Increase agility of your supply chain ERP with low-code software

September 30, 2020
6 min read

Executive summary

Your supply chain is a complex operation. There could be hundreds, if not thousands, of people and error-prone manual processes involved in each one. And chances are, your supply chain depends on an Enterprise Resource Planning system to manage it all. One of the most commonly deployed technologies in your enterprise ecosystem, your ERP manages all the processes core to your business.

How an ERP like SAP is used in your supply chain

For supply chain management, SAP is a top provider of ERPs, making it a market leader for covering production planning, business forecasting, and demand planning.

SAP for supply chain management attempts to provides benefits like a single source of truth for the people in your business, actionable insights based on data, and increased efficiency and money saved.

In reality, however, supply chain management in any ERP alone falls short in delivering these benefits. It requires an additional layer to unlock its full potential.

Where does supply chain management ERP software fall short?

Difficulty reporting on and pulling real-time, contextual insights

By the time data gets pulled, the insights it provides are already too old to act on. Even more, the reports and analysis that an ERP, like SAP provides tend to focus on higher level baseline plans and forecasts, overlooking the important details that could provide real benefit to your operation.

Time and cost required to adjust and build out processes in an ERP.

ERP systems like SAP tend to be large, enterprise-wide systems, which may require special skills to access and use. Customization for specific needs tends to require highly skilled developers – a resource that is hard to come by, expensive, and time-intensive.

Relying on your supply chain management ERP software to handle everything from storing information to acting on data leads to reduced visibility into processes, data stuck in ERPs and legacy systems, increased costs, and inefficient workflows.

Why extend SAP or your other ERP systems with low-code?

Your ERP is powerful, but it can’t do everything you need it to. And building out the capabilities you need is complex and expensive.

Using a low-code application development platform means you don’t need a rip-and-replace solution. Instead, a cloud-based business application can serve as a layer on top of SAP or your other ERP platform that extends its capabilities and is customized to your specific business needs.

For example, by integrating your applications with your ERPs and legacy systems, it can become your single source of truth for all supplier information. Custom reports, roles, and dashboards are accessible all in one central hub, providing easy and secure access to necessary data, the ability to automate tasks and send communications – so you can focus on moving your production forward.

What does Quickbase + your ERP look like in action?

A family-owned defense manufacturer, Danko Arlington was relying on an over 30 year-old home-grown DOS-based ERP that relied on off-line inspections and couldn’t manage their expanding capacity or keep up with modern quality assurance and compliance standards. With outdated technology holding them back, Danko found themselves late on many orders and challenged by more difficult production schedules.

They were able to use Quickbase to build out applications to replace the legacy ERP they had being relying on since the 80s. Quickbase enabled Danko to actively manage and track the complex production schedules that were unique to their business. By adapting their software to fit their specific needs, they were able to use their existing capacity to achieve more as a business and drive real value.

How easy is it to integrate Quickbase with SAP?

Quickbase is a low-code application development platform that allows for several methods of integrating with SAP and most modern ERP systems with similar capabilities. Our platform allows for ease of use and offers a choice of natural integration capabilities to suit your business’s unique needs for immediacy, consistency, and control. Types of cross-app relationships include:


Data flows between SAP and a Quickbase app based on event logic, also known as workflow orchestration logic, that is created and exists within your Quickbase app. Depending on the implementation in the app, this data flow can be unidirectional or bidirectional. This integration utilizes a Pipelines channel, enabling Citizen Developers to integrate a complex ERP system without the detailed technical knowledge needed for API-based integrations.


At specified times, data is automatically pulled from SAP and updated into a Quickbase app. With Webhooks, data synchronizes unidirectionally from SAP to Quickbase.


This allows for custom integrations to meet specific needs not covered by the other options. Quickbase supports this using a modern RESTful API. Typically, this work is handled by the IT team responsible for SAP or an experienced consultant.

Quickbase: The future of supply chain management

The age of operational agility is here. Defined as the ability to adapt your business’s operations, technology and information in response to constantly evolving and turbulent markets and competitive pressure, it has become the future of supply chain management.

Instead of traditional priorities such as profitability, the supply chain of the future is designed with resiliency in mind. This sentiment is reflected in every area of the business. According to a recent study by Harvard Business Review Analytics Services, 53% of the 500+ global executives surveyed said that improving business continuity and resiliency is a primary business goal since the Covid-19 outbreak, marking a 33-percentage point change from prior.

Linear style supply chains will soon give way to more flexible operations with fewer silos. These new parameters could allow quicker transitions for producers in the event of a crisis—think of seamlessly switching suppliers in the event of a natural disaster shutting down your current supplier’s production.

Companies that can pivot in response to such change will succeed, while those stuck in rigid legacy systems fall behind. Quickbase can get you on the path towards a fully operationally agile supply chain with end-to-end visibility.

Why choose Quickbase?

Take control of your data for complete operational agility.

Quickbase integrates and aggregates information that is spread across complex disparate systems, each with their own specific environments. This allows you to provide the decision-makers in your business with accurate, complete, relevant information at the right times.

Increase efficiency and save resources.

Ensure on-time production with supplier movement, inventory, quality tracking, and more in one centralized system in business applications that can be built by Citizen Developers and IT developers alike in just a matter of days.

As your business grows, Quickbase grows with you.

Scale for an even faster-paced future with technology that simplifies, standardizes and automates unique supply chain processes core software platforms can’t handle.

Make decisions that drive business success.

Uncover actionable insights and make informed decisions with centralized, real-time data that helps minimize risks and better serve your customers.

Read more about Quickbase in action