“Supply Chain can be a source of strength or vulnerability,” these words from Mindy Davis rightly explain the powers of a well-oiled supply chain a company possesses. At the same time, she also states the magnitude of instability that can occur when the supply chain falls apart. Working with this transformative mindset, Mindy has crafted a rewarding experience throughout her tenure at SAP as the Vice President Global Marketing. She is disrupting the marketing niche and the supply chain domain, which go hand in hand with a resilient, innovative, sustainable, and customer-centric approach.
Mindy cancels out the risks and shortfalls in global supply chains by utilizing the vast experience she gained while working with customers, understanding their challenges, and learning from those experiences. At SAP, she has been at the center of implementing the processes for planning, sharing, and manufacturing supply chains with digitalized platforms. As an established leader, she has also been a voice for women in the supply chain by interacting with her female counterparts through social platforms.
Let’s glide into her enthralling experiences and learnings with her insightful stories;
Introduction to Her Company
Backed by an attitude that is driven by excellence and a very strong work ethic, Mindy created a fruitful career at SAP. She stepped into a leadership role about four years ago. Her peers look up to her to set the strategy and guide them toward success. Mindy mastered the challenge of evolving from an individual contributor to a strategic leader. She learned how leading with empathy can truly earn trust and respect as a leader. Amplifying this strategy at the organizational level, she worked towards improving people’s lives with sustainability at the core at her company, SAP.
Mindy has been with SAP for over 15 years. As a global organization with employees from 150+ nationalities, she aims to make the employees feel free to be their authentic selves for the company to perform at its best. The company is committed to being one of the most diverse and inclusive software companies in the world. It proactively promotes diversity, inclusion, and social justice and work to ensure that its workforce reflects the gender parity and demographics of all the regions. Constant efforts are made to ensure that all stages of the employee lifecycle are inclusive to enable employee success, hold leaders accountable, and build a diverse ecosystem – both internally and among the partners and customers.
Using Technology to Leverage Growth
With technological innovation, unprecedented business growth has been made possible. Mindy plans to leverage advancements like cloud, a technology which has immense potential. With a forecast of $1 trillion growth by the end of this decade, she plans to capture a huge share of the domain. To survive in this cutthroat competition of upgrading, Mindy has enlisted 3 critical issues SAP has faced. The focus is on these points for the company to drive change now:
Develop New Business Models: To avoid disruption in your industry, create new offerings and new revenue streams. The cost of NOT doing these things leads to disruption in the industry and, ultimately the company.
Drive New Operational Efficiencies to Fund Growth: By taking advantage of new technologies for process automation – such as AI, IoT, ML – and innovation with SAP Business Technology Platform and iOS, to extend solutions to make it easier for PEOPLE to work and gain a competitive advantage over competitors.
Transform Mission-Critical Systems Without Interruption: The cost of IT downtime for an average Fortune 1000 enterprise is high and only increasing as digital systems will be at the heart of every company.
Mindy further provides a framework for details about an E2E supply chain. Businesses are more dependent on each other than ever before. As businesses become more specialized and as customers and competitors raise the pressure on pricing, speed, individualization, and sustainability, already intricate supply chains get increasingly complex.
Here are the principles Mindy endorses to use the supply chain of a company to an advantage:
- The Top Line: While any business intends to grow revenue, it’s those that use their supply chain as a differentiator that lead the market. They connect insights, processes, and people to innovate and introduce new products faster or transition from one-time product purchases to ongoing service revenues. Consider Industrial Machinery manufacturers who successfully transition to assets as a service by managing service delivery together with pricing, contracts, cost structures.
- The Bottom Line: It’s about increasing margin and unlocking efficiencies. SAP helps increase margin by digitally transforming factory and plant processes for uninterrupted production with Industry 4.0 best practices, integrated from product design to manufacturing and logistics while anticipating, planning, and providing stability across entire supply chains.
- Unlock new efficiency with intelligent automation across all mission-critical processes. With the Internet of Things or Artificial Intelligence embedded into the supply chain and manufacturing processes, things can be shifted like predictive maintenance to predict machine breakdowns on your plant floor and fix problems before they happen to prevent downtime. There is transparency created in production management to assess and resolve quality and productivity issues quickly.
- Managing the Green Line Growth: Just a short while ago, sustainability and profitability were perceived as mutually exclusive. Now, they are synonymous because customers only want to do business with environmentally responsible, safe, and ethical companies. A supply chain is a great place to start when SAP operationalizes sustainability across entire supply chains from design to operation. Data transparency for energy monitoring or consumption in the manufacturing processes is provided or there is a system in place to monitor emissions of the company’s trucks on the road and identify quicker routes to reduce emissions.
With SAP, fully paperless production processes and 100% traceable production from raw materials to finished parts is done through Smart Press Shop.
Growing with the Futuristic Tide on the Marketing Side
Disruptions will happen, but companies can respond reactively or with resiliency. Digital businesses don’t just react and create unnecessary costs and delays – they anticipate and adapt ahead of disruptions to reduce costs and continue to deliver for their customers. In Marketing, Mindy helps businesses digitalize their supply chains and operations to establish resiliency and thrive in a changing economy.
Through digitalization, companies can take advantage of vast amounts of data, information, analytics, and technology platforms to handle disruptions better, faster, with less complexity, and at a lower cost than reactive value chains.
Intelligent data makes supply chains resilient and highly adaptable. When mountains of real-time, actionable data are combined with the latest technologies and smart analytics and then shared across every part of operations, smarter decisions are made, risks are reduced, opportunities are seized, and crises are averted.
Mindy believes that it’s the time to either modernize or fossilize. She says, “Throughout history, technology follows an interesting pattern. Things get incrementally faster, smaller, and more innovative. And then, BOOM, game-changing technology hits. Products leap ahead, industries change, and new markets emerge. Supply chains and operations are going through this right now. We’ve all been collecting data for some time now. But the combination of cloud, IoT, AI, analytics, big data, and machine learning are creating a perfect storm of change to the traditional, siloed supply chain processes. “
Most modern manufacturing brings the possibility of reconfiguring factories to adapt to seismic market changes or fleeting market opportunities. Technology makes it sustainable and environmentally responsible. The result is a living, breathing, real-time, data-driven supply chain that becomes the epicenter of the entire business. Technology and real-time data have created a new tipping point for manufacturers. She emphasizes, “Titans will rise, and laggards will fall painfully behind. It’s time to modernize or become fossilized.”
Turning Setbacks to Successes
The disruptive phase in a business is ongoing. The next significant change in the marketing sector Mindy’s seeks to address is disruption with resiliency to improve visibility, productivity, connectivity, and sustainability.
Business leaders are bracing for a possible economic downturn as the U.S. Federal Reserve raises interest rates and pushes up borrowing costs to combat inflation currently running near a 40-year high. Continued supply chain problems and higher energy costs are creating additional uncertainty.
SAP’s Take: While most economists are still cautious about predicting a recession because consumer spending, the main driver of the U.S. economy, remains strong, the shifting economic outlook has refocused attention on technology that can improve efficiency, enhance business agility and address supply chain issues.
Company executives, including CIOs — especially those who have experienced previous downturns know that in order to thrive in a challenging economic environment, they need to build resiliency and invest in technologies that provide them with greater insight into their business operations and enable them to react quickly to challenges and opportunities.
Mindy shares, “As a Harvard Business Review article noted, it is tempting to think of a recession as a time to batten down the hatches and play it safe. However, downturns actually appear to encourage the adoption of new technologies. That’s often because digital technology can make businesses more transparent, more flexible, and more efficient.”
Marketing can help shine the light on how organizations can create responsive design-to-operate processes and a customer-centric supply chain that is the backbone of businesses.
At SAP, the team aims to create a continuous design-to-operate process and bring the following four key principles to each and every part:
Synchronize planning company-wide: Integrating customer input, demand signals, finance, sales, service, and logistics across your operation and supply chain to improve speed and responsiveness.
Reinvent production and services: Using intelligent assets, processes, and Industry 4.0 best practices to increase output while quickly adapting as demands and priorities shift.
Operationalize sustainability: Embedding ethical sourcing and sustainable manufacturing practices and priorities across the design to operate a process that help businesses reach its carbon footprint, equality, and reusability goals faster.
Redefine trading partner collaboration: Connecting every supply, logistics, and asset management provider on a unified business network that uses dynamic workflows and real-time data to increase the pace of business.
Speaking about her vision for the future, Mindy concludes with, “I want to ensure companies use their supply chain as a competitive weapon to safeguard themselves against disruption that will help grow revenue and establish deep customer relationships.”