SAP is preparing to roll out enhanced transportation-management applications in a gambit to give businesses more control over their supply chains.
Major transportation-management extensions, such as order split-and-merge, routing guide, and one-time ship -- will be available in the next version of mySAP Supply Chain Management (SCM), scheduled for release in December.
SAP plans additional transportation-management capabilities in 2006, with further upgrades to follow in 2007, all designed to enhance SAP's recently revamped portfolio, now called SAP for Logistics Service Providers.
SAP announced its product goals at the BVL German Logistics Conference held in Berlin at the end of October.
A Tall Order
"This upgrade makes SAP's transportation solution competitive to best-of-breed solutions from vendors like Manugistics or Manhattan Associates," said Noha Tohamy, principal supply-chain analyst at Forrester Research.
"The challenge for SAP is that some of their current users have customized their current SAP solutions extensively, making it very difficult to upgrade to the new version and take advantage of the new features and functions," Tohamy said.
The mySAP Supply Chain Management package seeks to help companies align supply and demand to keep goods flowing smoothly. Powered by the SAP NetWeaver platform, the software uses radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, smart cards, and sensors to transform traditional supply chains from linear, sequential steps into networks.
The product targets several industries. According to Tohamy, the mySAP SCM upgrade represents a significant improvement.
"The advantage of mySAP SCM is that it offers an integrated solution that spans areas like financials, sourcing, demand planning and transportation," she said. "This is good news for users who want to solve the transportation problems as a part of an end-to-end process, like order to cash."
Pricing on mySAP Supply Management varies according to the types of licenses purchased as well as by the size and nature of the deployment.