Smart Visio Services - ever heard of them? Sooner or later you might come across this SAP-integrated technology, at least in your daily logistics routine. Because behind it is pure innovation, market maturity and a clever mind from Memmingen. I spoke with Peter, SAP Business Expert at All for One, about innovation, his everyday SAP project work and one of his inventions. Oh yes: and about which great innovator (and hero of my childhood) he has as a role model.Jochen: Peter, before we dive into the topic of innovation, tell us a bit about yourself.
Peter: I am 43 years old, have two boys of primary school age and have been with All for One for 18 years. I am currently an SAP business expert in the Supply Chain Execution team. On the one hand, I am responsible for the Mobile Logistics solution, i.e. the mobilisation and automation of logistics processes, and on the other hand, I deal a lot with the topic of innovation and like to try out new topics.
between everyday project life & pressure to innovate
Jochen: What does your day-to-day work as an SAP Business Expert look like?
Peter: I am often involved in specific customer projects, introduce system solutions and implement them live. In principle, I take a very holistic approach. That means I support colleagues in marketing, for example in info web sessions, in specialist sales when detailed questions about solutions come up, and in development. Mobile moves very quickly. That's why I always have to keep an eye on what SAP and the market competitors are doing.
Jochen: But you also have a more creative part, don't you?
Peter: That's right. I also support a colleague at the big customer appearances with hands-on innovation. For example, we have developed an IoT monitor. We use it to book all goods movements in production with an IoT scale. Interestingly, SAP is working on exactly the same topic - but three years later than we are ;-)
Jochen: With SMART VISIO, you have created a real innovation in the logistics segment. Can you explain the idea behind it and how it works?
Peter: There are some long-term and important trends. Flexible or cloud computing, wearables, intelligent voice assistants and augmented reality. All of these trends basically lead to the megatrends of digitalisation and big data. One of the big questions is how we can get this data into the system as efficiently as possible. This can be done, for example, via keyboard and mouse or via sensors. Both are not always practical, especially in logistics. And this is where our solution comes into play. We have recognised that the best sensor is basically the employee himself. With SMART VISIO Services, we make it possible for them to grasp a situation intuitively and easily. The system is based on optical image recognition. With this system, I can, for example, realise process documentation by means of photos, create sketches on a picture, I can use OCR, carry out barcode capture without a scan engine or count AI-based objects on the picture. For example, the system is ideal for recording fault messages in production. It is designed so dynamically that I, as a customer, can use it basically everywhere, be it goods receipt, quality inspection, goods issue or inventory.
Jochen: How did you come up with the idea? Are you the type of Gyro Gearloose or was the whole thing a co-production? Or was it ultimately a coincidence, like the invention of penicillin?
Peter: Well, I'm definitely not Gyro Gearloose. I'm more like MacGyver. I am faced with a problem. And with the means at my disposal, I try to solve this problem as well as possible. And that has little to do with chance. Our team is in close contact with our sales department. They are always bringing problems and customer requirements to us, which we then deal with together.
„I'm definitely not Gyro Gearloose. I'm more like MacGyver..."
drivers & barriers of Innovation
Jochen: What do you need to be innovative? What prevents you from doing so?
Peter: I need an environment in which I can try out new things. Not every idea works right away, but there might be the possibility to derive a knowledge from it for the next idea. The freedom to find that out is necessary for innovation. It's just as important to have access to colleagues who have specialised knowledge so that you can actually try out an idea or build prototypes.
One obstacle is the success of the All for One Group, i.e. our workload. Many of us are involved in customer projects. There is little time to try things out and think outside the box.
Jochen: Does your team, your supervisor support you in being innovative? If yes, how?
Peter: Well, in the area of SAP Supply Chain Execution, innovation is expressly desired. My boss Matthias always comes to me with crazy ideas and big visions. Technically not always feasible at first glance, but the impulse is set and the idea can mature. Then it's a matter of making the most of the momentum. When an impulse ignites, you have to be allowed to get started, use the motivation and not just plan the idea for the next business year, but also implement it.
Jochen: This year we are working intensively on our values. This month, for example, with the value "Smart Innovation". In this context, you were awarded as a value champion. Is that another motivation for you to be innovative?
Peter: Of course, I feel honoured to be awarded. But for me, the customer and his problems and how we solve them come first. Innovation as an end in itself is useless. If, in the end, I am allowed to call myself a value champion, I am of course delighted.
„The combination of creativity and IT, that's the salt in the soup for me."
Jochen: What does the value of "smart innovation" mean to you in concrete terms?
Peter: The combination of creativity and IT, that's the salt in the soup for me. That's why I enjoy working. Of course, I can't just "research and play", I also do classic client projects, but it's precisely this mixture that makes it so appealing. I don't dwell on the weekend on Sunday evening, but look forward to the new week. That is simply valuable for me.
Jochen: Imagine you have one wish. How can All for One support you even better with your ideas?
Peter: At the moment, a lot is happening in the direction of innovation. If I had one wish, it would be to get "venture capital" more easily and quickly - i.e. colleagues who support me in a new idea. Resources are enormously important, especially when the idea becomes a bit bigger.
Jochen: Peter, thank you for the interview!
By the way: Here they are – our values:
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Aug 1, 2022 1:09:28 PM