When HonorTone, a leading Hong Kong-based electronics manufacturer, came under industry pressure, it turned to SAP partner SPRO Technology Consulting. A member of the SAP Partner Quality program, SPRO implemented SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA at HonorTone – resulting in lightning-quick reporting for better decision making.

Established in 1992, HonorTone Limited ranks among the leading electronic manufacturing services (EMS), OEM, and ODM manufacturers in the region, with major customers like PHILIPS and DYMO. The company has grown to a size of more than 4,000 employees and has experienced five years of consecutive business growth since 2009.

With increasing competition in its industry, however, HonorTone was faced with an urgent need to enforce cost control and improve productivity to increase its competitive position in the market. It had come to rely on analysis reports created from its system data for monitoring and forecasting purposes. However, the huge amount of data always bogged down the system and led to slowed response times. As a result, the generated reports were not real-time enough to reflect current conditions at the company.

Given the mission-critical nature of these challenges, HonorTone contacted SPRO Technology Consulting to help it find a real-time solution to meet its business requirements.

SAP Partner in China

SPRO Technology Consulting, in operation since 2008, is a leading IT strategy and services provider in China with offices in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. The company established itself in the SAP market as an extended business member (EBM) in 2010. It later joined the SAP PartnerEdge program and became a value-added reseller (VAR) as a means to deepen its relationship with SAP and drive more success in its SAP business.

SPRO offers ERP project implementation and maintenance services. In addition, it has accumulated rich experience, including SAP Partner Center of Expertise certification, on SAP Business All-in-One for manufacturing and international trading, and even in the fashion retail industry. Recently, SPRO has extended its skills and experience on SAP HANA data migration, process integration (PI), SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) solutions, and mobility.

To support its mission of excellence in customer project delivery, SPRO joined the SAP Partner Quality program, one of a range of partner quality services provided by SAP Partner Service Delivery.

The program was suggested to SPRO by its dedicated SAP partner service advisor (PSA), Victor Yan, who is based at SAP’s office in Chengdu. The PSA is a resource provided to each partner by SAP Partner Service Delivery to offer enablement and support to the partner as it expands its SAP business. An SAP partner quality advisor then worked with SPRO to create a detailed quality plan and guide it in establishing a robust quality framework within its project methodology.

In 2014, the company achieved accreditation from the SAP Partner Quality program for demonstrating its commitment to quality management methods and principles in its customer projects. The accreditation came as a result of a series of rigorous audits that involved a detailed review of SPRO’s quality processes, adherence to ASAP methodology, and alignment of its quality philosophy with SAP’s 10 Quality Principles for successful bid and project management.

While participating in the program, SPRO enhanced its project documentation;standardized project processes based on the original implementation process, and added more detailed project quality and risk controls. As a result, SPRO has enhanced its competitiveness and improved its performance in bidding for additional projects.

SPRO applied the SAP quality methodology, including tools and templates from the SAP Partner Quality program, during its implementation project at HonorTone. The result was the successful go-live of SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA on May 2, 2014.

“SAP Partner Service Delivery focuses on providing targeted services that help partners grow their business,” said Denis McGauran, Vice President of Partner Service Delivery at SAP. “We are proud to support SPRO Technology Consulting who were able to deliver extensive efficiencies for their customer, Honortone and thereby enable faster decision making and ultimately drive their customers’ success.”

Upgrading to SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA

By upgrading to SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, HonorTone has gained the ability to perform real-time, mass-volume, detailed, and complete data analysis. Now HonorTone can discover and analyze all of its transactional data and display those analytic results with flexible dashboards and reports. As a result, the efficiency of finance processes and internal operations have improved significantly.

Among its key business activities, the company runs a manufacturing resources report (MRP) for the purpose of controlling its manufacturing costs and productivity, but it consumes a lot of computer processing power. Before SAP HANA was in place, no more than one MRP could be run per day – and it ran so slow that the resulting information was sometimes seriously outdated and not very meaningful to actual business.

“During company meetings, we always need to have exceptionally real-time reports to support the discussion of particular topics, and hence decision making. However, it took couple of hours to run the MRP, which meant it became impossible to run the MRP in a meeting to get the real-time result. It somehow affected our decision making adversely,” recalls the Product Material Control manager at HonorTone, who expressed his dissatisfaction with the old system. “Besides MRP, we sometimes require certain reports quite ad-hoc. Once again, it took quite long to run those custom reports, which made it was impossible to discuss the topic and we had to rearrange time for such a discussion.”

With SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, it now only takes a couple of minutes to run the MRP and it dramatically improves the decision making process. The company’s mode of operation has changed, as it no longer needs to postpone key agenda items as “to be discussed next time” due to slow report generations.

SAP HANA Eases Work of IT Staff

As with many other companies, HonorTone’s month-end processes have always generated large loadings on the systems. But because of the importance of the processes, other operations often needed to cede priority to these reports. In HonorTone, since other users using the system may jeopardize the month-end processes performances, which are not affordable by the company at all, other users who need to use SAP would need to stop and wait for two days during month-end period in order to free up the computer resources for the month-end processes. This would seriously affect other operations and reduced the company’s productivities.

Now with SAP HANA, everyone can use the system during the month-end period. There are no more complaints from other departments on temporary absence of SAP. The finance people are also happy as they get what they need in a timely manner. The system is no longer the bottleneck for their month-end processes and time control comes back to the hands of finance officers again. After the launch of new system, finance officers seldom have to work overtime at month-end, which they can never dream of before the system upgrade.

The IT department is also delighted by the performance gains (2000 thousand times faster for some reports) and storage space savings for the new system. With the excellent data compression technology of SAP HANA, the new system saves at least 50% of the storage spaces and hence reduces storage cost significantly. The support of SAP HANA on VMWare and Linux aligns exactly with the company’s IT strategy. The maintenance procedure is standardized, which makes IT staff’s lives easier. Upgrade of such a system in the future becomes an easy task as well.

Moving Ahead with Lightning Speed

With the lightning speed of SAP HANA, many things that could not be realized before can now move forward. HonorTone is working with SPRO Consulting on their new IT strategic planning by utilizing the power of SAP HANA and SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions, including but not limited to the areas of marketing, sales, and management.

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