Real-time Reporting for the logistics process: How to leverage SAP HANA in combination with SAP Business Objects
Solution brief of the project
FC Bayern München objective partner AG
- IS Retail / Sport
- Material Management (MM)
- Sales & Distribution (SD)
- Warehouse Management (WM)
- SAP ECC on HANA
- Deployed in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC)
- SAP Business Objects
About the project and its objectives
How to realize a reporting application that provides transactional data in real time, compressed and integrated throughout different lines of business?
What is s a convenient approach to retrieve this type of big data from a single source of truth exactly to the second?
How to enable a user experience which is clearly structured and tailored to reporting needs deployed on mobile and desktop devices?
Is there a way to realize these project requirements as a rapid deployment solution (RDS)?
These challenging project requirements were the cornerstones for a reporting tool that should cover an integrated view at the retail process including, warehouse management, material management as well as sales and distribution.
From the business perspective this tool should provide a direct access to data that represents the as is-state of the logistical value chain. The data should provide detailed information about inbound deliveries, goods receipts, order entries and outbound deliveries at a glance and in real-time. The outcome of the reporting application aimed to deliver a decision foundation, not only for the management of the respective functional area, but also to the operational employees. Taking incoming sales orders as an example, which have different distribution channels and order types for instance internet sales or e-commerce orders it is a big advantage to get daily updated data to the second. In detail this means the business is able to control the logistical retail process with predefined KPI’s on a daily basis.
- How many inbound deliveries and goods receipt were entered today
- How many sales orders are coming in and through which distribution channel
- How many sales orders are opened and located in the consignment
- Which orders are blocked and what kind of blocking reasons are responsible therefor
- Which products are concerned from the blocking
- How high is the percentage of full and partial packed deliveries
- How many outbound deliveries are performed in general
Based on this KPI’s crucial conclusions can be thrown regarding the daily performance of the sales business and the delivery process. Bottlenecks within the end-to-end process can be located quickly for instance when the amount of sales orders is inappropriate high compared to a low amount of outbound deliveries.
Project Approach and Solution
The first decision to be made was to evaluate whether to deploy the solution on a SAP BW or a SAP ECC as the single point of truth that provides the data foundation. Initially it seems to be obvious that a SAP BW is the best way to go considering the huge amount of transactional data that is generated within the logistical retail process. But in regard to the core requirement setting up a real-time data feed on a minute basis a BW scenario would also require a permanent data transmission in a very short interval between the ECC and BW.
So the alternative option would be to retrieve the data straight from SAP ECC. As the ECC system was already running on a HANA environment the advantage on the one hand would be a direct access to data without having a time gap due to data transmission and on the other hand all capabilities of HANA could be leveraged. That means, high performance when processing big data and full capabilities of the integrated HANA architecture.
A POC confirmed that SAP ERP on HANA can handle the huge amount of transactional data in real time and also provides a sufficient performance to navigate within continuously adjustable time periods. The last aspect is very helpful for analyzing KPI’s of previous weeks and months.
The appropriate technology for the user interface should provide a high user experience tailored to reporting purposes. Therefor SAP Business Objects was chosen as it delivers standard analytic content to create custom reporting applications. For the specific requirements such as integration to a single sign-on application, identity management to administer authorization roles or the layout adaptions according to the corporate identity, SAP BO delivers a full set of state-of-the-art technology to meet exactly these customer needs. Furthermore, it provides a direct connectivity to HANA which make it simple to use the HANA data sources modelled in SAP HANA Studio.
The implementation could be executed in a very rapid way by leveraging SAP HANA Studio for data modelling as it delivers all the necessary tools. Standard SAP tables can be chosen from the HANA catalog and re-modeled to compressed custom views. The different types of views such as analytical or calculation views serves as a data sources for the user interface layer in SAP Business Objects. The final reporting application is provided for the desktop and mobile devices running on a BO environment.
Benefits of the Reporting Logistics Application
- Improved data transparency provided by one single tool. No need to search for the data from various standard transactions such as VA03 or ME2L
- Increased speed of making decisions throughout different decision levels
- Data feed is provided in real time and delivers a high flexibility when analyzing the data by using different filter criteria
- Clearly structured data provisioning in an analytics context tailored to a high-quality user experience
- SAP HANA architecture provides a seamless integration of big data starting with data modelling in HANA Studio and ending with user experience tailored to reporting purposes
- High performance of the data feed in real time
- Standard SAP technology such as SAP HANA and business objects delivers a rapid deployment solution
- Replacement of the legacy solution running as a custom report on ECC
- Rapid deployment and low implementation effort due standard functionality
How the solution reporting logistics utilizes SAP technology to face the digital transformation
The logistics reporting solution shows how state-of-the-art technologies can be leveraged to cover tomorrow’s business requirements and face the digital transformation. Digitalized processes can only be realized with an integrated data foundation that delivers the required information in real-time according to the relevant business context. For dynamic companies with a strong retail alignment it’s important to ensure a smooth end-to-end process to satisfy the customer needs which starts with a high shopping experience and ends with on-time delivered packages.
Basically all industry solutions and functional businesses are affected by the digital transformation. Automated processes, integrated data, efficient workflows and a full transparency are essential elements for the added value in the daily business.
The appropriate technology to enable these implementations is already there. It just needs to be utilized properly.
A very interesting summary. I am currently mapping out a similar solution.
A good addition would be links to other SAP documentation on how this solution was configured and rolled out.