Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

SAP, UPS partner on logistics to simplify on-demand manufacturing

William Payne
June 2, 2016
German industrial software developer SAP and transportation company UPS are partnering to simplify on demand manufacturing through logistics solutions. The two companies are aiming to transform industrial 3D printing into a seamless, on-demand manufacturing process from order through manufacturing, supply chain and delivery.

By integrating extended supply chain solutions from SAP with UPS's additive industrial manufacturing and logistics network, SAP and UPS plan to enable companies large and small to access on-demand manufacturing with the touch of button, creating new opportunities to streamline their supply chains and get products to market more quickly and cost-effectively.

"Technology innovations such as 3D printing are revolutionising traditional manufacturing and redefine our notion of the industrial supply chain," said Bernd Leukert, member of the Executive Board, Products & Innovations, SAP SE. "By bringing together the on-demand manufacturing and logistics expertise of UPS and the extended supply chain leadership of SAP, we can enable direct digital manufacturing and an on-demand industrial manufacturing network that connects from manufacturing floor to the customer door."

"Markets are changing rapidly, and no company can solve all customer problems on their own," said Stan Deans, president, UPS Global Distribution & Logistics. "This agreement with SAP adds an important UPS capability to help customers right-size inventories and lower short-run production costs, and help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life faster than ever."

SAP and UPS intend to collaborate across their respective solution portfolios to enable critical components of on-demand manufacturing.

SAP will develop digitisation and simplification of production part approval processes. By accelerating and standardising the process, both companies believe a significantly greater number of industrial 3D print-ready production parts can be approved and certified and can be ordered through UPS On-Demand Manufacturing with full integration into SAP manufacturing and procurement processes.

Both companies will work on automatic quantification of the financial viability of 3D printing versus traditional procurement or manufacturing options. This will be quantified against a number of real-time manufacturing and batch-specific parameters, such as tax calculations, shipping costs, bill of materials, and so forth. SAP and UPS intend to enable real-time decisions on the optimal supply chain path for every parts order.

UPS will develop seamless routing of the order for production and delivery. UPS end-of-runway manufacturing can get most orders sent by 6:00 p.m. manufactured and delivered anywhere in the United States by the next morning. The agreement seeks to enable companies to track their order from SAP software.