Major Mexican Retailer – SAP F&R and BW

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Major Mexican Retailer Introduction

The context

A major national Mexican retail chain is on a constant journey towards Digital Transformation. Within Mexico, The Company competes with other industry giants such as Walmart, and for the past several years, they were seeking a partner to help them stay competitive through innovation and efficient use of technology. One of the most important challenges The Company needed to solve was to deliver on the promise of gaining agility and resilience by migrating their SAP ECC to a cloud environment.

The challenge

The challenges that NEORIS focused on solving with this project:

  • The Company did Forecast and Replenishment for four months in advance, using most of the night to process all its stores. Because the F&R processing lasted all night long, The Company had to start the process at 11:00 PM. With some stores in different regions closing at 10:00 PM, information about the inventories and tickets weren’t processed in time, generating inaccuracy in the forecasting.
  • On Shelf Availability (the KPI) was affected negatively by the lack of visibility in stores that were unable to submit all the information on time before starting the batch process.
  • The Company needed to comply with SAP migration strategy to HANAto avoid an obsolescence risk when the out of support period arrive.
  • On-prem version of BW had several performance issues. For example,1 week of delta data took 1 hour to load

Our solution

To solve The Company’s challenges, we reached out and collaborated with our best ally, Microsoft.

  • Team: Microsoft Account Team(Mexico and Black Belt Team); and from NEORIS, our SAP practice, functional and basis, as well as our architecture group and the Retail&CPG industry.
  • Sandbox: to avoid delays in the delivery of the project, NEORIS facilitated The Company with a Microsoft Azure CSP subscription to enable the Sandbox long before Microsoft and the LSP partner could finish agreements, thus reducing potential delays.
  • Production Environment: in fewer than 4 months, we enabled SAP Forecasting and Replenishment, as well as BW4 HANA on Azure, delivering before the committed date and surpassing expectations for The Company.
  • Key Technology involved: SAP F&R on HANA, SAP BW ON HANA, ExpressRoute and AZURE IaaS certified infrastructure for SAP applications.
  • Architecture size: currently the solution utilizes over 40 servers, with the potential to arrive at 150 servers with the migration of the ECC, PO, Data Services, Data Steward and all the SAP components that form The Company’s current SAP landscape.

Project Outcomes

  • Previously, The Company used to process up to 4 months of Forecast and Replenishment in 7 hours. By moving F&R to Azure, we accomplished processing up to 6 months of F&R in just 3 hours, enabling the customer to start processing at 3:00 AM when all the stores have closed and sent their inventory data. This represents a 150% improvement in processing times and a 50% longer forecasting horizon
  • Being able to process F&R utilizing all data from all stores has meant 17.34% improvement in the accuracy of the algorithm.
  • BW processing times improved exponentially. Previously, 1 week of delta data used to take 1 hour to be loaded. Now, 5 weeks of delta data take less than 28%, achieving over 400% improvement in loading time.
  • Key Technology involved: SAP F&R on HANA, SAP BW ON HANA, ExpressRoute and AZURE IaaS certified infrastructure for SAP applications.
  • The current infrastructure provides The Company a greater flexibility, as well as a reliable disaster recovery environment which they did not have previously because of budget constraints.
  • Before this project, The Company had a conservative culture regarding technology adoption. Now, thanks to this project, The Company executives are more receptive to Digital Transformation, and willing to invest in technology to solve their problems and better understand the needs of their customers.