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Over the past few years, the world of commerce has changed drastically as a result of cities shutting down, factories being idle, seaports becoming congested, and workers being quarantined. However, with the implementation of the latest SAP Business One application, businesses have once again started booming and finding their base.

The reasons for these headline news stories are unfortunately all too familiar: just as the pandemic dies down in one area, it unfortunately pops back up in another. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put a severe damper on exports from the two countries, hindering the trade of vital agricultural commodities. With climate change affecting national energy policies, electric vehicle manufacturers have exhausted traditional sources of lithium and other battery metals and are now sourcing them from Africa and Latin America. The microchip shortage that started in Southeast Asia has completely changed the automotive industry’s supply chain, which was previously focused on lean manufacturing (a method to reduce costs). Now, the focus is on developing sourcing redundancies to ensure sales. Retailers have also experienced prolonged volatility. In addition, war and inflation have caused energy markets to become unstable.

For example, Germany is seeking to reduce its reliance on imported natural gas. Its options are few and entirely supply-driven. So too are the African nations seeking alternatives to wheat grown in Russia or Ukraine, and the electric car manufacturers are looking for new ore to mine or recycle for power storage. But the trend toward regionalization in supply chains goes deeper than commodities alone. The availability of labor can also play a decisive role in reshaping supply chains and logistics patterns.

Cloud-based solutions like SAP Business One that help manage the external workforce can supplement traditional sources of labor at factories, ports, and carriers. Even as the pandemic subsides in many regions, labor market volatility remains high. Therefore, it’s important for business leaders to have visibility across all aspects of the supply chain—from raw materials to labor and everything in between—in order to shape more durable, more regional supply chains.

As global supply chains realign into regional ones, businesses need the visibility and collaborative capabilities that digital networks provide. Operational resilience is a measure of the ability of businesses and their trading partners to jointly plan and execute as they manage changes in supply and demand.

SAP launched the world’s largest business network last year with resilience and visibility in mind. This network brings together procurement, supply chain, logistics, and asset management to create a unified, collaborative, and intelligent space that helps customers adapt to changing market dynamics and future-proof their businesses. Trading partners who use SAP Business Network for Procurement can enjoy process efficiencies, improved supply assurance, and increased business process and regulatory compliance by increasing operational transparency. SAP Business Network for Supply Chain and SAP Business One for Logistics help companies achieve supply chain visibility and optimize capacity and inventory.

By collaborating with shippers and carriers, sharing insights, and gaining transparency throughout the supply chain, organizations can optimize logistics processes, increase on-time deliveries, and mitigate third-party risk. SAP Business Network for Asset Management helps asset owners, operators, and service providers strengthen collaboration by providing a single, consistent version of asset master data. This makes it easier to streamline asset servicing processes and reduce maintenance costs.

The need for predictive analytics and transparency increases when supply chains fragment because, as supply chains regionalize and sourcing options diminish, supply increasingly supersedes demand in shaping procurement decisions and steering the logistical flow of business-to-business commerce.

Cloud-based networks that link together the operational processes of trading partners not only provide visibility but also integrated planning and execution capabilities. When buyers, suppliers, and logistics providers share accurate inventory forecasts and business process data with each other in real time, they can create mutual value and plan ahead with confidence, continuity, and enduring resilience.

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