To maximize sales, wine merchant Eggers & Franke must stock the right products in the right stores at the right time to entice customers. How could it get its commercial recipe spot-on?
Eggers & Franke enabled rapid reporting on many aspects of its operations by migrating its SAP Business Warehouse solution to the powerful IBM® Db2® with BLU Acceleration® database.
60x fasterreport generation serves up rich insight in record time
Boostssales by enabling optimization of product mix, logistics, inventory and more
63% lowerhardware operational costs compared with other in-memory databases
Business challenge story
Tickling taste buds across the nation
Eggers & Franke is one of the top names in the German wine and spirits industry. Between its five subsidiaries, the company caters to various market segments – serving specialist, lesser-known brands alongside beverages for everyday consumption to the restaurant trade and to individual consumers via major supermarket chains.
Alexander Spitzmacher, Head of IT and Logistics at Eggers & Franke, begins: “To suit the needs of our diverse customer base, we sell our goods through a variety of channels. For example, customers can choose to shop online, visit one of our specialist wine merchants in Northern Germany, or purchase our goods at supermarkets.
“To optimize our product mix and marketing efforts, we need to know who is buying which products, which channel they purchased through, and why they chose certain goods over others. Because our customer base is so varied, it can be difficult to obtain a clear view of individuals’ purchasing behavior across all channels.”
To unearth this insight, Eggers & Franke previously relied on reporting from its SAP Business Warehouse applications. To answer detailed queries – for example, viewing all goods purchased by a particular customer, or discovering how well a certain supplier’s goods are selling – employees exported the data to spreadsheets for further analysis. To sharpen its competitive edge by accelerating time-to-insight, the company set out to improve its reporting capabilities.
Finding the recipe for success
To speed queries, Eggers & Franke decided to migrate its SAP Business Warehouse solution to the ultra-powerful IBM Db2 with BLU Acceleration database. SAP Business Warehouse supports reporting across the company’s SAP ERP landscape, which includes modules for sales and distribution, materials management, finance and controlling, and warehouse management, alongside SAP BusinessObjects.
The IBM Db2 with BLU Acceleration platform enables Eggers & Franke to slash query times, giving employees lightning-fast access to real-time reports at their fingertips.
“IBM Db2 with BLU Acceleration enables us to combine excellent query performance and flexible reporting at a much more attractive price than many competing platforms,” remarks Alexander Spitzmacher. “When we came across the solution, we knew that we had found exactly what we were looking for.”
Gaining fresh, full-bodied insight
With the new solution in place, Eggers & Franke is uncorking rich insight into many aspects of its business.
“By implementing IBM Db2 with BLU Acceleration, we have cut query times in our SAP Business Warehouse environment from approximately ten minutes to around ten seconds – a 60-fold improvement,” comments Alexander Spitzmacher. “With such rapid reporting, analysts can interact with the data in ways that were never before possible.
“By studying sales data in detail, we can develop a greater understanding of regional tastes and seasonal trends. Furthermore, we can more accurately assess the results of promotions to see what worked well and where we can improve. Ultimately, this helps us aid supermarkets in stocking the right products in the right stores at the right time to tempt customers and drive sales.”
Following initial success in its sales division, Eggers & Franke is rolling out the solution across its entire business.
Alexander Spitzmacher chimes in: “Customers who buy in bulk or purchase high-end wines are important to us and our business. To give those customers the stellar service they deserve, we tailor our communications towards topics that are likely to interest them. For example, if we are running a whisky tasting at their local store, we send a personalized invitation. Likewise, if we are offering a discount on their favorite wine, we can let them know. Small gestures like this help us build closer relationships with our customers, and strengthen their satisfaction and loyalty. In future, we plan to optimize our communications with other customers too.
“Our suppliers trust us to sell and market their beverages on their behalf, so we need to provide them with detailed information into how their goods are selling. With rapid analysis supported by Db2 with BLU Acceleration, it’s easier for us to offer rich data with breakdowns for each channel, product and more. Previously, it took 3.5 hours to generate reports like this—now, they are available in around 90 seconds. With detailed information about how their products are selling, our suppliers can plan their next move and fine-tune their strategy.”
Equipped with detailed insight into sales of each product, Eggers & Franke can match inventory levels more closely to actual demand. As a result, the company will be able to reduce the costs of purchasing, shipping and storing excess stock that must later be sold at knock-down prices.
“The insight we have achieved using Db2 with BLU Acceleration is truly exceptional,” remarks Alexander Spitzmacher. “To top it all off, because the solution compressed our data by 75 percent, we were able to switch to cheaper hardware – and we will be able to postpone future infrastructure investments.
“Once you factor in improvements like this, you realize that Db2 with BLU Acceleration offers a much lower TCO than competing platforms. In fact, when we compared the TCO of Db2 with BLU Acceleration against another leading solution, Db2 came out 63 percent cheaper, largely because of the saving on hardware operational costs. We plan to invest the freed-up budget in adapting our core business based on the principles of digital transformation.”
Alexander Spitzmacher concludes: “IBM Db2 with BLU Acceleration helps us make smarter decisions, provide better customer service and lift sales. We are benefiting enormously from the innovative technologies provided by our core vendors, IBM and SAP, and we are excited to see where the future will take us.”
About Eggers & Franke Holding GmbH
The Eggers & Franke Group is one of Germany’s leading suppliers of high-quality wines and spirits. The company imports premium beverages from many European nations and further afield, and distributes them to thousands of customers across Germany. Headquartered in Bremen, Eggers & Franke was founded in 1804 and employs 180 people.
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