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Serving up a Better Sausage

August 18, 2014 by Susan Galer 0

Johnsonville migrates SAP BW to SAP HANA to deliver fresh insights that fuel growth

Johnsonville Sausage has long been at the forefront of leading edge business practices since its origins as a butcher shop in the middle of the last century. Still family-run and committed to the highest quality products, the Wisconsin-based food manufacturer has embarked on its next transformational journey with SAP HANA in order to gain predictive insights into company performance, customer metrics and consumer behavior. According to Paul Townsend, Business Intelligence Team Coach at Johnsonville, migrating SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) to SAP HANA is a logical progression for this SAP ERP customer.

“Our [SAP] BW upgrade is part of a larger [SAP] HANA initiative to support the optimization of our supply chain, more effectively target promotions which have the greatest impact on customer and consumer success, and gain more immediate insight on new product introductions. The opportunity for insight and innovation occurs every day, in every role, at Johnsonville. This is about embedding analytical capabilities in the daily work of every team member, from plant maintenance and the back office, to sales and customer service, so they can make the right decisions at the right time,” said Townsend.

SAP and itelligence simplify a complex upgrade

Johnsonville turned to long-time SAP partner itelligence to simplify what could have been a complex double upgrade: SAP BW 7.31 to 7.4 SP6, and database migration from Microsoft SQL Server 2008 to SAP HANA. This will allow Johnsonville to implement SAP Demand Signal Management, giving departments company-wide real-time insights to help predict the future, mitigate risks, and make better decisions.

Robert Chicvak, Project Manager at itelligence, says that his company is taking on increasingly more SAP HANA projects. “The bulk of our work is with mid-sized consumer products goods companies, and they are asking for advanced predictive analytics to gain competitive edge in areas like inventory and sales promotion. Like many customers, Johnsonville is focused on higher speed, quality predictive analytics and quantitative decision-making for real-time demand and supply chain management, and they know that SAP HANA is the road to get there,” said Chicvak.

SAP Partner Quality Program reduces risk and accelerates value

itelligence kept the migration process on track with 24-hour global coverage from its consultants in the Malaysia SAP HANA Center of Excellence, advisors at its headquarters in Germany, and programming staff in the United States. Constant feedback across time zones provided Johnsonville with fast responses throughout the rigorous testing and quality control process that was also supported by the SAP Partner Quality Program.

Essentially a valuable hand-holding service for SAP PartnerEdge members, the SAP Partner Quality Program provides complimentary support for partners to reduce risk, ensure quality, and accelerate value through early problem solving. “Our focus is on supporting the partner with regular touch points during each project,” said Denis McGauran, Vice President of Partner Service Delivery at SAP,” including those involving SAP HANA and SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA. As we did for the Johnsonville project with itelligence, we provide analysis, resources and materials to head off potential pitfalls and ensure a successful implementation.”

Go-live generates immediate results

Although the SAP BW migration to SAP HANA has only recently gone live, team members at Johnsonville are already experiencing faster data access times. With SAP HANA as the platform for the company’s predictive and prescriptive analytics, Townsend envisions strategic benefits company wide.

“We are most excited about the speed-to-insight [SAP] BW on [SAP] HANA will provide to the marketing and strategy teams. Having nimble access on company performance, customer metrics and consumer behavior viewed through the windshield, rather than in the rearview mirror, are the keys to our success. SAP HANA is a strategic building block in our ability to service the organization, driving competitive advantage, growth and profitability,” he said.

Building a foundation for an even stronger future

Townsend said that its BW migration is very much related to SAP’s release of SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, the portfolio of hosted applications that run on SAP HANA. “Our current investigations into SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA are primarily focused on greater benefit to our organization through added functionality that provides competitive advantage. We are in the early stages of investigation and want to be able to take full advantage of our SAP investments as they mature with SAP,” he said.

Johnsonville is also exploring the use of SAP Lumira, the self-service data visualization solution, and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer for analytical reporting. Meantime, attendees at this year’s SAP TechEd && d-code event in October will have the opportunity to hear all about Johnsonville’s journey with SAP HANA. It’s all part of advancing the company’s aggressive revenue growth objectives. Johnsonville may have been founded in the last century, but with fresh insights, the company is proving that speed and simplicity wins in this millennium.

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