Now more and more organizations are returning to normal and are planning to restart their plants or manufacturing. We are in continued threat of infections though all the security checks for temperature, social distancing or wearing masks or similar activities are undertaken. Not only such preventive criterion even WHO recommends carrying out various cleaning activities between different shifts to ensure that infections do not spread. Companies needs to take this factor into consideration while manufacturing or even carrying out their supply chain planning. WHO recommends a response plan in case someone becomes ill while working at premises? One needs to keep track of the person where he has frequented. CDC recommends company occupational health professionals should conduct worksite assessments to identify COVID-19 risks and prevention strategies. Workplace coordinator should carry out infection control procedures, employees should close off the areas used by the person. Clean and disinfect the workplace, wait for 24 hours. Besides this information company also needs to collect all contact information two days prior to symptoms onset.

There are efforts underway by major governments and Apple & Google which develop contact tracing applications which track based on either Bluetooth or other technology. Besides above organizations, there are also technologies commercially available which can identify the contact history  This contact tracing data when coupled with machine learning application and SAP S/4 HANA Plant Maintenance & S/4 HANA Product Planning and finally integrating with SAP IBP can be useful for organizational response. These tools can be linked together to predicting the location which are impacted and identification location which needs to be contained and machinery non availability due to the issue and corresponding impact on Supply Planning.

Based on the data analysis the likely impact of the scenario on different locations or manufacturing sites is identified. Using the data for different restricted factors like downtime requirement for possible plant shutdown or equipment operation is predicted in S/4 HANA. This is then connected to SAP IBP Supply Planning and Optimizing constrained plan with different constraints information. SAP Cloud Platform is a PaaS offering various machine learning and IoT capabilities. It can be used to build personalized applications or extend the cloud applications.

As you all know the capability of modelling the constraints in Supply module is either by using the native capability of constraints like configuring the key figures that translate the specific business requirements. The other capability is using the SAP Cloud Platform as a parallel media for integrating the machine learning capabilities. Based on contact tracking information coordinates can be overlaid on to Geographic Information system or similar tool to map the area of influence. Based on machine learning algorithms like Python integrated with GIS, detailed analytical approach is used to identify the machinery locations which are likely to be impacted. It can also be integrated with readily available models which predicts the spread of the virus based on various attributes like violation of social distancing, population density and other parameters. Once a manufacturing site is impacted with the corresponding within the site infection for a specific location, then the corresponding clean up activities are taken up.

Once the impact of the scenario is identified it can be linked to algorithm to identify the manufacturing sites or locations which are likely to be impacted for example some manufacturing sites can have a possible downtime. Maintenance can also come into picture if only certain equipment is impacted due to selective infection possibility within the plant. Necessary work orders are created to carry out maintenance or clearance of the site for possible post infection management activities. Once the plant maintenance person triggers maintenance notification the corresponding order is linked to the S/4 HANA Production Planning module. The corresponding drop in the availability of the equipment is noticed by the Production Planning personal and can assess the corresponding downtime and can issue manually shifting the impacted orders or can re-run the optimization algorithm considering a new location or equipment or even reduced capability. It can also be used to plan the corresponding downtime requirement and resource availability extend the horizon.

We can use SAP IBP Supply for analysing a rough-cut plan for the prediction, we may also use order-based analysis – Response. You can use planning area SAP74. You can consider lead time for planning in case you are using Heuristics. In case of optimizer runs, different constraints can be used like hard constraints, pseudo with various variables for model predictions. Capacity supply or available capacity / output coefficient can be checked for analysis. Details about how the Supply / Response modules function you may refer SAP hep document.

The overall development of user interface looks like, different plant personal and their job location where they would be operating within the plant. Based on possible frequent information on plant site map system automatically suggests the locations which are likely to be impacted by the restrictions. Once the restrictions are identified it triggers notification to plant manager to assess the scenario and take stock of the situation. Once the plant maintenance creates a shutdown notification or maintenance or clearance notification that equipment is made not available in the S/4 HANA Production Planning. Based on such equipment non availability system can recalculate the Supply using the IBP.  For simulation mode, you can also use the employee tracing information and possible worst-case scenarios and its impact on your critical equipment or operations. Based on which you can identify the future state parameters and can dynamically pass on to SAP IBP. For carrying out the analysis using GIS / ML programming SAP Cloud Platform App can be used. You can refer SAP hep for detailed integration scenario.

To conclude, it is not mere closure of areas for restoration is needed rather a mix of innovative approaches which can pinpoint the locations which are frequented by the suspected case and which are in need for closure or restoration activities. As per CDC, it needs a consent from employee that they accept to traced within the industry. Those who do not accept the consent might be asked to operate from home. Such measures are needed not only to safe guard employee but also saving the other employees and possible impact on organizational output. This approach is expected to reduce the need for making the entire facility out of operation and can help organizations in combating the Pandemic at the same time ensuring continued operation.

Thanks
Jayakumar

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