2015 Hot Topics

Introduction The Eventful Group conducted extensive research in support of SAP’s first automotive industryfocused forum in North America, to be held October 12-15, 2015 in Detroit. Our research centered on understanding the business problems and priorities of the industry as they relate to processes, people and technology, within the larger framework of global industry trends. Conversations with customers, partners and industry thought leaders—both inside and outside of SAP (Industry Value Experts, ASUG SIG leadership, automotive association leadership)—were primary information sources, supplemented with white papers, research studies and other publications to contextualize our discussions. Methodologies included in-person interviews, interviews over-the-phone as well as interviews and networking at various industry events. We interviewed more than 30 customer organizations including all industry sub-segments. We spoke with top level leadership in IT, as well as business process owners in key areas such as supply chain, finance, procurement, manufacturing, and business information/analytics, among others. These discussions allowed us to identify the top challenges that automotive companies are facing today, specific pain points as they relate to processes and people, and how and where technology impacts these. Customer-centricity is a key theme, including shifts in consumer dynamics and behavior, growing wealth in developing countries, the rise of digital commerce. Connected car and the Internet of Things – enabled by HANA and the Cloud – are changing the way that automotive companies do business, re-imagining and re-engineering everything from product innovation to how vehicles are marketed and sold. OEM’s, suppliers, and dealers are struggling to prioritize these and other business issues—each compelling in their own right—to drive top-line growth. Many SAP customers that we spoke with cited difficulty in aligning the processes, people and technology necessary to successfully navigate the ever-increasing pace of change. Their concerns cut across all lines of business and systems, and underscored a now-exigent need for collaboration across functions—a cry for collaboration that unifies business goals and strategies with the people who execute them. This report outlines the top concerns that we heard throughout our research.


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Table of Contents

1. Finance 2. Manufacturing 3. Supply Chain/Logistics 4. Data & Visibility 5. OEM 6. Purchasing & Material Management 7. Globalization 8. People & Productivity


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1. Finance The automotive industry has largely rebounded from the Great Recession, though recovery has been uneven across industry segments. With unprecedented demand, increasingly challenging regulatory requirements, and growing pressure on margins, the financial landscape for today’s automotive organizations is more complex than ever. Accurate, visible and transparent financial data are the backbone of any company, and SAP’s Finance and Accounting module has been the long-standing core system for many automotive companies. Now customers want to hear about how organizations are leveraging their finance and accounting capabilities to solidify their return to profitability, and prepare for and respond to changing business models. Month-End Close Automotive companies are seeking best practices on how to speed up and optimize financial close processes.  Exploring SAP’s Financial Closing Cockpit, as well as alternatives  Building in soft-close processes throughout the month  Improving transparency and reliability of data to support audit, compliance, close functions Financial Supply Chain The automotive industry is looking for ways to optimize working capital and ensure adequate cash flow to fund growth, especially during this boom cycle when demand is high. OEMs want to minimize the risk of supply chain disruption, while improving supplier relationships. Suppliers want to improve visibility on receivables, while financing the working capital they need to meet growing demand.  Best practices for OEM/supplier collaboration  Processes and technologies to improve information visibility and access BPC & Integrated Forecasting Customers want to make the leap from transactional work to the kind of planning, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis that better supports the business. They want to understand the new functionality around data aggregation to enable modeling and scenario planning in an effort to improve forecast accuracy, reduce cycle time, and reduce risk.  How can SAP’s suite of Integrated Business Planning (IBP) tools be leveraged throughout the automotive value chain?  What role does SAP’s BPC tool play?  Best practices for integrating finance and accounting systems with supply chain and other systems in the value chain. Simple Finance A fundamental shift towards real-time processing, analysis of data, and collaborative finance operations is driving transformation in the finance function. Customers are interested in hearing about the new SAP Simple Finance solution around:  Bringing together managerial and financial accounting  Optimizing financial and operational processes  Supporting Vehicle-Based Accounting


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Vehicle Based Accounting Automotive companies are seeking information on how to develop processes and technology that will enable them to identify costs for each individual vehicle they produce – right down to the Vehicle Identification Number – to include product development costs in addition to manufacturing. The key to being able to do this is the ability to manage and analyze huge amounts of data.  How can/does simple finance facilitate or support this transition?  What other tools can be employed to support? Customers want to see best practices and use cases around the following technologies within the Finance content area:  S4/HANA – Simple Finance  SAP FI/CO (Financial Accounting and Controlling)  SAP Financial SCM (Supply Chain Management)  SAP GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance)  SAP BPC (Business Planning and Consolidation)  SAP SPM (Spend Performance Management)  SAP IBP (Integrated Business Planning)

2. Manufacturing In an automotive context, manufacturing refers to the production work done by OEMs and Suppliers, whether they are manufacturing components or assembling systems or aggregated pieces. Speed, innovation, visibility, quality, cost reduction and efficiency are the buzz words for manufacturers. The flow of parts to the assembly line – Just In Time and scheduling these parts Just In Sequence is their bread and butter. The globalization of these supply chains adds complexity, risk and break points to the manufacturing process and technology can be used as a strategic enabler and critical part to mitigate this risk. Organizations can use real-time data access to optimize efficiency in their manufacturing execution processes. Strong demand and the need for speed means dealing with a myriad of requirements: the need to reduce time to market, the cost of a unit, greater volumes required, more variants, higher quality, all while watching energy outputs and safety. In addition, the skills required to assemble/build cars are changing as technology rapidly evolves. Production Management & Production Scheduling Organizations need accurate material planning for cost transparency and to eliminate unnecessary and expensive material costs – regardless of whether they are operating in a demand management environment or one driven by forecasting. Customers want real-time visibility to collaborate with global supply chain networks. Once demand has been understood or forecasted, organizations need to get better at production scheduling, which requires pooling their orders, production leveling and deciding on the sequence of those orders.  What tools does SAP have available for Production Management & Scheduling?  Customers are interested in other organizations who have used MRP, APO or S&OP


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Material Requirements Planning Understanding how much inventory is required for production is a basic consideration. One wants to keep inventory levels as low as possible. MRP as a discipline is to guarantee material availability. The MRP solution inside SAP comes standard in ERP. Customers are interested to hear if it can be run directly on an SAP S/4 HANA or Simple Logistics. Telematics or Machine to Machine (M2M) Communication for Quality, Safety and Operational Performance Automotive manufacturers are dealing with vast amounts of data. This data emanates from various sources (line controllers, robots, from suppliers and operational data coming from vehicles). Aggregated, these can help us predict and prevent deficiencies and improve efficiency and critically, help us improve quality and safety. SAP has the ability to get down to the machine level, to take the data from disparate sources and with the use of Hana, to analyze, predict and react in real time. Enterprise Asset Management Plant reliability has a significant impact on cost, customer experience and throughput. And at the epi-center of asset management is data. It is the trust in the data’s integrity that enables organizations to be predictive and proactive. Predictive Analytics and Reporting - The PM and EAM environment is one of Big Data and it requires high analytical and reporting standards. The question is how does one transform Big Data into actionable information via predictive analytics?   

How can you leverage what predictive analytics reporting can tell you about your assets? Exploring the best tools for going through these massive data sources Predictive analytics on HANA—what is SAP’s vision for this space? What can it do?

Integrating Shop floor Technology On any manufacturing shop-floor, a myriad of disparate systems generate a fortune of data – from SCADA, MES, DCS, Historians, Laboratory and maintenance systems. All of these systems need to be plugged into SAP to create true manufacturing intelligence. Enter SAP MII - an SAP tool specifically designed to help manage integration with shop floor technologies. The objective is one system, a single source of the truth with no duplication of databases and everything in its right place.  Can MII perform predictive analysis in order to prevent for instance plant failure or stock monitoring?  What is the tradeoff between MII performance and data volumes in a real time scenario?


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3. Supply Chain/Logistics Automotive supply chains today are defined by their focus on intercompany collaboration and commerce across business networks that span the globe. Customers are seeking solutions and best practices to support the optimization of complex, interconnected supply chains. Inexorably linked to the bottom-line, supply chain organizations must achieve tight alignment across functions. From creating accurate, demand-driven forecasts to enabling Just in Time/Just in Sequence manufacturing processes through to ontime customer delivery, customers are seeking best practices and solutions to reduce time, cost and legal exposure when conducting business domestically and internationally. And, with SAP HANA, they are looking for guidance on how to move to real-time integrated business planning and response management in order to address some of the pressing requirements of the volatile high-tech supply chain. Just in Time, Just in Sequence JIT/JIS manufacturing processes have transformed the way that automotive companies do business by reducing in-process inventory and associated carrying costs. JIT focuses on continuous improvement and bolstering OEMs return on investment, quality and efficiency, while sequencing maximizes floor space, improves delivery time, and reduces inventory levels carried by OEM’s and suppliers. Customers want to know about:  Receiving and forwarding sequenced calls/broadcasts  Incoming/outgoing summarized JIT calls  Ensuring consistent quality  How to address product recall or recall for spare replacement in a JIT/JIS environment  How to offset the effects of raw materials pricing volatility Distribution and Requirement Planning Distribution and requirement planning is one of the tools automotive companies use to run lean. It is a systematic process for determining which goods, in what quantity, at which location, and when are required in meeting anticipated demand, which informs gross requirements for production schedules. It links companies along the supply chain by providing planning records that exchange demand information between receiving points and supply points. Inbound Supply Visibility Increased visibility and control over inventory across the extended supply chain allows automotive companies to see all of their inventory, no matter where it’s located in the supply chain. In-transit inventory can be viewed as on-hand, lowering the amount of buffer stock needed in case of disruptions. With realtime data, companies can adjust allocations or divert in-transit inventory to respond to changing availability and consumer demand. With this visibility, companies can make strategic fulfillment decisions, better manage inbound shipments, and reduce transportation spend on unnecessary expediting or inventory transfers. Shipping Finished Products Automotive companies are looking for holistic systems that connect all parties in the logistics network and align integrated distribution and fulfillment processes in order to reduce transportation spend and improve on-time delivery. Customers are seeking best practices around:  Negotiating contracts for freight management © THE EVENTFUL GROUP PTY LTD 2015

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How to best ensure compliance How to maximize utilization of transportation assets

Warehousing Improving planning and optimization of warehouse operations is an important element in overall supply chain execution, especially taking into account JIT/JIS processes, spare parts management, and understanding total landed cost. By automating traditional warehouse and distribution operations, including inbound processes, outbound processes, storage, and inventory management and distribution, automotive companies can improve asset utilization, increase throughput, and ensure on-time and accurate order fulfillment. Supply Chain technologies that customers want to know about:  SAP SCM (Supply Chain Management)  SAP S&OP  SAP IBP  Service Parts Planning  Demand Sensing & Demand Planning  SAP TM (Transportation Management)  SAP EWM (Extended Warehouse Management)  Logistics Networks

4. Data & Visibility Automotive companies are complex, asset-intensive enterprises that use data to drive outcomes around growth and profitability. They operate in a highly regulated environment and must meet the reporting demands from entities who demand continual improvement in business performance and outcomes in safety and sustainability. As organizations continue to grow both organically and inorganically, the focus is on how best to aggregate data from across disparate sources to drive a single source of truth that leadership can rely on to make accurate and timely decisions. The culture of the organization and the importance that leadership places on data, sets the tone for the disciplines around data. The data issues are more about people and process and less about technology. Automotive companies are seeking an integrated platform that help unlock the real value in data to support smarter decision making. The rewards are significant for those who successfully leverage analytics: stretching their competitive advantage, driving innovation, and improving lives.   

How to align operational areas against overall business goals within the “industrial internet” How enterprises have developed a “single source of truth” across their business processes How to provide an accessible view of the real-time information in the right format, to the right person, at the right time, enabling users to make the best possible decision

Reporting/BI For many automotive companies, just getting reports out of the system is an immediate priority, with the potential of tapping the promise of "big data" analytics still in the future. So what can SAP deliver now to


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assist these companies, who struggle with combining data from multiple sources, visualizing it, analyzing trends, and sharing it?     

What is SAP’s overall reporting strategy? How do all the tools piece together? What can SAP HANA and the cloud do to make this process easier and faster? What KPI’s you should be measuring to truly understand your business and your industry? Linking multiple reports to paint a more accurate picture Ensuring the right information is being reported at the right level

Master data Just as an automobile needs gasoline, the engine of any successful business process cannot exist without the fuel that is master data. The issue? Ensuring that data is timely, accurate and of the highest quality possible. But in a world of human error, complacency and an unhealthy tolerance for data that doesn’t meet an organization’s standards, how can automotive companies achieve a corporate culture where data is actually given the respect that it deserves?   

What are best practices in master data management and governance Aggregating data from disparate systems and sources New data warehousing methods to drive data consolidation and availability

Connected Car While the automotive digital technology has traditionally focused on optimizing the vehicle’s internal functions, attention has turned to developing the car’s ability to connect with the outside world and enhance the in-car experience. The connected car is able to optimize its own operation and maintenance as well as enhance the convenience and comfort of passengers using onboard sensors and Internet connectivity. Automotive companies are just learning how to capture and use data from vehicles to communicate with customers and generate new after-market revenue by, for example, telling customers when they are due for preventative maintenance based on mileage, or alerting them when engine, tire or other component sensors are indicating an imminent failure. The connected car is opening the door to increased collaboration (and competition) from high-tech and telecommunications companies to corner the market on connectivity and OEMs need to be prepared to respond.   

What’s most important to focus on from product innovation standpoint: Infotainment? Safety? What are the best practices for designing business processes to harvest and use data from connected vehicles? What are the data privacy concerns for connected car and how are companies mitigating?

Data Security There are big issues now around cyber-security, especially as connected car and 2-way communication between vehicles and other systems becomes widespread. Automakers and consumers alike worry about digital safety and data privacy. Making connected transportation systems, connected fleets, and individual connected cars safe from hackers is a chief concern. Still, more traditional concerns around data security, such as protecting intellectual property and preventing financial fraud prevail and these concerns are only heightened by mobility and cloud.   

Role-based security access to data and information Combatting data and IP threats in a global shared services environment The security challenges of “bring your own device” vs. corporate issue


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How can security be maintained across multiple sites and geographies with mobility in play?

IoT/Big Data/Connected Components The sheer amount of highly actionable data from assets, machines, mobile workers and operational processes across multiple rapidly advancing platforms is exploding, and that means that organizations are no longer able to separate information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT)—it’s converging as The Internet of Things continues to connect it all in the cloud. With data being imported into SAP from multiple origins, whether automatically or manually, the simple truth is that there is more data—and more specific data—than ever before. As data volumes increase exponentially and demands from all sides on the business grow, the need to tap this often previously untapped treasure trove of statistics continues to grow as well. Connected components are a part of this continuum of machine to machine connectivity, with global demand for connected components growing exponentially and driving the question: what are we doing with all this data?  How is IoT driving operational efficiencies and innovation?  Models for developing IoT strategies in the era of connected car  Tapping into Big Data to make business decisions that were previously unjustifiable  Exploring the best tools for going through these massive data sources  Predictive analytics on HANA—what is SAP’s vision for this space? What can it do?  Creating data and reporting/analytical environments that bring the data together, and make it clear and accessible to all user levels, when and where they need it most

5. OEM When people think of the automotive industry, they think of car makers like Ford and General Motors, Porche and BMW. The industry includes a much broader audience of suppliers, heavy truck and commercial vehicle manufacturers, and the network of dealers and service centers that support them, and much of the research discussion and content was focused across industry segments and applies to all subsegmants. We wanted to identify and highlight information that specifically addresses concerns of the OEM community. These topics appear below. Warranties While the general public tends to think of car makers when it thinks of warranties, both OEMs and suppliers routinely provide product warranties to their customers. Suppliers generally provide a standard warranty to all customers that the product complies with agreed-upon specifications for a specified period. OEMs generally provide a standard warranty on vehicles for a certain number of years or a specified mileage. OEMs might also provide an extended warranty or certain services (for example, maintenance or roadside assistance) in addition to the standard warranty coverage. Data quality is the key to a good warranty process, and checking for validity of warranty terms is the heart of the warranty process. OEMs need to be able to accurately and efficiently process and analyze claims, including chargebacks to suppliers for faulty components. In addition, integrating the warranty processing with quality to enable early detection of quality issues for recall support is increasingly important for OEMs.


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Customers want to know about:  Synchronizing quality notification and warranty claim  Warranty workbench Service Parts Management Forecasting and planning for service parts management is a key element of the OEM business. Service parts management means making sure that service parts are made and available to dealers and service organizations, as well direct to consumers through automotive supply stores, as well as having a complete understanding of and visibility into parts inventory across the entire service parts supply chain. With this data, organizations can make informed distribution decisions and optimize where inventory sits in distribution centers. Companies can benefit from increased supply chain efficiency, more aligned processes across part planning, warehousing and fulfillment, as well as providing excellent customer service. Vehicle Sale Management OEM’s and automotive sales organizations use technology for ordering, tracking, and managing build-toorder and locate-to-order vehicles, and to enable “push” (make-to-stock) and “pull” (make-to-order) strategies. A collaborative, integrated system allows manufacturers to monitor the distribution chain through to dealers, improving distribution transparency, reducing inventory and carrying costs, enabling better data analysis. It also allows dealers, distributors, and sales teams to accurately and efficiently configure, price, quote, and order vehicles, which improves customer service levels, reduces quote-to-order cycle times, and increases sales efficiency. Dealer Enablement New technologies, such as fully integrated customer relationship management and dealer performance management systems, can enable both dealers and OEMs to better utilize available customer data and provide real-time transparency and insights into retail performance. OEMs and dealers need to integrate their respective data sources to be able to understand and most efficiently serve their customers. Integrated data sources allow them to allocate the right expertise, offerings, and resources to the various points along the path to purchase in order to optimize conversion from interest to purchase, and to increase after-market sales and service revenues.  Who “invests” in technology to support the transition to digitalization – is it the dealers or the OEMs?  How to decide which dealers to invest in? Consumer Engagement - Marketing, Loyalty & Promotions Most consumers start their car-buying journey online and expect continuity across channels and for the dealer to be prepared with information about what they’ve already experienced online. So that means a seamless, omni-channel brand experience is becoming more important. OEMs are increasingly focused on brand loyalty and on managing sustained customer engagement with the brand. OEMs also need to ensure comprehensive service coverage, which reinforces brand loyalty. As a result, stronger collaboration between dealers and OEMs is becoming more important. OEM’s are therefore more involved in the business process and technology decisions of their dealer partners to ensure a consistent experience for the consumer and across their distribution network. They collaborate on marketing and promotions, including offering real-time incentives that reinforce successful sales behavior. At the same time, mobile technology on the showroom floor is enabling the dealer salesforce to provide detailed technical information on each vehicle, as well as walk through customization options with consumer-grade applications.


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Technologies that customers want to hear about are: Dealer Business Management (DBM) Vehicle Management System (VMS) Automated Dealer Portal (A-DP)

6. Purchasing & Material Management Like almost every business process improvement opportunity in 2015, access to data lives at the heart of purchasing and material management. Sourcing for automotive companies is a problematic exercise – finding enough suppliers of sufficient quality to ensure that organizations can secure their supply, identifying for price arbitrage and driving cost out of the system. While long time buying agreements ensure that contracting and monitoring adherence to contracts for direct materials are not an issue, MRO spares still offer up challenges. Instead, monitoring vendor performance on delivery and quality remains a challenge. Customers want to hear from others who have solved these types of issues. Supplier reviews require a tremendous amount of information to be aggregated, so as to understand performance within context. Reporting Automotive customers talk about standardizing processes and optimizing SAP systems. Getting information out to do spend analytics, procurement and logistics reporting is a primary challenge. With real-time and predictive analytics now a tangible possibility for these businesses, there is immense interest on how to get these advanced analytics solutions up and running. However, organizations also want to ensure they are making the most out of the standard tools and reports available in SAP ERP before they make big new investments in technology.  Key KPIs in the industry and how they can be measured through SAP – leading and lagging  The implications for real-time reporting for supply chain, Logistics and procurement operations  How do you go about harnessing real-time reporting and the possibilities offered up by predictive analytics for supply chain and procurement  What is the ease at which an organization can do business with a supplier?  What tools does SAP offer to help with data visualization (i.e. Lumira)?  The role of HANA in improving sourcing, procurement and supplier relationships Sourcing & Supplier Management As supply chains become global we need greater transparency and a strategic approach to decision making. Visibility provides risk mitigation. SAP has a number of tools to enable strategic sourcing, supplier management, direct procurement, self-service, contingent workforce management, services procurement and travel management. SAP acquired Ariba almost three years ago and Fieldglass last year to strengthen their offerings in this area.  How to centrally-record supplier KPIs with a contract management tool  Case studies where organizations have gained tangible benefits from implementing SAP SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) and SAP SNC (Supplier Network Collaboration)  What is true supplier collaboration? What are the benefits and hurdles?  Understanding the processes and policies that underlie supplier collaboration  How to identify what you are looking for in a collaboration tool © THE EVENTFUL GROUP PTY LTD 2015

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Examining the integration of these cloud-based tools When to use which tool depending on the scenario

Reverse Logistics In Automotive reverse logistics is a crucial process. The process refers mainly to the flow of goods/parts back from the production line to the supplier. Containers in which parts are sent are quite valuable and reusing them makes great sense. Railcars is another example, as is core returns for remanufactured parts. Dealers give consumers remanufactured parts and the faulty or old parts go back to the supplier. While the industry seeks to streamline operations and increase profits, they also seek to be environmentally more sustainable. From a process perspective, significant challenges exist but there is an opportunity for efficiency by adopting smart technologies that assist with moving, handling, and returning product. Product Life-Cycle Costing Automotive companies are focused on delivering innovative, customer-driven products at the most competitive prices. Being able to quickly assess costs is not only a critical success factor, but an essential differentiator. So what does it entail to achieve such an objective? And how easily can SAP cost a particular product over its entire lifecycle? The good news is that it can. SAP and automotive customers have gotten together and have co-innovated a robust and business-process-savvy tool - Product Lifecycle Costing – so what can it do?  Customers are keen to hear about what the product offers  Adoption will depend on the sort of intuitive UI it has  Can they assess cost drivers along the lifecycle? Total Landed Cost Transparency Customers are interested in whether SAP has a solution to assist with total landed cost. Automotive companies need to understand the total costs associated with producing and delivering their products to their customers.  How can companies understand and model the trade-offs in reducing costs in one area and increasing in another? (an example is freight for JIT vs warehousing)  What-if scenarios need to be tested for confidence in strategy and a smart tool is required for this

Can Hana help model a strategic view on TLC and allow users to make changes and look at alternatives before making decisions?

7. Globalization Globalization is not an emerging trend; it’s a business reality. What’s changed is the increased level of complexity and risk associated with moving goods across borders. Technology is the key enabler of any global trade management strategy, and automotive companies must take a broader perspective and view their entire enterprise software platform as a global trade management solution. “Going global” allows companies sell into new markets, diversify their revenue streams, and source from lower-cost suppliers. But globalization also increases the complexity of cross border trade, bringing both opportunities and risks. The right systems enable enterprises to automate and streamline complex import and export processes,


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ensure full regulatory compliance, expedite customs clearance, mitigate the financial risk of global transactions, and take full advantage of international trade agreements. GTS/Currency Global trade brings with it a host of finance issues. Whether exporting or importing, automotive companies need systems to help manage tariffs, take advantage of trade incentives, and manage currencies in the global environment, including currency hedging. When components are made in one country, shipped to another for assembly, and ultimately sold in another country, financial systems need to be able to account appropriately. They also need to be sure partners around the world meet their contractual obligations. A significant percentage of international transactions are secured by letters of credit, and automating the creation and maintenance of letters of credit helps mitigate risk. Global compliance/statutory Cross-border transactions are becoming ever more complex, involving a large number of partners and authorities, and corresponding volumes of data and documentation. Automotive companies must comply with ever-expanding and increasingly automated regulatory filings, including those for security and customs. If organizations fail to manage this complex environment properly, they could face higher costs and greater risk in an already pressured supply chain, putting them at a significant competitive disadvantage. SAP offers a real-time global trade management system that provides a centralized trade data repository for storing current legal, regulatory, and compliance-related information, and a single system of record for all compliance master data and content. Revenue Recognition The new standards for revenue recognition will affect suppliers, dealers, OEMs and their finance affiliates. Key areas of interest to the automotive industry include accounting for pre-production activities like preproduction design and tooling, marketing incentives like cash rebates, volume rebates, repurchase options, product warranties, contract costs and lease financing agreements. This relates to globalization in that it redefines contracts in relations to the International Financial Reporting Standards. Customers want to understand in depth:  How these new standards will affect them  How to modify processes to be in compliance  How to make sure international partners, suppliers, dealers, and other are in compliance as well Commodity Pricing (SARA) The Automotive industry has used manufacturing techniques like JIT/JIS to dramatically reduce buffer inventory. In addition, supply chains have been extended globally in search of both new markets and lower cost materials. These lean, global supply chains continue to face rising raw material prices and unprecedented volatility in commodities, such as energy, metals, rubber, and plastic. Automotive manufacturers and suppliers that embrace advanced commodity procurement solutions to manage volatile prices in raw materials will have a competitive advantage. Companies should have an enterprise view of position, coverage, and risk to ensure compliance with the Services Acquisition Reform Act (SARA) and to improve global supply chain visibility.  How to mitigate risk of supplier default?  What are best practices in commodities hedging?


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Vehicle management solution – import/export Today’s automotive companies are multinational conglomerates, built largely through inorganic growth, with nearly all of them manufacturing, distributing and selling in regions across the globe. Organizations need to have parts or components sourced from abroad to arrive when needed to reduce costly buffer stock and implement just-in-time inventory management. Organization need to be able to track and ship their products with full visibility into compliance standards. To effectively manage these and many other importing and exporting capabilities, companies are utilizing global vehicle platforms, leaning heavily on global trade management systems that integrate with the vehicle management systems. Customers are seeking best practices in  Integrating Global Trade Management and Vehicle Management Systems

8. People & Productivity The success of your new processes and technologies very much depend on winning the hearts and minds of your users. This crucial – but often neglected – aspect of implementation projects is a tricky one to navigate. People require consistent and ongoing attention, training, and convincing. Some questions automotive customers are asking – especially in light of an ageing workforce – are:  

How do I retain knowledge when subject matter experts, experienced people and technology super users leave? How do I keeping up the fuel for change, training and a desire for improvement?

Change Management Very often change management starts with selling a concept or a project upwards and downwards and then getting on the offensive to overcome the inevitable resistance from traditional, old cultures. It is the painstaking, deliberate and critical that you stay the course and understand the costs associated with ensuring that change is long lasting. Embedding a sustainable model for engagement post-project or post go-live is one of the biggest issues facing organizations. Creating a shared sense of urgency around change and improvement is paramount to success. Automotive companies are looking for sustainable, cost-effective change management, training and ongoing engagement methods that provide quality results.  How do we measure the impact of a change program and adoption?  Incorporating system adoption into KPIs and incentivizing super users? The User Experience & Interface (UI) System usability and accessibility seems to have always been an issue for SAP customers. This is especially true when users log on occasionally or are remotely located. SAP has been investing heavily in this regard and has recently brought out many options for improving the usability of its systems. Harnessing these tools can improve the perception of SAP through improved usability and provides greater access through mobility. But with so many new solutions and mobility suppliers, where do you start?  Exploring solutions such as UI5 and Fiori – what are they, what can they do, are they right for you and how do you get them up and running?  Mocking up proof of concepts for all of the options  Harnessing mobility to improve process


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Training & User Adoption Companies are looking for long-lasting, cost-effective training and engagement methods that provide quality results and the adoption of SAP systems. But do you know how to build a business case for a training budget?  Understanding ways to measure system adoption & incorporating adoption into KPIs and incentivizing super users  How to build a business case for a training budget  Formalized training vs. knowledge transfer  Converting business speak into IT speak and vice versa  Tried and tested methods to educate the business around the new process  Inspiring focus and resources from the top for change management and training – training is often the first thing to go in tough times!  How to retain knowledge when super users leave  How do you get new members of staff up to speed quickly enough?  Streamline the transactions to minimize the need for learning SuccessFactors /Human Resource & Talent Management There is a lot of excitement for moving towards cloud applications such as SuccessFactors. Organizations are looking for the ‘real story’ when it comes to practical issues of integrating cloud applications, including the resources and skills required to do so. Is integrating SuccessFactors and SAP really like working with ‘Duplex and Lego’?  Defining and working with the IT roadmap of the organization - cloud vs. on-premise  How does implementing SuccessFactors affect the on-premise HR solution and integrated ERP? In today’s world, talent management is much more than simply acquiring, hiring and retaining talented employees. To drive optimal levels of success, business leaders need engaged, high-performing employees. The key to inciting a workforce to greatness is to align your talent management with company strategy, define consistent leadership criteria across all functional areas, and identify specific competencies to cultivate for continuing growth.  What is talent management in 2015 and who is responsible for it? Can it still be separated from core HR?  Assessing SuccessFactors’ Talent Management solutions – do they have the right core functionality?  What are the processes required to get the best from the tools?  How to maintain the lifecycle of an employee in a simple way

Conclusion The top business priorities and issues for the automotive community, listed in this report, will form the blueprint for the Best Practices for Automotive forum next October. From this list of hot topics, we will recruit storytellers from the community who can speak to the issues and bring success stories and best practice solutions to their peers. Speakers will come from both line of business as well as IT leadership, partners and from SAP, to form a cohesive and compelling agenda oriented toward empowering the automotive community.


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