Textile Rubber and Chemical Company (TRCC) began as a small latex firm in Dalton, Georgia, in 1956. Today, it has grown into a multinational chemical and technology company doing business on five continents, with manufacturing facilities worldwide.
Following an extended period of growth and expansion, the company found itself faced with 22 independent enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and databases nearing the end of life. The situation was further complicated by the adoption of multiple third-party add-ons over the years. This siloed infrastructure required TRCC to use painstaking manual processes to generate many key reports. In some cases, it took several weeks just to produce a monthly financial report for the company’s CEO. This meant that by the time the report was completed, the information was already out-of-date.
To overcome these unacceptable performance issues, TRCC executives knew they needed to better integrate and unify the company’s disparate systems. As an important part of this process, management sought to deploy a new ERP system capable of consolidating all of the company’s mission-critical operational and transactional data.
TRCC executives also realized that a migration to a more agile business intelligence (BI) environment was imperative to enabling timely and accurate decision making. The ultimate goal: Provide self-service, on-demand access to financial, operational and sales information at a detailed level across the enterprise.
As a first step in consolidating and integrating its key business systems, TRCC moved forward with deploying SAP Business Suite applications – specifically the SAP ERP application. This allowed the company to reap immediate benefits in operational efficiency, along with significant performance gains in its order processing and inventory management systems.
Impressed with these improvements, TRCC executives challenged the IT team to find a system with the processing power to provide more granular, real-time reporting. The team initially considered a traditional data warehousing solution, but quickly determined that the complexity of managing dual online analytical processing and online transaction processing systems would likely overwhelm the company’s four-person IT staff. Looking for a streamlined solution, TRCC chose to migrate SAP Business Suite to the SAP HANA platform, which would provide the company with a single source for operational and analytical workloads. In addition, the company leveraged SAP HANA Live – with its more than 850 virtual data models – to deliver expanded real-time operational analysis.
To ensure a successful BI environment, TRCC partnered with Protiviti to implement best practices with SAP HANA and SAP HANA Live. The Protiviti team consulted with business stakeholders during several sessions to understand and develop the necessary requirements, then used the identified short- and long-term goals to create a BI road map and establish milestones. The working sessions served to establish important relationships among business executives and guaranteed that the processes set in place would promote collaboration and ensure project success. Following these initial steps, the team selected the SAP® BusinessObjects™ business intelligence platform as the BI solution, based on its robustness and flexible architecture. Finally, using an iterative process in collaboration with the business stakeholders, the team built custom dashboards that provided executives with a consolidated view of key performance indicators using real-time financial, sales and operational data.
Within weeks of the implementation, TRCC saw report performance improve four to six times, with the added ability to view summary financial reports by profit center, month-over-month sales by representative, and production efficiencies by plant. Plus, executives and managers could now drill down to the document level to get to the source of issues faster when analyzing variance, comparison and trend reports.
More important, TRCC division managers could now determine if the company was profitable on a daily, weekly or monthly basis by reviewing real-time profit-and-loss, sales, manufacturing, production planning and inventory reports – a long way from the manually-compiled, out-of-date reporting prior to the implementation of SAP HANA. The up-to-the-minute reporting also allows management to forecast profitability prior to the close of the fiscal period. Finally, customizable visualization tools and dashboards made critical business metrics easier to understand and digest. For example, using the visualizations created by SAP BusinessObjects, management was able to instantly uncover and remedy a particular product line inefficiency, saving the company thousands of dollars per day.
“Protiviti has the unique ability to understand the needs of the business users and the functional capabilities of the SAP technologies being used, which is a critical factor for success,” said Bo Coppinger, Director of IT at TRCC. “They added tremendous value to the requirements process and delivered a powerful BI solution for real-time operational reporting within 90 days!”