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Real-Time Business Becomes a Reality: Avon Cycles Revolutionizes the Bike Business in India

Bicycles are the most important mode of transport in rural India, not to mention a cleaner, greener alternative mode of transport for the country’s upwardly mobile middle class living in its traffic-congested cities.

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The industry is worth $1.2 billion, producing 15 million bikes a year. But there’s room for growth. India has 90 bicycles for every 1,000 citizens, compared with 149 in China. More than one billion in population makes that a lot of potential bikers. It’s a huge market, and Avon Cycles is one of the four key players that account for 90 percent of bike sales on the subcontinent.

Lots of things are as “easy as riding a bike,” but there’s nothing easy about producing one. Avon Cycles manages a growing portfolio of products, managing data for 360 cycle components and 200 models with an average of three sizes per model and three colors per size.

“Adding to the complexity is the challenge of forecasting our sales as bicycles are regarded as commodities in India,” Avon Cycles CIO Kuljeet Singh Sethi said. “[That results] in a very short lead time for material requirements planning.”

The family-owned company wanted to do more than just manage its business with greater speed and agility. It also wanted to prepare for future growth.

Avon Cycles sought to better leverage its large and growing data volumes to accelerate operations in key areas, such as supply chain, sales and procurement. This would enable real-time planning and monitoring of its value chain and order fulfillment processes.

So last year, the $89 million manufacturer migrated its SAP Business Suite applications to the SAP HANA platform with significant results. The Punjab-based company saw a 45 percent increase in the speed of execution for most of its business operations. That means it can provide key stakeholders with real-time, actionable data leading to improved productivity and faster decision making.

Specifically, Avon Cycles was able to take better control of its vast supply chain with material resource planning run times that were 50 percent faster. On the IT side, they’ve seen an 80 percent reduction in back-up and restoration requirements and made the shift to SAP HANA with zero downtime.

At a strategic level, that means that the company can focus on product and performance excellence, further differentiating itself in a competitive market by providing greater value to not only its customers, but its vendors, suppliers and partners.

“The power of doing business in real-time is immense,” Sethi said. Learn more about the real-time transformation at Avon Cycles from its business transformation study.

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