Business challenge

To keep its US manufacturing business growing in a competitive market, this company must deliver top-quality products, super-fast. How could it meet those high expectations without breaking the bank?

Transformation

With SAP applications running on the IBM mainframe, this manufacturer can deliver high-quality products and responsive service, keeping customers happy and keeping the business on track for profitable growth.

Results

Improves

agility with lightning-fast performance and deep insight into operations

Sharpens

competitiveness, helping maintain market-leading edge

Boosts

profitability by driving tight control over operating costs

Business challenge story

Meeting new demands

As markets become more global and customers demand more for their money, manufacturers must work harder than ever to deliver greater value at lower cost. To maintain profitability, many companies have moved production to lower-cost geographies. This manufacturer has taken a very different approach, retaining US-based operations that focus on customer service and constant innovation to drive down costs and remain competitive.

“SAP and IBM z Systems allows us to operate an incredibly streamlined and seamless manufacturing process.”

—Spokesperson, manufacturing company

A spokesperson elaborates: “We don’t try to compete with other manufacturers on price. Our products are used in settings where they have to work all the time, without fail, and our customers are willing to pay a premium for this kind of quality and reliability.”

To meet customers’ high expectations, the company must ensure that every link in the manufacturing chain—from order generation to final delivery—works seamlessly, so that it can offer the highest-value products in the shortest timeframes. In order to keep the business on track for profitable growth, the company needs to do all of this while keeping a tight rein on operating costs.

Transformation story

Trusting in IBM and SAP solutions

So how does the company bring it all together? With SAP Business Suite applications running on IBM® z Systems™ hardware.

“IBM and SAP have formed an integral part of our business strategy for many years,” notes a spokesperson. “By running SAP applications on the mainframe, we have been able to drive down costs, raise our production efficiency, and enhance our customer service.”

To keep its business on the leading edge and maintain top levels of performance and reliability for mission-critical applications, the manufacturer continues to invest in the latest IBM technology. The company recently upgraded to the IBM z13™—taking advantage of enhanced capacity and new levels of performance.

Currently, the company runs its SAP application servers in virtual Linux environments on the z13, using IBM z/VM® virtualization technology, while supporting IBM DB2® for z/OS databases in IBM z/OS® partitions.

Seamless DB2 upgrade

The company has upgraded to IBM DB2 for z/OS version 11, taking advantage of enhanced availability and performance, among other new features. A fast, seamless migration helped deliver rapid value from the upgraded solution.

A spokesperson comments: “One of the great things about DB2 Version 11 is it just simply works. The migration itself was very straightforward: from the point where we started all the way to the point where we moved it into production took less than about a month and a half.

“I think the main reason why we continue to go with DB2 is first of all reliability. Two, it has a proven history of success; and three, because we know that the relationship that we have with IBM is unmatched.”

Results story

High performance at low cost

With the z13 offering up to 10 TB of memory and the industry’s highest processing power, the manufacturer can guarantee top performance for even the most demanding application workloads.

A spokesperson explains: “Our SAP landscape is growing all the time as we expand our operations and bring new capabilities to the business. For example, we will soon be managing payroll for our parent company’s entire North American operations with SAP Business Suite.

“As our SAP environment grows, we must dedicate more memory and storage space to handle the increased demand. With IBM z13 we can take advantage of greater throughput and capacity to keep SAP applications running at top levels of performance.

“In fact, we’ve seen extraordinary performance improvements as we’ve grown with the z Systems platform over the years. When we first started running SAP applications, achieving response times of less than a second seemed like an impossibility. Today, we can guarantee .4 second response times on the z13, which is just remarkable.”

Importantly, new economic efficiencies mean that the company can achieve these performance gains at low operational cost.

Greater value for customers

IBM and SAP solutions give the manufacturer the agility that it needs to compete in an increasingly global market.

A spokesperson says: “The combination of SAP and IBM z Systems allows us to operate an incredibly streamlined and seamless manufacturing process. If we relied on a different mix of systems, we would have a lot more moving parts to keep track of and it would cost much more. With IBM and SAP it all comes together in a single platform that gives us deep insight and tight control over the end-to-end manufacturing process.

“To give an example, we received an order from Singapore, the request went through to our US-based engineering team in under an hour, and the design specifications were sent to our manufacturing division the very next day. From start to finish, it took just two days for a one-of-a-kind product to be designed, built and shipped out to the customer.”

A spokesperson concludes: “It is this kind of responsiveness that helps us to stay at the top of our game. When you are delivering products to customers worldwide, every single process must run as smoothly as possible, without error or delay. With SAP applications running on IBM z Systems we can do just that. Our teams can access the information they need to ensure that manufacturing processes run without a hitch. This, in turn, allows us to deliver the highest quality products to customers on time, helping us maintain our reputation as a high value, high customer service business.”

About Manufacturing company

This company designs, manufactures and markets industrial electric motors, drives, and mechanical power transmission products. The company sells its products to distributors and original equipment manufacturers in more than 70 countries worldwide.