenure, Novigo helped address each of the above challenges with tailored SAP Solutions. The solution built was based on a tight integration between SAP ECC, SAP EWM, and SAP TM that enabled ACCO to address challenges related to carrier selection, staging products, delivery, and pickup schedules. Carrier network integration was managed with EDI that allowed better visibility of shipment statuses.

ACCO SAP TM Implementation

SAP TMS facilitated integrating third-party solutions like XPS to manage the FedEx parcel rates shopping and tracking and SMC3 to manage LTL rates shopping and carrier selection. These integrations ensured an enhanced online shopping experience for the customers by displaying accurate freight rates on the e-commerce sites.

The digital transformation translated to conspicuous benefits for ACCO Brands as follows:

Apart from the SAP TM reporting and analytics capabilities, ACCO leveraged custom reports for deliveries, freight orders, settlement, documents, and carrier invoices using BW HANA for additional data insights.

Watch the on-demand webinar to know further details of the ACCO Brand's success with digital and scalable logistics transformation. 

The Novigo Imperative

ACCO Brands' digital transformation was particularly challenging, and managing process exceptions for global TM rollout was not an easy feat. ACCO had many complex processes within road transportation with LTL, FTL, and parcel shipments and a significant volume of goods shipped. Additionally, ACCO's strong leadership in supply chain management made it a point that we cater to each of their transportation management requirement with the best use of the tools at hand.

At Novigo, we emphasize a client's understanding of the transportation problem at hand. Training to understand processes and assess the gaps is as crucial as the change management while implementation to enable a smooth transition.

We deliver the best combination of experiences and skills to ensure the success of any SAP implementation. From methodical exploration and evaluation of the problems at hand to devising actionable architecture and solution design, we ensure a clear understanding of the business scenarios and plausible solutions to challenges.

Our defined implementation methodologies and end-to-end support to the client to effectively navigate change management helps deliver the best and most successful digital transformations. Digital transformation has helped numerous customers like ACCO Brands leverage the most advanced technology solutions to build more resilient and agile supply chains. Our clients have significantly benefited from cost reductions, revenue growth, enhanced productivity and efficiency, and overall supply chain visibility. To further explore the right supply chain solutions for your business, please reach out for a complimentary consultation session with a Novigo expert.