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Real-Time Business Becomes a Reality: Transforming Speed into Value at Usha

Those of us who have spent time in India understand its immense scale and diversity. The subcontinent’s population of 1.2 billion is the customer base for Usha. As one of the country’s leading consumer durable manufacturers and marketers, Usha manages a growing portfolio of products like sewing machines, ceiling fans, and home appliances and – with the rise of India’s consumer market – growing demand for those goods. It’s a nice problem to have, you might say, but with that increased demand had come increasingly complex business processes and a deluge of customer and sales data.

SAP ERP had been the backbone of the 75-year old company for more than a decade. But as the business grew (today Usha manages 33 warehouses, 70 company-owned retail stores, and a distribution network of 14000 dealers), so did customizations to back-end systems. The resulting bottlenecks made timely reporting and analytics difficult. Real-time? Not even close. Users created reports in Excel because extracting data to the business intelligence system took too long. To get an India-wide view of sales, they’d have to sort location specific reports and SKUs. The process took hours. With company data growing at a rate of 20 percent a year, Usha’s leaders recognized that something had to change. They wanted to ability to respond rapidly to changing market demands in order to grow their top-line revenue and get real-time visibility across their supply chain and operations so as to better manage their bottom line.

Last year, Usha deployed SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse on SAP HANA to uncover critical data and manage multiple data sources. And this October, Usha became our first Indian customer to go live with ERP on SAP HANA, implementing it in its data center in Gurgaon in only ten weeks.

With SAP HANA in use at 16 branch offices, 30 warehouses, and four manufacturing plants, the performance improvements have been impressive. The company’s invoice list report, with details like sales value and cash discounts, used to take five and a half hours to create; today it runs in less than two seconds. That’s more than 10,000 times faster (earning Usha’qualification to enter into our 10K HANA Club). The stock transfer detail report that used to take two hours to generate now runs in 3.5 seconds.

Reports on cash flow and daily sales are available at the click of a button. For the first time, the sales-driven organization has visibility down to the individual SKU and territory. The ability to quickly analyze secondary sales data and check progress against monthly sales can help its sales force achieve its targets. And on the IT side, the company’s database size is now five times smaller. 

Ultimately, Usha’s leaders want to incorporate data from a wider variety of information sources into company decision-making – from point-of-sale reports and the company’s customer service portal to email and social media. And now they have the real-time applications to do it.

Si-Mohamed Said, SAP Vice President Database and Technology for Lines of Business and Industries

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