The quest for highly personalised multichannel marketing is putting pressure on supply chains, according to SAP Head of Digital Core, APJ, Paul Marriott. However, the application of emerging technology, like the Internet of Things (IoT) is helping to alleviate the pressure, he said.

“We’re seeing these technologies in this multichannel model become very powerful at engaging the customer. But the more personalised you get, the greater the strain on the supply chain,” Marriott told Which-50.


Intelligent enterprises effectively use their data assets to achieve their desired outcomes faster – and with less risk.


And when the strain becomes too great and the supply chain fails the consequences are now greater, according to Marriott. The new technology enabling greater personalisation is also raising consumer expectations, and when an organisation fails to deliver it quickly creates “the worst customer experience”.

That is why it is crucial for organisations to ensure processes are connected from the customer all the way to the supply chain. The SAP solution does this by connecting its customer experience software, C/4 HANA with its ERP software S/4 HANA, Marriott said, enabling an “end to end seamless process”.

IoT and the supply chain

Strain on the supply chain can be eased by leveraging emerging technologies, including IoT, which enrich business process, Marriott said. The effect is amplified when applications become “business networks” – aggregations of several data fed applications.

The network effect and the ability to process the data is the significant recent change, rather than the hardware or the data, according to Marriott.

“The data’s always been there and actually many of the technologies to ingest that data have been available. What’s got interesting is now in the supply chain space is the ability to process that data very very efficiently and in real time.”

A good example of the possibilities is predictive maintenance, where IoT sensors and applications allow maintenance to be better monitored and even pre-empted. The benefit in this example is two fold, Marriot says. Productivity is improved through more efficient asset maintenance, and secondly, the higher availability of assets which are “proactively” maintained, reducing downtime.


Intelligent enterprises effectively use their data assets to achieve their desired outcomes faster – and with less risk.


About the author

Joseph Brookes is a writer for the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit, of which SAP is a corporate member. Our members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.

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