Luen Heng Supports Rapid Growth with SAP on AWS
Maintaining Business Continuity
Since 1956, Luen Heng has been helping Malaysians celebrate. The company is one of the country’s top alcoholic beverage distributors and is the only competitor in the market offering a premium range of beer and wine in addition to spirits. Until 2015, Luen Heng operated as a managed subsidiary of Carlsberg Group. That year, the company was divested from Carlsberg and had to quickly decide how to independently manage its IT infrastructure, including its core ERP system on SAP.
Luen Heng’s management team was keen to expand their product line to better serve customer demands, and speed-to-market was a priority. However, Operations Director Esther Choong sought to maintain Luen Heng’s lean operations model and its back-office team of just 30 people. “We wanted minimum disruption to the business when moving SAP away from Carlsberg,” Esther says.
With SAP S/4HANA on AWS, we can transform raw data into key information that enables management to make timelier decisions.”
Operations Director, Luen Heng
Hassle-Free Backups and Maintenance
Luen Heng turned to E-Outsource Asia, an APN Consulting Partner, for end-to-end SAP managed services. E-Outsource Asia recommended migrating to the AWS Cloud to minimize disruption to the existing operation, facilitate business expansion, and easily add computing resources in the cloud. Esther and her team had an established relationship with E-Outsource Asia since the Carlsberg days and valued its expertise and understanding of Luen Heng’s business. She supported the cloud migration to improve flexibility, so SAP users could access system data from any WiFi-connected device.
The migration was completed in three stages. In stage one, Luen Heng migrated its existing ECC 6.0 version of SAP to the AWS Cloud and carved out the data and configurations to support the newly independent company. This occurred over a period of three months. The next stage, which also took three months, focused on converting the system to SAP S/4HANA. E-Outsource Asia first set up Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances for SAP and an AWS Virtual Private Network (AWS VPN) for site-to-site connectivity from Luen Heng’s network to AWS.
Because Luen Heng does not have a dedicated onsite IT team, it relied on E-Outsource Asia to configure automation services such as AWS Lambda for backups and CloudEndure Disaster Recovery for data protection. Luen Heng reports a data recovery time of 10 minutes or less, which is standard for enterprises. Esther appreciates the “hassle-free backups and maintenance” from the E-Outsource Asia team and AWS.
Enhanced Analytics and Reporting
Since migrating to SAP S/4HANA on AWS, Esther’s team has commented on how the user experience is simplified, there are fewer steps to complete regular tasks, and they can accomplish tasks faster. These improvements give them confidence to experiment within SAP and enhance efficiency, with the straightforward ability to adapt their user interface to get the data they need. “Taking advantage of AWS has helped Luen Heng become independent in an agile fashion,” says Steven Lim, managing director and principal consultant at E-Outsource Asia.
Enhanced analytics and reporting functions are a big benefit of moving to S/4HANA. Esther says, “With SAP S/4HANA on AWS, we can transform raw data into key information that enables management to make timelier decisions.” For example, Luen Heng is now able to customize reports for sales and marketing about customers’ buying patterns. This helps the company devise appropriate strategies and product offers to boost sales.
Faster Information with SAP Fiori
In stage three of its SAP evolution on the AWS Cloud, E-Outsource Asia introduced Luen Heng to the SAP Fiori, the improved visual interface for S/4HANA. One of the greatest benefits of SAP Fiori is its functionality across devices, which allows users remote access to business data, supported by AWS VPN. Now, Luen Heng’s sales reps can immediately answer customers’ product-related questions without contacting people in the office or warehouse and having to wait for them to manually check inventory. This saves at least half a day in customer response time, which is critical in the beverage world.
“SAP Fiori on the AWS Cloud is fantastic because we get information quicker on our mobile phones,” Esther says. “Customers call us to inquire about their order. We can check the order status right away from wherever we are, often committing to a delivery time within 24 hours. I’m always trying to cut our timelines, emphasizing speed-to-market.”
Improving Inventory Management
Since becoming independent, the number of SKUs under Luen Heng’s management has doubled from 1,000 to 2,000. And even with a more complex product landscape, the company has maintained the same number of staff, thanks to the managed services delivered by E-Outsource Asia that have simplified the migration to SAP S/4HANA on the AWS Cloud. Luen Heng has also moved into a new, larger warehouse and is now implementing the SAP Warehouse Management System (WMS) module.
WMS will transform the way warehouse employees work, with handheld devices connected to SAP on the AWS Cloud. The devices can scan barcodes and QR codes to ensure a first-in, first-out approach to inventory management. Furthermore, the devices can even store photographs of bottle labels to expedite product identification by its foreign employees in Malaysia who might not be able to read label contents in English. Esther anticipates that WMS will improve Luen Heng’s ecommerce operations with real-time inventory reports and enhanced aging analyses.
At Luen Heng’s recommendation, its shareholder partner in Singapore has also recently launched SAP S/4HANA with WMS on the AWS Cloud. Teams can now instantly cross-check each other’s inventories and replenish out-of-stock products across borders. “A shared SAP system not only supports business expansion but also enables more effective group reporting,” Esther says.
Robust Backend System
In the four years since divestiture, Luen Heng’s sales have risen by 300 percent. “We have a really reliable and agile SAP ERP system running on the AWS Cloud, so our teams can go out and sell more,” Esther says. A robust backend system hosted on AWS has enabled swift, seamless operations to accommodate growing sales. “We were able to focus on our business without disruption because E-Outsource Asia managed our SAP system on AWS. Sales continue to grow tremendously and we’ve never looked back.”
To learn more, visit SAP on AWS.
About Luen Heng
Luen Heng has been distributing food, beverages, and sundry items to customers in Malaysia since 1956. The company was divested from Carlsberg Group in 2015 and now operates as a joint venture with a partner in Singapore.
Benefits of AWS
- Enables remote access to business systems and data on the cloud
- Saves half a day in customer response times
- Expands sales by 300%
- Doubles number of SKUs under management
- Enhances reporting and analytics with international business partner
- Automates backups and achieves a data recovery window of 10 minutes or less
AWS Services Used
AWS Virtual Private Network
AWS Virtual Private Network solutions establish secure connections between your on-premises networks, remote offices, client devices, and the AWS global network.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) provides a wide selection of instance types optimized to fit different use cases. Instance types comprise varying combinations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity and give you the flexibility to choose the appropriate mix of resources for your applications.
CloudEndure Disaster Recovery
CloudEndure Disaster Recovery minimizes downtime and data loss by providing fast, reliable recovery of physical, virtual, and cloud-based servers into AWS.
AWS Lambda lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers. You pay only for the compute time you consume.
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