Technology giant SAP is known for making enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. ERP helps organizations to manage business operations and usually refers to a suite of modular applications that collect and integrate data from different aspects of the business. I worked in their Manhattan innovation lab as a visual designer, collaborating closely with product managers, information designers, user advocate coaches, and developers here in Palo Alto, CA and Walldorf, Germany.
Material Resource Planning (MRP) is part of SAP’s Business Suite of analytics applications powered by SAP Hana: SAP’s real-time analytics, in-memory database platform. MRP is all about supporting the effective management of inventory in manufacturing environments. Managing inventory is a constant balancing act. You want to keep inventory as low as possible to preserve your cash flow and floor space. But you want enough on hand to cover requirements and to cope with changing demands. MRP gives planners complete visibility into their inventory situation and lets them link this information in real-time to customer orders. This lets planners make assessments and more informed decisions and understand the potential business impact of those decisions.
MRP is one of the enterprise apps folded into the SAP Fiori portfolio—a collection of apps that provides business users with a consumer-grade, personalized, and responsive experience across multiple devices, including tablets and smartphones. If you’ve ever used SAP GUI, you’ll know that SAP has been desperate to innovate in the area of user experience.
These are visual design concepts from the MRP product, depicting the customer journey from dashboard to Master Detail page view.