With challenging system performance due to growing data volumes, how could The Kraft Heinz Company deliver more detailed reports without affecting the performance of its critical SAP business systems?
The Kraft Heinz Company migrated its SAP Business Warehouse application to the SAP HANA platform—shortening its nightly reporting batches substantially even as data volumes explode.
Substantialreductions in reporting run times
Enablesfaster, more granular reporting into supply-chain business processes
Supportsdata-driven decision-making to shrink operational costs
Business Challenge Story
Run lean, protect margins
For enterprises in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, lean operations have never been more crucial for success. As an uncertain global economy continues to exert downward pressure on consumer spending at the checkout, businesses must constantly identify and implement operational efficiencies to protect their margins.
The Kraft Heinz Company, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of food and beverage products, aimed to tackle this challenge head-on by streamlining the supply chain that supports its brands in North America. This wide-ranging program would enable the digital transformation of many business processes, integrating data flows across the enterprise for greater efficiency and advanced analytics.
Rowie Torres, Head – Global SAP Center of Excellence at The Kraft Heinz Company, explains: “Managing a supply chain as large as Kraft’s is a complex process that demands accurate, timely data on sales forecasts, manufacturing plans, logistics and more. Collating data from multiple sources is vital, as it enables us to manufacture the optimal quantities of each of our products, and deliver them to retailers at the best time to capitalize on consumer demand.
“In recent years, the volume of supply-chain data we collect has grown rapidly. We knew that incorporating this additional data into our reporting process would enable our decision-makers to drill down and uncover valuable opportunities to improve efficiency, but building fine-grained reports posed tough technical challenges.”
Like many leading enterprises in the FMCG space, The Kraft Heinz Company relies on a suite of integrated SAP applications to drive its business processes from end to end.
Rowie Torres continues: “For many years, we have used SAP Business Warehouse software to support our business analytics processes. However, growing data volumes and demand for analytics meant that our nightly batch processes were almost exceeding the strict 12-hour window. Moreover, the complexity of our data model meant that building new reports was a time-consuming process that could take up to six months to complete. To offer more frequent and more granular reports to the business, we looked for a way to boost the performance of our SAP Business Warehouse platform.”
Lightning-fast analytics platform
After a thorough review of its existing analytics landscape, The Kraft Heinz Company determined that migrating its SAP Business Warehouse application to the SAP HANA database would deliver the in-memory performance boost it needed to satisfy business demand for rapid, in-depth reporting.
“We use SAP solutions to support the majority of our business processes, and we realized that adopting SAP HANA as our analytics platform would enable us to obtain even greater value from our SAP investments,” explains Rowie Torres.
“As well as offering tight integration with the SAP ERP applications we have used to drive our day-to-day business operations for more than 12 years, SAP HANA supports a range of new solutions that align with our long-term strategic objectives. For that reason, we aimed to use SAP HANA to integrate our manufacturing processes with near-real-time forecasting data.”
To realize the value as quickly as possible, and to reduce its risk exposure throughout the migration process, The Kraft Heinz Company searched for an experienced partner to drive the project. After a rigorous vendor-selection process, the company engaged an expert team of consultants from IBM Services.
“One of the main reasons we chose the IBM Services team was their proven record of successful SAP HANA deployments at other large enterprises,” recalls Rowie Torres. “Another important factor was the IBM team’s deep familiarity with the analytics platform at The Kraft Heinz Company. IBM has been a valued partner since The Kraft Heinz Company first deployed SAP solutions, and the IBM team’s knowledge of our SAP Business Warehouse environment is second to none. And because of the close strategic relationship between IBM and SAP, we felt IBM was the ideal choice to deliver our new SAP HANA database rapidly.”
As a first step, The Kraft Heinz Company worked with IBM Services to cleanse its existing analytics databases. This work helped shrink the databases from a total of 18 TB to just 9 TB—a reduction of 50 percent that helped pave the way for a seamless migration to the new analytics platform.
Next, the company worked with consultants from IBM and SAP to migrate its SAP Business Warehouse reports to the new SAP HANA platform for data warehousing and analytics. Following its proven, best-practice methodology, IBM Services provisioned development, quality-assurance, regression and production environments for the SAP HANA platform.
Utilizing its deep expertise of The Kraft Heinz Company’s SAP Business Warehouse environment, IBM helped The Kraft Heinz Company to re-architect reports for all new projects—including the supply-chain transformation—to the SAP Business Warehouse LSA++ model. The aim was to offer the benefits of the in-memory analytics platform to the largest possible number of business users in the shortest possible time, and IBM Services mobilized resources from across IBM to achieve the goal within a tight timeframe.
“Working with IBM on our SAP HANA migration was a very positive experience,” says Rowie Torres. “IBM brought together all of the resources we needed to keep the project running smoothly, and the team reacted quickly to solve issues whenever they arose—this strong leadership from the IBM team became all the more important as we neared our go-live date. In fact, IBM helped us to complete our migration in just eight months—a very short timeline for a project of this size.”
Streamlining the supply chain
With SAP HANA at the heart of its analytics processes, The Kraft Heinz Company is well positioned to deliver fine-grained reports to its decision-makers—empowering them to identify and implement new efficiencies in the supply chain and beyond.
“In the past, our analytics platform was stretched to the limit, and it simply wasn’t feasible to add additional dimensions to our reports—but today, that’s all changed,” says Rowie Torres.
“The SAP HANA platform delivered by IBM Services is a key component of our digital transformation initiative. For example, we have shortened our nightly reporting batches substantially. This offers us the all-important headroom we need to accommodate ever-growing volumes of data into our reports.
“Better still, the flexibility of the SAP HANA platform makes it far easier to make changes to our data model, which means that we can roll out new reports to the business in weeks, not months.”
Rowie Torres concludes: “SAP HANA is The Kraft Heinz Company’s answer to the challenges of today’s data-driven consumer products marketplace, and we see SAP as our long-term strategic platform. By continuing our close collaboration with IBM and SAP, we are confident that we can find new ways to streamline our operations and control our costs as part of our strategic digital transformation.”
About The Kraft Heinz Company
The Kraft Heinz Company is the third-largest food and beverage company in North America, and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. With operations in more than 45 countries and eight billion-dollar brands, the company generated revenues of USD29.1 billion in 2014.
- Consumer Products: Smarter Supply Networks
- GBS AD&I - Application Development & Management
- GBS BCS - EA SAP : Core ERP Central Component - ECC
- IBM Global Business Services
- IBM-SAP Alliance