SAP has unveiled its new mySAP supply chain management (SCM) product, incorporating radio frequency identification (RFID) tags into warehouse and logistics tracking functions, as promised at the start of the year.
Available from June, the new mySAP SCM will build on SAP's Auto-ID infrastructure, part of its NetWeaver application to help companies meet increased RFID tagging demands from retailers.
The news comes as semiconductor analyst firm Future Horizons predicts a 255 per cent growth in the sale of RFID chips, from £500m in 2003 to £1.3bn in 2010, following pressure on manufacturers from retailers - such as Tesco, Metro Group and Wal-Mart - to introduce RFID into the supply chain.
SAP claims that the RFID applications and new store-level forecasting and replenishment applications can lower retailers' logistics and labour costs by reducing out-of-stocks through real-time stock monitoring automation.
Future Horizons predicts the market for RFID label tags, which saw the sale of 300 million units in 2003, will rise to 65 billion units in 2010, fuelled by the technology being incorporated into mainstream enterprise resource planning and database products from SAP and Oracle.
RFID chip manufacturer Philips has also announced the availability of its Ucode EPC-compliant 1.19 chip in Europe, meeting the industry's EPC Global compliance standards, allowing tags to be read from as far as eight metres away.
SAP claims that the latest version of mySAP SCM will allow firms to automate supply chain replenishment processes, shorten order cycle times and keep inventory levels low.
It has also been designed to offer improvements to SAP's advanced planning and optimisation (APO) module, allowing firms to automate forecasting and life cycle planning when anticipating demand for products and services.
Enhanced transportation planning, vehicle scheduling and production planning and detailed scheduling functionality is also available in APO, said SAP.
Other tools include a new module for project manufacturing in the industrial machinery and components market, enabling companies to reduce lead times and inventory.
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