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Embracing Simplicity to Boost Innovation: Driving Bosch’s Centennial Journey of Excellence Forwards

Bosch, a global leader in technology and services, has been advancing technological frontiers for over a century. With close to 400,000 employees worldwide, Bosch dedicates its skills and resources to key sectors: automotive and intelligent transportation technology, industrial technology, consumer goods, and energy & building technology. Continuously embodying the spirit of innovation, Bosch focuses all its efforts on creating technology “Invented for life”— a testament to its commitment to improving life and driving forward technological progress worldwide. 

Ever since Bosch and SAP initiated their strategic partnership, they have continually solidified their collaboration on cloud technology and software solutions. Given the nature of day-to-day operations, the Bosch Digital division frequently encounters requests from business teams to streamline their workflow within the intricate system of communication and collaboration processes, with the aim of bolstering productivity. 

Empowering Bosch Business Teams through SAP Build: Crafting a Streamlined, Low-Code Visual Digital Enterprise Landscape 

No one grasps daily workflows better than the business teams who navigate them regularly. These processes often entail abundant offline interactions and repetitive manual tasks, creating a pressing need for digital tools to simplify and streamline operations. Furthermore, as business functionalities diversify, each operational unit’s system infrastructure forms intricate chains of information. This complexity, coupled with the many transfer and synchronization interfaces between applications, results in redundancies, escalating operational costs, and impediments to agile innovation. Consequently, enabling those closest to these business challenges to champion application optimization requires first solving the challenge of ‘code literacy.’ It’s a crucial consideration for Bosch’s Digital Business division. 

Bosch has always spearheaded innovations utilizing the latest digital technologies, keeping pace with our digital transformation goals. Our strategic partnership with SAP, a global leader in enterprise application software solutions, has been instrumental in helping us leverage digital platforms and tools to streamline our operations. One significant tool in our arsenal is the BTP (Business Technology Platform). The SAP Build suite, built on this platform, has greatly facilitated collaboration between multiple Bosch divisions and the BD (Bosch Digital) division. Using intelligent and automated solutions, we’ve successfully identified bottlenecks and inefficiencies and implemented effective solutions. Our partnership with SAP is paving the way for operational excellence.” 

Charles Yuan 

BTP Side-by-Side Team Leader, Bosch Digital Division 

The value of the SAP Build is to enable more users to complete development, regardless of their skill levels. Through business work units, the abstracted business services are modularized, which facilitates splicing and combination, meets the requirements of specific circulation methods. It can also catch the unseen, imperceptible, invisible things, effectively supports enterprise management and decision-making, while also reduces the burden on professional developers. 

SAP Build is SAP’s low-code offering, designed to empower users of all skills to easily create and augment their SAP and non-SAP business applications with visual drag-and-drop ease, without requiring programming skills. SAP Build brings together SAP Build Apps (an evolution of SAP AppGyver), SAP Build Process Automation (formerly SAP Process Automation), and SAP Build Work Zone (formerly SAP Work Zone and SAP Launchpad service), and SAP Build Code with generative AI-based code development into a unified development experience with new innovations to rapidly build apps, automate processes, and create business websites. These “four carriages” work together to help users accelerate application development and process automation, empowering every employee in the organization: 

  • Build visually: Rapidly create enterprise apps, automate processes, and design business sites. 
  • Integrate seamlessly: Accelerate development with prebuilt connectors and lines of  business-specific content for SAP and non-SAP systems. 
  • Collaborate securely: Foster collaboration between business and development teams with built-in governance and lifecycle management. 

Bosch Digital partnered with various business departments, along with the expert team from SAP China’s Business Technology Platform. Together, they hosted the recent ‘Bosch SAP Build Hackathon’. Using the SAP Build, 27 teams developed new or improved business processes without the need for typical code development. This collaboration quickly transformed ideas into working prototypes, highlighting the power of the SAP Build’s cloud-native application development and agile integration in diverse environments. By bolstering existing business processes with enhanced features and innovation, the team succeeded in more straightforward and rapid automation of business processes. Such advancements delivered added value to business departments, empowering them to operate more efficiently while significantly reducing costs. 

Business Challenge: 

Routine acquisition of parts or product materials during business progression often hinges on cumbersome paper-based systems and manual processes, resulting in a complex and inefficient workflow. 

Innovative Solution: 

SAP Build facilitates the transition from these outdated methods to automated workflows, enabling users with minimal programming skills to optimize processes per specific business scenarios and requirements. This user-friendly tool helps automate a collection of operations such as online application, electronic approval, SAP posting, and notification dissemination. 

Business Impact: 

This transformation has yielded a substantial increase in work efficiency, exceeding 9%. Furthermore, it has unlocked an annual capacity optimization of 300 hours, demonstrating a significant leap forward in productivity and operational efficiency. 

Business Challenge: 

Operating order processing, customer communication, status approvals and similar tasks via email can lead to human errors, such as incomplete or incorrect information due to mistakes, neglect, or manual processing. This, in turn, requires rectifications and curbs efficiency. 

Innovative Solution: 

SAP BTP offers a user-friendly platform to develop applications for everyday tasks using low-code methods, enabling automated processes such as approvals and releases. 

Business Impact: 

This solution holds the potential to bypass 2 sessions and automate 9 steps, rendering it highly reusable for similar tasks across various operational streams. Alongside boosting work efficiency and accuracy, it significantly enhances user experience and mitigates compliance risk.

Business Challenge: 

In executing daily outbound deliveries for export business, our customs declaration procedure requires compiling a multitude of documents. Complications arising from disjointed transitions along various stages often result in the loss of critical documents and information, which in turn disrupts workflow. 

Innovative Solution: 

Through SAP BTP, we automate data extraction from sources like SQL and Excel to create and print customs declaration documents. This triggers automatic data exchange through emails and shared folders— a solution that not only simplifies the process but also significantly enhances work efficiency and accuracy. 

Business Impact: 

Our innovative approach has successfully streamlined the processing steps across six business workflows. This efficiency gain has slashed the time spent on each delivered order by 540 seconds. In terms of projected annual savings, we’re looking at a substantial reduction in costs amounting to RMB 189,700.

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