SAP Success story: Asian Paints: Enabling Real-Time Analytics
Authored by Ramesh Nair, Chief Manager IT, Asian Paints
Founded as a partnership firm by four friends in 1942, Asian Paints Limited has come a long way. Today, the company is India’s largest and Asia’s third largest manufacturer and supplier of decorative and industrial coatings. Asian Paints operates 25 plants in 17 countries, supplying paint and ancillary products to consumer and commercial markets. Its team of 1,200 sales representatives connects with a network of more than 40,000 dealers and distributors who market Asian Paints’ well-known brands in more than 65 countries.
With our ever-expanding network of dealers, the amount of data to be dealt with also increased exponentially! Analysing sales trends and other key performance indicators for such humongous data quantities started becoming a challenge with the then IT architecture thereby greatly limiting data access, visibility & usability. This was the time when SAP’s real-time analytics tool- SAP HANA came in handy! Asian Paints leveraged the near-line storage (NLS) functionality of SAP® IQ software to store the data more affordably, enabling real-time analytics, and dramatically streamlining data-intensive tasks.
Talking more about this switch from conventional methods of data management to SAP’s path breaking real-time analysis platform, Harish Lade, General Manager IT, at Asian Paints says,” Our Company has long been an early adopter of the most promising and relevant new technologies.”
Asian Paints as a company firmly believes in maintaining the competitive advantage by leveraging IT technology by partnering with IT Thought Leaders in the market.
This precisely defines SAP’s role in giving them the most innovative ways to leverage their data and provide an effective datawarehouse that can handle the huge volumes of data.
Further explaining the real reason behind this shift to SAP NetWeaver BW on HANA, Harish adds, “There were many areas in which we were not getting the performance we needed. Also, we needed a system that made it possible to get speedy access to both current and historical data. SAP HANA with NLS is designed to do exactly that!”
Some outstanding results, in terms of enhanced performance were recorded within a short period of time! In addition, the company achieved a compression ratio of almost 6 to 1, reducing the data footprint from 180 GB in the legacy database system to 30 GB in SAP HANA. The new architecture provided the sales information and relevant KPIs in real-time providing actionable insights to the business managers.
SAP IQ enables an NLS feature in SAP NetWeaver BW to unify in-memory and disk-based column stores. This means Asian Paints business managers can combine the real-time comprehensive analytics of SAP HANA with historical data in NLS in a cost effective manner and from a single analytical interface.
Another major highlight is that, earlier compiling data used to take hours or even days, but now it takes just seconds or minutes! Harish sums it all up by saying, ”Considering the seamless fashion in which real-time data can be combined with historical data and the overall improvements in processing speed, the implementation of SAP HANA and SAP IQ is a vital enabler in our Analytics program and allows us to realise the BI vision of Action to Insight to Execution for Asian Paints.”
All in all, going live with SAP HANA & SAP IQ proved to be a great move for Asian Paints in improving all areas of their business, in a holistic manner. Plus, it also facilitated in zeroing in on markets and dealers that are experiencing service issues in the moment, rather than relying on historical data crunching over a span of weeks.