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SAP Launches New Sustainability Solutions in the Cloud to Help Ensure Product Safety

November 5, 2012 (SmartPros) To build a foundation for sustainable growth, manufacturers must simultaneously ensure products are safe and compliant with complex, varied environmental regulations. Bringing together its cloud leadership and footprint with manufacturers worldwide, SAP AG announced two new cloud-based sustainability solutions to help customers more easily handle these challenges.

First, SAP Product Stewardship Network allows manufacturers to collaborate with suppliers and collect detailed information about the substances that make up their products. Second, SAP introduced SAP EHS Regulatory Documentation OnDemand, a content service to manage the often painstaking and expensive process of creating regulatory documentation.

"Connecting to our ecosystem in the cloud will reduce costs and increase productivity for our employees and supply chain partners," said Torger Trenner, environmental manager, The Weidmuller Group. "We create more than 40,000 distinct products and components for industrial connectivity and have a business presence in over 80 countries. We constantly get requests from customers for detailed product information. Our business relationships depend on getting the answer quickly and correctly. That's why we decided to help SAP's development of the product stewardship network. It will enable everyone in the supply chain to enter and maintain their own information. This will help us -- and all participating companies worldwide -- amass and provide the information needed much faster and more efficiently."

To comply with constantly evolving environmental regulations like Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) and Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (ROHS), companies need to know exactly what chemical substances are in the raw materials, components and products that they purchase from suppliers. They must also declare those substances and tell people how to handle them safely. SAP Product Stewardship Network and SAP EHS Regulatory Documentation OnDemand help solve these problems. Both products leverage the power and flexibility of a hybrid cloud and on-premise model to collaborate, collect, analyze and disseminate product information from disparate sources.

SAP Product Stewardship Network: Manufacturers and Suppliers Collaborate in the Cloud Aimed at discrete manufacturers, such as producers of electronic or medical equipment, SAP Product Stewardship Network allows customers to quickly work with suppliers in the cloud to make sure that banned substances are excluded from their products.

For example, a high-tech company that wants to bring new products to market must ensure environmental compliance by assessing each component against a constantly growing list of regulated substances so they can be properly disclosed. This currently requires thousands of emails across the supply chain; it is still a manual, time-consuming process. Delays can result in loss of revenue and risk proper compliance.

SAP Product Steward Network allows suppliers and manufacturers to collaborate immediately. They can quickly work together to make the appropriate disclosures, find the right substitutes or adapt product designs quickly based on available, compliant materials. By connecting suppliers in a cloud-based network, companies can easily exchange compliance and material data. New product information can be uploaded once and updated across the cloud so all participants in the network can immediately view and act on it. The offering also works with SAP(R) Business Suite software and takes advantage of all on-premise data it contains.

New On-Demand Content Service for Product Safety Documents Process industries such as chemical or pharmaceutical manufacturers must continuously develop and update safety data sheets and labels to stay in compliance. Each of these documents can take from days to weeks to develop, and a midsize chemical manufacturer can spend up to 3 million dollars yearly on this time-consuming business process. With SAP EHS Regulatory Documentation OnDemand, manufacturers no longer have to author their own safety data sheets.

By networking with the customer's on-premise EHS solution, the content service from SAP takes the customers' product data, generates country-specific data sheets and labels in the cloud and then delivers the documents back to the customer. Keeping current with changes in global regulations, SAP estimates that the content service can decrease ongoing safety data sheet costs by up to 50 percent and free up precious resources to focus on more strategic projects.

"SAP uniquely can offer customers a powerful hybrid model that helps drive down costs of compliance while freeing up resources to focus on what matters most -- strategic innovation," said Peter Maier, senior vice president, Energy and Natural Resources Solutions, SAP. "Our product safety solutions already touch 5 trillion dollars of all the world's manufactured goods. With so many customers across the supply chain already using SAP -- and the strength of our combined cloud and on-premise strategy -- we are playing a central role in creating a global business network that lets companies collaborate to run better and protect the triple bottom line."

SmartPros Ltd. 2012

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