A recent McKinsey study has found that fully exploiting data and analytics requires three capabilities. First, companies must be able to choose the right data and manage multiple data sources. Second, they need the capability to build advanced models that turn the data into insights. Third and most critical, management must undertake a transformational-change program so that insights can be translated into effective action.
In essence, USHA International was seeking all of the above capabilities when it felt the dire need to transform its data-database-analytics cycle. Leading the transformation was Subodh Dubey, Senior VP and Group CIO at USHA International.
SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse implemented
From sewing machines to ceiling fans, for which USHA is a household name in India, the company was looking to significantly improve reporting and analytics at its multiple offices across India, at multiple functions, and in sales and marketing – all in a bid to continue building on its success. It extended its decade-long relationship with SAP by implementing SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, powered by SAP HANA, to enable faster data analysis.
USHA was using another traditional database and realized that it was not retrieving analytical results fast enough. “When we analyzed our traditional database, we found that there were a lot of adoption issues from the user side and there was no use of business intelligence (BI) in the organization, even after implementing BI for two to two and a half years,” reveals Dubey.
There were two main issues – one being navigation and time consumption. Users were creating reports in Excel instead of extracting the data from BI, because getting the analytical data was taking too much time. Users would download data from the SAP Transaction system and transfer it to Excel, which they then used to project the data to the management. According to the users, this was much easier and faster than generating the report from BI.
Eight hours to have India-wide perspective of sales
Secondly, to have an India-wide perspective of sales, users had to sort location specific reports or SKUs. The system would usually take an hour, or in some cases seven to eight hours. Being a sales organization, USHA also wanted to have real-time information.
These were the main issues the company identified, and were the trigger for switching to SAP HANA. “We were looking for something faster for data retrieval, and also something that gave us real-time, or at least near real-time information,” adds Dubey.
Aware of SAP’s innovations, USHA decided to work with SAP, looking at SAP HANA as an architectural analytical solution. The two companies also worked to build a business case – improving speed and decision-making processes that would help grow the organization’s businesses.
The implementation of the new system at USHA took no longer than three months and the new process went live in two weeks. This smooth process was actually helped by USHA already having BI software in place, and so it was only a case of turning to the existing reports that are developed on SAP BI. Around 300 specific users were extensively trained for SAP HANA – with around 70-72 training sessions across India when it went live. USHA spent around Rs1 crore (10 million Indian rupees) on the whole project.
SAP HANA: Improvements in data retrieval and time management
Expecting a better ROI with SAP HANA usage, Dubey reiterates the added value that is now evident after the implementation. “We are now witnessing several changes. First, faster data retrieval; second, the speed of uploading; and third, being able to extract pan-India reports easily. The increased usage of BI has helped in a 75-80% utilization of SAP HANA, showing productivity in terms of creating reports and reducing time consumption tremendously. This has given the user a comfort level and confidence from a data point of view.”
There were also improvements in the time and effort invested by the 300 users, with the main beneficiaries being in the supply chain, sales, and procurement divisions. Analysis showed that on a weekly basis, they used to put in around 13-14 hours to prepare the data reports; this has now been reduced to two hours weekly.
– Problems: USHA was looking at making their management reporting faster, improving efficiency by having faster access to data
– Solutions: Implementation of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA
– Benefits: productivity in terms of creating reports and the time consumption has reduced tremendously
This text is based on an article that appeared in Dataquest – A Cyber Media Publication.