Consumers are hungry for detailed information about the ingredients in food. How can producers like Aryzta capture and share this information so supermarkets can help customers make informed choices?
To manage vast volumes of product data effectively, Aryzta upgraded to SAP Business Warehouse running on IBM Power Systems, hosted in a private cloud by Freudenberg IT (FIT).
75%faster drill-down reporting for executives, from 40 to 10 seconds
95%improvement in ETL processes for cost of goods calculations
>30%reduction in TCO from choosing IBM Power Systems over an appliance model
Business challenge story
Growing appetites for data
As awareness around health and nutrition grows, consumers are paying closer attention to the ingredients used in the food they eat. For example, people check to see whether ingredients have been ethically and sustainably sourced, and some wish to avoid specific ingredients.
As a result, food manufacturers like Aryzta are facing increased pressure to track, analyze and share information about their products, from the extended supply chain, right through to the cakes, pastries and muffins they deliver to restaurants and retail customers.
That’s not the only change afoot. E-commerce enables retailers to track and analyze customer behaviour in new ways, while Internet of Things (IoT) technology generates unprecedented insight into production processes.
These changes encapsulate several overarching trends: a shift towards digitization, and an increase in the volume and variety of data that Aryzta needs to collect, analyze and manage. As Aryzta prepares for a data-driven future, the company found that its existing data warehouse was struggling to keep up to speed with these and other innovations in the sector.
Anoop Mohan, Division Vice President of IT at Aryzta, explains, “As the food manufacturing industry becomes more data-oriented, we must maintain the ability to extract insights from various sources of information quickly and efficiently. We found that our existing data warehouse running on aging IT infrastructure was no longer able to answer inquiries quickly enough. The hardware was old and nearing end-of-life, and it simply couldn’t handle the increased workload.
“Outages began to occur almost daily, reducing the timeliness of our reports. To manage the situation, we were moving data off the system, which imposed additional manual workload, and did not provide us with a good long-term solution, especially with data volumes set to explode in the coming years.”
Taking a fresh approach
As a company with years of experience using SAP solutions, Aryzta was eager to upgrade to the latest version of SAP® Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA. However, the company found that the available SAP HANA appliance was simply too large for its needs, meaning that Aryzta would incur a higher total cost of ownership (TCO) and pay for capacity it did not require.
Aryzta engaged Freudenberg IT (FIT), an IBM Business Partner and global managed IT services provider, which recommended deploying the SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA application on IBM Power Systems running the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications operating system in a private cloud. FIT assessed the current data warehouse size at 12 TB and designed a solution capable of scaling to 16 TB without incurring additional licensing costs. FIT takes on responsibility for every aspect of the infrastructure, which is delivered as a service to Aryzta, and includes managed services for the SAP HANA application.
FIT’s infrastructure environment comprises IBM Power System E880, IBM Power System E850C and IBM Power System S824L servers. The servers are virtualized using IBM PowerVM® technology, enabling Aryzta to run multiple virtual machines within a single server. The virtual machines are configured to provide processor, memory, network and storage resources to deliver maximal system response in the most cost-efficient manner, while optimizing SAP HANA licensing. The solution also offers Live Partition Mobility, which allows virtual machines to be moved from one system to another with no service interruption. As such, FIT can provide continuous uptime for Aryzta even during infrastructure maintenance windows.
Aryzta is considering implementing SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, hosted on IBM Power Systems, to further enhance its analytics capabilities. The SAP HANA database design enables very fast response to standard and ad-hoc queries without the need to pre-configure data InfoCubes, offering considerable savings in technical workload and accelerating reporting capabilities.
Anoop Mohan comments, “Having worked with FIT for over six years, we were confident that they understood our business in detail and had both the expertise and experience to help us build a data warehouse tailored to our analytics needs. By opting for a managed infrastructure as a service solution with FIT, we knew we could keep our total cost of ownership low, while also gaining the benefits of increased scalability and faster reporting.
“Thanks to the professionalism and expertise of the FIT team, we achieved an incredibly smooth upgrade to SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA. The entire project ran on time—it was one of the smoothest implementations that I have ever been personally responsible for. FIT assigned dedicated consultants to the project, who brought deep technical knowledge to the table, and FIT proved once again to be a very reliable partner to us. What’s more, the post go-live support has been excellent, with FIT always available to help us find a quick resolution to any issues as soon as they arise.
“By moving to a private cloud solution for SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems, we open the door to many more opportunities. We can enhance and extend the core applications by integrating other SAP solutions onto a single SAP HANA instance. Because SAP HANA is hosted on the IBM Power Systems platform, we can extend the capacity of the SAP solutions without big jumps to new appliances in fixed sizes.”
Ingredients for future success
The new SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA, hosted by FIT on an IBM Power Systems server, has greatly accelerated Aryzta’s ingredients tracking, reduced IT management costs and cut license fees. The team no longer moves data on and off the platform, and if the need for additional capacity arises, the FIT team can allocate additional resources to the virtual machine as required.
Running SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems means that Aryzta can add new SAP applications, while FIT handles the infrastructure configuration to ensure the company continues to meet its business objectives.
Anoop Mohan continues, “SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA is a hugely reliable platform. We no longer restart our analytics system daily or move data between different systems. As a result, we have accelerated many of our key reports, reducing our time to insight. Because of this, we can deliver prompt responses to customer inquiries.
“For example, we can now complete the extract, transform and load processes for our cost of goods calculations in less than 15 minutes using SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems, instead of the 5 hours it used to take—that’s a 95 percent improvement! Similarly, the component that enables our executives to drill down into top-level metrics for all our manufacturing activities now runs 75 percent faster, offering a huge benefit for the staff who utilize this dashboard daily.”
By choosing the infrastructure as a service approach with FIT, Aryzta estimates that it has reduced its total cost of ownership by up to 30 percent, while also gaining access to round-the-clock support. Choosing IBM Power Systems over appliances has also cut energy consumption by over 50 percent.
“While the changes we have made in this project are focused on the IT infrastructure that supports our daily operations, they have also had a significant impact on our business processes, from inventory levels to product expiry dates. With SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems, we now have much deeper insight into our core business processes, from delivering raw ingredients to growing fresh produce.”
Anoop Mohan concludes, “Most importantly, SAP and IBM technologies are key enablers for providing highly detailed product information that consumers now expect. With SAP HANA hosted by FIT on IBM Power Systems, Aryzta is building a stronger understanding of consumer behavior. The simplified infrastructure enabled by the private cloud approach helps us meet the demands of a digital tomorrow.”
ARYZTA AG is an international food business with a leadership position in frozen and specialty bakery products. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, Aryzta operates in the Americas, Asia, Australasia and Europe. In 2017 the group posted revenues of EUR 3.8 billion and employed more than 20,000 people. The company sells through retail and convenience stores, Quick Serve Restaurants (‘QSR’) and other foodservice categories.
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Power Systems for SAP HANA, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/power/saphana
Freudenberg IT (FIT), a brand of the Freudenberg Group, is a global leader in managed IT services steeped in SAP expertise, serving hundreds of clients in a broad range of sectors. Founded in the German town of Weinheim, the company has grown to acquire a global presence spanning Europe, America and Asia. The FIT mission is dovetailed on a regional and global level to place a clear focus on transforming complexity into user-friendliness – in other words: “IT Solutions. Simplified."