Is Big Data Hampering Your Ability to Sense and Respond at All Levels?

Life throws curve balls at us all the time. For example, in my personal life:

  • Knowing my flight tomorrow was cancelled today is timely enough.
  • Knowing on Valentine’s Day my wife’s roses will arrive on February 15th is close enough (don’t tell her, I said this).
  • Knowing on Wednesday my mail-order prescription will be late after taking my last pill on Tuesday is OK.

Similarly, in your distribution business:

  • Knowing the customer sales order was cancelled after confirming the P.O. with the supplier today is good enough.
  • Knowing the sales order was unprofitable on February 15th after shipping it on the 14th is close enough.
  • Knowing on Wednesday that some products were unavailable for customer orders on Tuesday is OK.

But the hard truth is lacking real-time operational data is unacceptable in both our personal and business lives.

With today’s multi-core processors and the decline in prices of processors and memory, technology is now available that dispenses with hard disks and stores and performs all operations in main memory, helping to at least improve the information flow in a business environment.

SAP HANA is computing technology that moves data from disk to local memory in real-time so analyses on high volume transactional data can be done immediately. This solution allows distributors to overcome the information latency issues that have challenged them in the past. It enables distributors to:

  1. Analyze soaring volumes of data and have instantaneous insight into sales orders, profitability, and inventory availability.
  2. Blend operations with analytics, allowing them to become more agile in reacting to events that impact the business.
  3. Ultimately speed up the information loop aligning business strategy, execution, analysis, and optimization.

In-memory computing accelerates decisions with faster and deeper insight into your business. In sales, it enables distributors to sell based on facts and thorough analysis versus intuition. In the procurement area, it allows for the quick analysis of customer order data to accurately predict trends for improved inventory management. In operations, it offers up-to-the-minute visibility to granular supply chain data that can immediately impact the response to change.

So, in my personal life:

  • Flight is cancelled … quickly rebook with another carrier
  • Roses will arrive late … quickly make dinner reservations
  • Prescription will be late … have doctor call in a small script to local pharmacy

And, in your distribution business:

  • Sales order was cancelled … postpone vendor P.O.
  • Sales order is unprofitable … increase price
  • Products are unavailable … offer alternative items

SAP HANA enables real-time business analytics. No waiting, no latency, and no aggregations. It enables a wholesale distributor to have fast, flexible and detailed data analytic capability to answer their most pressing operational questions with speed.

When managing our travel, relationships, health or businesses the speed of information delivery is important. SAP HANA can certainly assist distributors on the business front.

Don’t just take my word for it – experience SAP HANA yourself:

Paul Pretko is the lead industry principal for Wholesale Distribution at SAP America.  He is a wholesale distribution technology and operations leader with over twenty five years of comprehensive experience in distribution and logistics environments, executing operational improvement strategies through technology. He focuses on enabling efficient distributor operations with SAP for Wholesale Distribution solutions.