Walldorf and Stuttgart, Germany – Bosch and SAP have entered into a strategic partnership aimed at simplifying digital corporate processes. The partners’ objective is to further develop a digital industrial standard that governs, for example, the exchange and usage of company data along the value chain. This would harmonize and further automate processes, both within and between companies – thus achieving substantial efficiency gains.
Given the strength of both companies’ networks across different sectors, the whole economy stands to gain from their collaboration. “We need strong partnerships if we are to advance digitalization in Germany. By creating a standard together with SAP, we are offering added value for customers, partners, and suppliers,” explains Dr. Michael Bolle, Bosch board of management member and CDO/CTO of the Bosch Group.
The partnership holds special promise for the manufacturing industry, and offers a particular benefit for the global automotive industry, with its highly interwoven supply chains and numerous production locations that are often still managed individually today. At the core of this collaboration is the transfer of Bosch business processes into SAP S/4HANA, SAP’s software suite for enterprise resource planning (ERP). The suite is used in the planning, management, and administration of resources for a range of processes, including order entry, production, delivery, and invoicing. “Due to its industrial expertise and technology leadership in several fields, Bosch plays a key role in global supply and value chains. Together we are pursuing the goal of translating this expertise into digital form, using SAP S/4HANA as a basis. In doing so, we hope to define a uniform industry standard that will open up the advantages of the digital transformation to other industry players as well,” says Christian Klein, the CEO of SAP SE. Process, technology, and development experts from both companies are working closely together as they focus all their efforts on driving internal digitalization forward at Bosch. For example, the rollout and transformation with SAP S/4HANA is intended to cut the number of ERP systems in half. In Bosch Mobility Solutions alone, the productive systems are to be reduced to just one. This will facilitate a considerable increase in the options for real-time analysis and control optimization.
Greater competitiveness, more agility in a dynamic environment
With its in-depth expertise in multiple business fields and processes, Bosch will help shape the further development of SAP S/4HANA – to its own benefit but also to the benefit of SAP’s large customer base. SAP will play a crucial role in the integration as partner and advisor, thanks to its multifaceted experience and market leadership in managing ERP systems. The goal of standardizing and automating processes is to significantly simplify the global system landscape, continuously optimize workflows, and increase confidence still further in dealing with real-time analysis. There is considerable potential for optimizing the exchange of requirements, planning, and needs, especially at the interfaces to suppliers and to customers. For the first time, the latest technologies make this possible in real-time across the entire value chain and involving all parties. This leads to a permanent improvement in competitiveness and agility, from the corporate management level all the way to production.