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Leading an organisation might often feel like a never-ending line of decisions to be made.  In today’s fast-paced marketplace, making the wrong choice, or making it too late, can have a negative impact on your success, your brand and your profitability. Gone are the days where companies had analysts reviewing every data source imaginable; in today’s Big Data era, enterprises have to make decisions in real-time, based on intelligent data.

In our month-long series of posts about the power of SAP HANA for small and medium-sized enterprises, we continue this week with an in-depth review of how the pain can be removed from decision-making in your organisation, and provide examples of how HANA can guide you.

SAP HANA helping you to tackle day-to-day decisions and issues


Issue: Your experienced and capable warehouse manager is on sick leave, with no indication of when they might return. The warehouse employees are managing well and the supervisor can temporarily perform most of the managerial tasks. But you and the HR manager are wondering whether to hire a temporary stock controller until the warehouse manager can return.

How HANA helps you decide: This issue can be tackled in a number of ways but HANA will be able to quickly show you up to date statistics to help you assess whether you need extra help in the warehouse.

  • Number of outstanding orders to be fulfilled
  • Number of orders in the pipeline
  • Last stock take results
  • Upcoming planned delivery dates
  • Upcoming trend analysis for orders (i.e. are you about to reach a busy buying season?)
  • Year on year comparison of available to promise status

Issue: You recently ran a very successful new product launch that saw a 75% discount off the recommended retail price of the first 1000 units sold.  Your marketing department has suggested that you extend this offer for 3 more days but you want to know the cost benefit in the long and short term of doing this.

How HANA helps: You will be able to generate a number of various facts and figures to discuss the pros and cons with marketing.

  • An analysis of whether the customers purchasing the reduced cost items were new or existing. Knowing this could result in you extending the offer only to a targeted number of existing customers to further build your relationship with them.
  • You can assess the profit margin on selling further units at a reduced price vs at full price (but probably at a slower rate)
  • How many additional orders were received after the first 1000 units? If demand is extremely high, and you are the only provider of the item you might decide it is not worth maintaining the low price.
  • Demographic analysis – did the customers have anything in common which you can use for this, and future marketing campaigns (e.g. were they from a new geographic area to which you have never marketed before?)?
  • Did the product launch gain a better response through social media or traditional marketing methods? You might extend the offer but only through certain channels.

Issue: Your organisation sells within a highly competitive industry and your ability to deliver before your competitor is something you take pride in. You know the markets are fragile and your suppliers are based all around the world, some in developing and volatile locations. You want to be sure to always have the optimum stock levels to meet consumer demand and stay ahead.

How HANA helps: This issue can be dealt with from various angles to help you retain your competitive edge.

  • Automatic alert and/or re-ordering of popular items with a time buffer for any delays (have the next inbound shipment ready to load in your warehouse before you run out)
  • Supplier analysis – intelligent tracking of all supplier history and risk factors (supplier based in a geographical location with high likelihood of inclement weather for example)
  • Trend analysis of customer demand can show peak periods where increased supplies will be needed

Long-term decisions can also benefit from SAP HANA’s in-memory computing technology and can help C-level executives answer some of those decisions you are often unsure how to tackle or prove.

Issue: The CFO has been raising the question of external investment for some time now and believes it is the only option to expand the business as you plan to. As CEO, you are less inclined to go down this route without fully understanding the financial state of your organisation today.

How HANA helps: Your organisation’s financial health can be extracted and presented in a number of ways to show the true story of where you are at today.

  • Current state of all finances and next 6 months’ forecast
  • Statistics to show the ‘what if’ scenarios you might have (i.e. what if we borrowed money instead of taking investment?)
  • The organisation’s success in various markets, showing key areas of potential for investors
  • Expansion projections and risk factors (i.e. would sharing the risk with an investor be a safer option due to lack of experience in emerging markets?)

Issue: You are in the retail industry but do not currently have an online presence. The head of sales and marketing believes creating an online store will give the organisation an advantage over competitors and ensure its longevity. But the costs of setting up an ecommerce platform are staggering and you’re not sure if the benefits will outweigh the risks.

How HANA helps: In such instances SAP HANA’s powerful insights can really show their worth.

  • Perform a market analysis of industry peers to determine if you will be the first to have an online presence, or the last, and whether it’s the right time
  • Review social media feeds for customer feedback on their experience – do they show that an online store could be beneficial?
  • What are the projected online revenues and how do they compare to the initial outlay and ongoing maintenance of an online presence?

For companies who are already using SAP HANA, they are benefitting from having a superpower in their boardroom – a tool that can tell them anything they need to know about their organisation, accurately and within minutes, even seconds. More and more companies are turning to SAP HANA to gain true insight into their own organisation and make powerful, informed, confident decisions with help from their new advisor.

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