When I was 14, I started working my first real job with a professional painter where I grew up in Vermont. We used to paint old farm houses and barns, restoring single-paned windows by caulking by hand, and giving the Vermont landscape that quaint look and feel. Buying the paint and supplies was very onerous – we would have to paint 3 or 4 sections of clapboards in different colors to allow the owner to make a choice. Times have changed rather dramatically in the ‘simple’ paint business!
Asian Paints is on the other side of the world compared to Vermont, but their philosophy shares traditional New England beliefs. The company began in 1942 as a partnership of four friends who started business in a Mumbai garage. The partners mixed paints to sell to neighbors. Word traveled quickly about their products. Then, they started uniting with many small paint dealerships, similiar to Vermont farm co-ops. These relationships helped Asian Paints to grow quickly. Now, it is India’s leading paint manufacturer and the third largest paint company in Asia.
Today the company has more than 40,000 dealers. It distributes its products in more than 60 countries. Asian Paints is one of the world’s leading producers of home and industrial coatings. This is partly because it became an early adopter of digital business strategies (http://sap-espresso.com/viewStory/142).
Path to Digital Transformation
Asian Paints began moving toward digtal transformation in the early 2000s. The company turned to SAP for digital solutions for many of its processes. These included enterprise resource planning, customer resource management and supplier communication. It also aided business intelligence tasks including data mining.
The company knew it needed more help as it data increased and analysis became more complicated. So it adopted the SAP HANA platform (http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-60338) for high performance integration of digital tools. SAP HANA simplifies the processes of sharing information, analyzing data and handling transactions.
Many people are on the run these days between home, work and family activities, even in Vermont. They look for a higher level of service from retailers to make their lives simpler. Consumers are increasing use of smart phones and tablets to gather information. They also use them to make decisions and buy goods.
Companies in the chemicals industry need to be speedy and acurate in responding to customer requests. Asian Paints wanted to understand its customer, supplier and employee interactions from all angles. It decided that it needed rapid, reliable digital networking that is easy to use for all its end users. That included customers, dealers, employees and suppliers.
Digitizing Choice in Colour Idea Stores
Customers who visit Asian Paints Colour Idea stores (http://scn.sap.com/community/business-trends/blog/2013/02/14/need-to-add-color-to-your-life-asian-paints-helps-you-fulfill-your-vision) do not walk away with cans of paint. Instead, they gather ideas and place orders through a central corporate call center that arranges home delivery. Design displays and free consultations with colour specialists provide the ideas. Customers also can use tablets and a digital app to add color to their home photos.
The home-photo process involves uploading photos from a smart phone or tablet to the company’s website. Then, customers digitally apply different Asian Paints to the image on a computer screen and save the combinations they like. The color previeww solution is also available on line at the Asian Paints website.
Data from these interactions makes the company aware of cusotmer preferences for future promotions. It also helps Asian Paints anticipate changes in product demand. The data helps sales associates at the company fulfillment center provide immediate information about product availability and delivery dates.
A Transformation that Unites
Asian Paints does not have to worry about what to do with the huge amounts of data it collects. SAP HANA makes this valuable information easier to use. It provides secure cloud storage and quick analysis that helps the company target services and promotions. This keeps customers happy and aids constant growth for Asian Paints.
India’s largest paint manufacturer provides its world with vivid color. Its investment in SAP digital tranformation keeps it strong and unified. This adds up to excellent service all around. Whatever landscape you may be painting, embrace the change of beautiful simplification with Asian Paints.
And start your digital journey now! (http://fm.sap.com/Chemicals/DX/?campaigncode=?utm_source=SCN&utm_medium=blog&utm_term=Chemicals&utm_campaign=IC_DigitalTransformation)