Anna Aluminium gains the capacity to grow

Processing customer orders 94 percent faster with IBM and SAP

Published on 07-Jun-2012

Validated on 02 Dec 2013

"As a result of the performance of our IBM System x servers and the visibility afforded by our integrated SAP ERP solution, we can now process orders in just 10 minutes — 94 percent faster than before." - Issac Varghese, Systems Manager, Anna Aluminum

Customer:
Anna Aluminium

Industry:
Retail

Deployment country:
India

Solution:
Business Integration, Business Resiliency, Enterprise Resource Planning, Information Integration, Small & Medium Business, Virtualization - Storage

IBM Business Partner:
Wipro

Overview

Anna Aluminium is part of the Anna Group, an Indian conglomerate with interests in textiles, ready-to-cook foods, spices and aluminium homewares. Anna Aluminium employs 2,200 of the Group’s 2,500 personnel, and turns over around $77.8m per annum. Headquartered in Cochin, India, the company trades both through distributors and directly from its 15 outlet stores.

Business need:
Anna Aluminium's outdated hardware and software lacked the performance to process growing numbers of customer orders on time — risking delays and loss of customer satisfaction.

Solution:
Anna Aluminium implemented SAP ERP with SAP DBA Cockpit software and IBM DB2®, running on IBM System x® 3650 class servers with intelligent Intel Xeon processors, connected to an IBM Storwize® V7000 Unified Disk System.

Benefits:
The IBM and SAP solution enables Anna Aluminium to process customer orders in 10 minutes — a 94 percent improvement — increasing responsiveness and promoting business growth.

Case Study

Anna Aluminium is part of the Anna Group, an Indian conglomerate with interests in textiles, ready-to-cook foods, spices and aluminium homewares. Anna Aluminium employs 2,200 of the Group’s 2,500 personnel, and turns over around $77.8m per annum. Headquartered in Cochin, India, the company trades both through distributors and directly from its 15 outlet stores.

Growing pains
After rapidly increasing its share of a competitive market, Anna Aluminium wanted to continue to drive its strong business growth. As the company won more customers, the surge in orders was putting a strain on its legacy applications, which were unable to process orders and plan manufacturing quickly enough to meet demand.

Issac Varghese, Systems Manager at Anna Aluminum, explains: “Anna Aluminium has been growing by around 20-30 percent year on year for the past five years. We wanted to sustain this rapid growth, but our legacy applications could not keep up.

“For example, the lack of integration between our sales order systems, inventory control application and our production planning systems made it difficult to service new orders effectively. As a result, it was difficult to schedule manufacturing, and our factory’s production capacity was often underutilized—incurring costs for the business.

“Whenever we receive a new order, we need to combine information from multiple systems to source materials, plan manufacturing and provide our customers with a delivery date. In the past, we had to extract data from each application manually, which took three hours per order. Our industry is extremely time-sensitive. Without the agility to react quickly to customer orders, we risked losing business.”

Selecting a new platform
To find the optimal platform to enable business growth, Anna Aluminium reviewed offerings from a number of hardware and ERP software vendors.

“Ultimately, we chose SAP ERP, as we were very impressed by the potential of the product to integrate our business processes,” says Issac Varghese. “To support the SAP applications, we selected IBM System x servers and the IBM Storwize V7000 disk storage as we felt these were the best fit for our business requirements of price and performance.”

Anna Aluminium engaged IBM to implement five IBM System x rack-mount servers connected to the IBM Storwize V7000 storage system. To ensure the resiliency of critical business data, the company purchased an IBM System Storage® TS3100 Tape Library Express, managed by IBM Business Continuity and Resiliency Services.

The high performance and scalability of the IBM System x servers and the IBM Storwize V7000 gives Anna Aluminium the flexibility to support new SAP applications as they grow.

Choosing the right database
Anna Aluminium took the opportunity to review its database strategy, and considered the options for the new SAP software environment.

“We initially considered installing the latest version of Oracle,” says Issac Varghese. “However, when our Business Partner Wipro informed us that DB2 is developed in close collaboration with SAP ERP, we realized it was an option worth investigating further. We calculated that the reduced patching requirements that would result from the synchronized release cycles of DB2 and Oracle would offer us lower database administration costs than the equivalent Oracle platform.

“In addition, we discovered that SAP DBA Cockpit software for DB2 had the potential to increase the automation of database management tasks, further reducing the administrative workload.”

Anna Aluminium’s IBM Premier Business Partner Wipro installed SAP ERP with applications for materials management, sales and distribution, finance, quality assurance and production planning. To manage the company’s IBM DB2 database, Wipro installed SAP DBA Cockpit software.

“The IBM hardware installation took a month in total, and our SAP ERP production environment was up and running in eight,” says Issac Varghese. “We were very satisfied with the work of the IBM team, whose professional approach ensured that the hardware implementation went smoothly, and was completed on schedule and within budget.”

Processing more orders—faster
With the new SAP applications running on the IBM System x servers, Anna Aluminium has achieved its objective of accelerating its customer order processes.

“In the past, it used to take us three hours to process customer orders, which led to costly production delays,” says Issac Varghese. “As a result of the performance of our IBM System x servers and the visibility afforded by our integrated SAP ERP solution, we can now process orders in just 10 minutes — 94 percent faster than before. Thanks to these improvements, we’ve dramatically increased the speed and efficiency with which we can process, manufacture and deliver customer orders.

“What’s more, because the data extraction processes have been automated, we’ve reduced the business risk of human error. Today, our production plans are more accurate, enabling customer orders to be delivered on time, every time.”

Reducing administration workload
SAP DBA Cockpit software has helped the company to reduce the system administration requirements of its new SAP ERP platform. Issac Varghese comments: “Compared to the time spent on data management on our previous Oracle and SQL databases, we estimate that by migrating to IBM DB2 we have saved 10 to 15 hours a month. This frees our IT team to focus on more valuable activities for the business, such as development.”

“We are extremely satisfied with our IBM and SAP solution,” concludes Issac Varghese. “With SAP ERP applications running on a high-performance System x platform, we have gained the capacity and agility to process increasing numbers of customer orders quickly and efficiently. Thanks to the solution, we are fully able to take advantage of our current level of business, and well-placed to support growth in the future.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Storage: Storwize V7000 Unified, System x, System x: System x3650 M3

Software:
DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows

Service:
AMS: Enterprise App Outsourcing - SAP ERP, IBM-SAP Alliance

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012. IBM Corporation, Systems and Technology Group, Route 100, Somers, NY 10589. Produced in the United States of America. June 2012. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, DB2, System Storage, Storwize, and System x are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. SAP ERP and SAP DBA Cockpit are not IBM products or offerings. SAP ERP and SAP DBA Cockpit are sold or licensed, as the case may be, to users under SAP’s terms and conditions, which are provided with the product or offering. Availability, and any and all warranties, services and support for SAP ERP and SAP DBA Cockpit are the direct responsibility of, and are provided directly to users by, SAP.