Hortifrut grows a fruitful business with Lenovo and SAP

Challenge
Diversifying the supply chain to protect revenues and deliver high-quality goods all-year-round is key in the fresh produce industry. However, by doing so, producers often end up with multiple sources of information and struggle to achieve a clear, comprehensive overview of their global business. How could berry producer Hortifrut continue to expand, when it struggled to gain a clear ongoing grasp of its operations?
 
Solution
To provide unmatched security, scalability and data processing speed to its existing SAP ERP systems, Hortifrut chose to implement SAP HANA in-memory platform on Lenovo System x3850 X6 servers. The Lenovo solution’s full availability and excellent performance is ideal for the world-leading, next-generation SAP applications and analytics that are mission-critical for Hortifrut.
 
“Collaborating with SAP and Lenovo truly transformed us into a forward-looking company, ready to pursue explosive business growth.”

Rodrigo Ampuero Peirano
CIO
Hortifrut
 
Key solution components
Industry
Consumer Products
 
Applications
SAP ERP, SAP HANA
 
Hardware
Lenovo System x3850 X6 with Intel® Xeon® E7 processor family, Storwize V3700
 
Software
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
 
Services
Lenovo Deployment Services, Lenovo Warranty Support
 
Benefits
99% faster to set up new production environments, ensuring that service delivery systems are always up and running
99% faster reporting improves decision-making
Supports continuous, explosive business growth
 
Headquartered in Santiago, Chile, Hortifrut is a leading producer and distributor of berries. The company employs nearly 700 permanent staff and over 6,000 seasonal workers, operates 30 distributing centers, and serves 37 different countries, with an annual turnover in excess of USD 350 million in 2015. With a view of expanding its business even further, Hortifrut started to face fresh challenges.

Rodrigo Ampuero Peirano, IT Manager at Hortifrut, sets the scene: “Our business is unique, because it is intrinsically interwoven with weather conditions, natural cycles and farm-related activities. All of these can potentially have a huge impact on our production and, as a result, can affect our productivity and revenues.

“To solve this challenge, we decided to diversify our supply chain. This enables us to supply fresh produce all year round and, ultimately, protects our margins and optimizes our operations. However, we began to notice that our varied supply chain approach also created difficulties in managing comprehensive product quality checks and meant that we could not gain an accurate, on-the-fly overview of our operations across the board.”

Decision-makers at Hortifrut rely on having the latest, accurate information on a wide array of areas – from sales to logistics – but obtaining this type of data was becoming complex and time-consuming for the company.

Rodrigo Ampuero Peirano comments: “When you want to make fast, meaningful decisions, which affect your operations and revenues, you always need real-time information at hand to perform accurate, in-depth analyses. With this in mind, we started looking into deploying state-of-the-art technology to support global growth.”

Best-in-class analytics platform, ultra-reliable hardware
After evaluating several latest-generation analytics solutions, Hortifrut chose to implement the SAP HANA in-memory platform for its existing SAP ERP environment – which includes modules for finance and controlling, sales and distribution, materials management, production planning, and quality management. To support its new SAP HANA environment, Hortifrut decided to implement two Lenovo System x3850 X6 servers – each with 512 GB of memory – powered by the Intel® Xeon® E7 processor family.

Rodrigo Ampuero Peirano recalls: “We chose Lenovo to support our mission-critical SAP landscape because Lenovo is the only technology partner that offers integrated processing and memory capacity, full availability and excellent performance.” 

The implementation process, which was significantly shorter and simpler than envisioned, was skillfully carried out through joint efforts from Hortifrut, Lenovo and Lenovo’s Business Partner.

Rodrigo Ampuero Peirano confirms: “During the implementation, Lenovo provided us with a demo server which we used to perform tests. Lenovo Services helped us to configure the solution to meet our exact requirements. The Lenovo team assisted us throughout the migration process, making us feel totally supported and giving us great peace of mind. Thanks to the excellent expertise provided by Lenovo, our small IT team was able to carry out and complete this implementation smoothly and without hassle.”

Hortifrut implemented two separate SAP HANA appliances, one for the production environment and another for non-production workloads. One SAP HANA instance is used as the database for the company’s SAP ERP system, while the other instance is connected to a third-party mobile application.

Rodrigo Ampuero Peirano elaborates: “This cutting-edge mobile app enables our executives to access strategic information in real time, whenever and wherever they are. Through a very user-friendly, easy-to-access interface, managers at Hortifrut can have immediate, comprehensive and accurate overview of any area of the business on-the-go.”

Reaping the benefits of real-time insights
With the SAP HANA platform in place, supported by resilient, reliable and scalable hardware from Lenovo, Hortifrut gained the real-time, in-depth business insight it needed in order to craft smarter growth strategies faster and more meaningfully.

Rodrigo Ampuero Peirano explains: “By reducing reporting times for our supply chain operations from hours to minutes or even seconds – a cut of around 99 percent – we are now able to send strategic business information across the company fast. For example, our teams can now identify which locations are most productive and which are not performing as well. With this type of knowledge, they can tweak operations accordingly, in order to optimize productivity across our several geographies.”

The high availability and resilience of the SAP HANA platform was another important consideration for Hortifrut, as Rodrigo Ampuero Peirano confirms: “Should we experience a system failure, with SAP HANA supported by high-performance Lenovo hardware, we can set up a new productive environment in just 17 minutes – 99 percent faster than in the past. This enables us to ensure that our service delivery is always up and running.”

Furthermore, the solution’s unprecedented processing speed means that Hortifrut is also able to connect a third-party mobile solution to its new SAP HANA environment.

Rodrigo Ampuero Peirano says: “Users can now connect directly with SAP HANA and instantly receive all of the information that they need. This is a complete digital transformation, which makes us ultra-agile and able to make targeted decision on-the-fly across all of our business areas.”

He concludes: “Having achieved all these incredible benefits ultimately means that we are more efficient in determining which products we need to dispatch, and that we are faster and more informed in making successful business decisions. To gain further efficiencies, we are looking at implementing SAP S/4HANA in the future. Collaborating with SAP and Lenovo truly transformed Hortifrut into a forward-looking company, ready to pursue explosive business growth.”

For more information
To learn more about Lenovo Data Center Systems solutions, contact your Lenovo Sales Representative or Lenovo Business Partner, or visit: lenovo.com/systems

To learn more about Lenovo Solution for SAP HANA, visit: lenovo.com/sap/hana

For more information about Hortifrut, visit: www.hortifrut.com
 
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