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Manufacturing Company Enables Drone-based Inventory Scanning

While they expertly deliver innovation and quality to their customers, Callaway Golf’s previous planning and reporting tool wasn’t making the cut. To evolve their enterprise, the sports giant decided to replace their outdated planning software with SAP Analytics Cloud for planning.

Together with Avvale, Callaway Golf successfully implemented SAP Analytics Cloud across their global enterprise in just 6 months. Now, Callaway Golf has a single, consolidated planning solution that has enabled streamlined expense and asset plans so they can focus on what they do best– revolutionizing the sporting world with cutting edge equipment.

Our client is a trailblazer in the automotive industry. Founded in 1917, this industry leader boasts over 160,000 employees across 253 manufacturing sites in 37 countries. Specializing in top-notch seats and advanced electrical systems, our client sets the standard for automotive excellence.

The Challenge

Efficient and reliable inventory processes are a cornerstone within industries featuring multiple manufacturing units, diverse item sizes within their stock, and a production line capable of versatile customization.
Aligned with the company's commitment to operational excellence, our client recognized a pressing challenge: the need for swifter inventory procedures while safeguarding data precision. In pursuit of this goal, the company embraced innovation by leveraging drone technology to scan barcodes on each warehouse pallet. This strategic shift aimed to usher in a new era of efficiency by dramatically accelerating the inventory count process without compromising information accuracy.

However, achieving the expected outcomes enhanced counting accuracy and remarkable speed hinged on the seamless integration of drone-acquired data into the company's central management system, SAP. This prerequisite autonomy in data transfer was pivotal to unleashing the full potential of the innovation and propelling the company towards streamlined inventory management.

The Approach

To enable inventory automation through the use of drones, Avvale developed a comprehensive solution architecture. This architecture encompasses not only the integration of the drone system with SAP, but also the creation of new workflows for various inventory-related processes such as receiving, supplying, moving, writing off, and inventory reading. These workflows encompass the coordination of people, processes, and systems.

Avvale's team of consultants, leveraging their deep understanding of the business, extensive experience in inventory management, and knowledge of the SAP system, designed the solution considering several specificities of the client's business - even if this added complexity to the project.

Recognizing the need for diverse control measures based on the different types of materials, Avvale collaborated closely with the client to develop tailored processes for establishing the control standards within the warehouse, ensuring the precise storage and management of each material type.


The Challenge

Before integrating SAP Analytics Cloud, Callaway Golf's planning landscape centered around SAP's legacy planning solution, Business Planning and Simulation (BPS). While BPS met Callaway Golf's planning needs for many years, the enterprise began to experience limitations with their old solution:

  • Disconnected plans across the board: As Callaway Golf expanded and acquired new brands, planning processes greatly differed across the enterprise with some business units using Excel spreadsheets and others using legacy solutions for planning.
  • Outdated planning functionalities: The existing legacy planning solution lacked many modern functionalities. Among them, salary calculations and asset depreciation automation needed improvement. As a result, it became difficult to create detailed and accurate forecasts across the globe.
  • Significant IT support: The legacy solution required continuous management from IT to maintain runtime. IT had to carve out a full day every week to manually maintain the solution.
  • No single source of truth: Various departments and brands used different data sources, which led to data silos across the organization, making it difficult to gain a clear picture of the enterprise's planned expenses.
  • Rigid user interface: Legacy forecasting system was difficult to navigate and lacked working functions and calculations across the board, such as planning on depreciation and existing assets, adding vendors or members on the fly, and breaking down their cost center expense planning forecasts.

The Approach

With Avvale experts on their side, Callaway Golf laid out the following goals for their new planning landscape with SAP Analytics Cloud:

  • Crowdsource and consolidate plans across the enterprise to gain a global overview of their planned expenses and expand the input capabilities to each responsible owner.
  • Leverage elevated planning functionalities to create faster and more accurate forecast cost center expense and asset reports. The ability to customize calculations enhances and automates the reporting metrics.
  • Harness the power of self-service analytics to alleviate IT from the burden of simple maintenance and data entry requests, so they can focus on high-ROI tasks.
  • Maximize user-driven admin capabilities to control the management of calculations and forms.
  • Create new KPls driven by the business needs.

When SEM-BPS was the center of Callaway Golf's planning landscape, flexibility was a huge factor that was missing. SAP Analytics Cloud contains powerful scenario planning capabilities that help organizations quickly uncover actionable insights to make data-driven decisions. For Callaway Golf, SAP Analytics Cloud's modern planning functionalities provided users with the ability to:

  • Add members on the fly
  • Plan on existing as well as planned assets and automatically calculate the depreciation of values
  • Test "what-if" scenarios for deeper analysis by creating private versions of plans
  • Customize the solution based on their current business process
  • Perform driver-based calculations
  • Empower users to execute end-to-end planning scenarios, without the help of IT

The Impact

The implementation of automated inventory management, a pivotal step in this journey, has granted multifaceted benefits. Not only has the company successfully streamlined its logistics operations, but it has also effectively curtailed the likelihood of errors, while simultaneously driving down the associated costs of executing this pivotal procedure. This efficiency amplification translates not only to enhanced productivity but also to bolstered customer satisfaction through accurate, timely deliveries.

By reducing manual intervention, the company has mitigated the risk of human errors that often plague traditional inventory management. This accuracy doesn't just enhance the internal workflow, it ripples outward, optimizing vendor relationships, order fulfillment, and overall business agility.

With the withdrawal of manual inventory counts, company resources have been reallocated towards more strategic initiatives. This dynamic shift not only elevates operational efficiency but also empowers personnel to engage in tasks that add greater value to the organization and promote a more sustainable approach to inventory management.