Imagine you are a trade manager at a logistics company with contract responsibilities for ocean-liner shipping between Europe and the Far East. You want to get better insights into your ongoing business, including the volumes, revenues, and profits from your trades, because you have seen your revenue and profits decrease. You are ready to reverse this trend and are exploring various options to do so. One possible solution is a global rate increase on your trades, but you recognize this is a complicated process and may not work across the board.
This is a challenge that an SAP customer based in Hamburg recently experienced. The customer knew profits were dropping and wanted to find an effective way to determine where rates could be increased. However, the data needed for this analysis was in several big tables and the company did not have the right technology to integrate the data properly in a timely fashion.
They asked for help from SAP Services, so we went in and built a reporting application that is powered by the SAP HANA database.
Here is a quick overview of this engagement and how we helped this customers achieve the results he was looking wanted.
- We first set up a way to gather information about the rates, including the date that a rate increase would be effective. We then developed a way to determine how many rates were defined in the tables, including how many of them are actually used, and which ones were appropriate to increase. This helped determine the overall impact of the intended rate increase and additional ramifications.
- The application we created also analyzed the booked volume from past orders to help forecast the additional revenue generated by the planned rate increase.
- The application also helped sales managers and their teams understand which customers would be affected by the increased rates. With this information in hand, the sales people were able to develop a plan for personally meeting with the customers most impacted by the rate increases.
- We also set up a way for the trade manager to monitor the success of the projected rate increases. He could readily see how many trade rates actually were increased, which ones were not, and which ones were planned for a change in the future. He could also see if there were any losses in volume because of the increased rates. Additionally the application allowed the trade manager to review the potential volume, revenue, and profits to ensure that the new target goal for profits was achieved.
For this application, we built a model with several views that sat on top of their existing tables; we then created reports using SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards and SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports software. We also linked several reports to create a small application that automatically executes planned rate increases and simulates the potential increase in revenue through the use of simple algorithms.
The trade manager now has a tool that provides him with all the information he needs to protect the company’s profits. He and others at the company experienced firsthand the power of SAP HANA as they were provided with insights into their trade data that helped them support the business more effectively. They could also see how this type of analytical power could be used for other business processes throughout the company.
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