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Gates Corporation Captures Critical Customer Insights with SAP Business Technology Platform

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 To evolve their enterprise, the sports giant decided to replace their outdated planning software with SAP Analytics Cloud for planning.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.

A driving force in the automotive and industrial spaces, Gates Corporation manufactures critical upstream products such as power transmission belts and fluid power products, which are used across industrial and automotive applications. The company operates in 30 countries with over 15,000 employees, generating $3.5 billion in revenue.

The Challenge

Customers and distributors use Gates’ crimping machines to attach couplings onto hoses using various specifications to meet individual business needs. Machine Operators relied on outdated manuals and paper catalogs to perform their job on a highly antiquated piece of industrial machinery that had never been connected to the internet. To service their customers more proactively, Gates' needed real-time insights such as parts used, machine location, and crimp frequency to fully capture critical data usage across a core part of their business. 


The Approach

Together with Avvale, Gates developed a custom mobile application and a Bluetooth-enabled, custom printed circuit board that was attached to an industrial machine to analyze machine activity and provide mission critical and real-time data back to Gates, leveraging strategic components of SAP Business Technology Platform. SAP HANA Cloud, SAP Analytics Cloud, and SAP Fiori were just a few of the core technical components that enabled the end-to-end, cloud-based solution. 


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

Gates was first in their market to introduce an innovative product offering that disrupted traditional manufacturing processes while cultivating deeper collaboration with customers. Based on cloud connectivity and systems integration, Gates’ Intelligent Crimper has been lauded for its innovation, winning the 2020 Leadership in Engineering Achievement Program (LEAP) Award.

Operators rely on connected technologies and an intuitive touch-screen application to safely perform crimps in a more time-effective manner. All tutorials, preferences, specifications, and parts information are a touch or scroll away while maintaining a live connection to SAP. In addition, Gates has unparalleled insight on customer consumption and product usage in real-time, enabling future revenue streams via maintenance requests, replacement parts, and a deeper level of customer relationship.

By connecting machines, technologies, and business, Gates has increased their ability to gain insights, improve demand creation, and enabled an intelligent platform that can better serve their customers.


Image Credit: Gates Corporation