Offering a wide array of beverage products, ThaiBev is a big manufacturer that comprises numerous business groups. Effective business operations must be enabled by a robust IT system that can serve every business needs. “Judged from the high number of transactions and business groups, ThaiBev is considered to be a large-scale company. Our IT team is responsible for managing a part of IT infrastructure and systems for 70 companies in total, with hundreds of thousands of transactions per month,” explained Teerapan Luengnaruemitchai, Director, Office of Information Technology at Thai Beverage PLC. “To enable ThaiBev to respond to consumers’ needs and fierce competition in the beverage market, our IT system must be capable of fulfilling all of our business requirements while delivering transparent operations, management and accounting data as well as implementing good corporate governance practices.
Like any large organizations with subsidiaries, each business group under ThaiBev has had their own IT and accounting systems with disparate data sources. That means each company has had its own distinct set of product ID, customer ID, and partner ID. This problem has impeded the company’s ability to expand and compete in the fast-changing market.
The company management agreed that, if this problem still continued, at the end, ThaiBev would have had to hire a larger IT team to support all of the IT systems. And with its plan of entering the stock market, it was necessary for ThaiBev to rectify the problem and reengineer the whole IT infrastructure to comply with the good corporate governance practices. “To reengineer our IT systems, we needed a world-class solution. Everyone in this project all agreed that it should be the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution from SAP, which is the world’s leading ERP solution,” Teerapan said. “Finally, we
decided to adopt a Cloud-based SAP solution and outsourced all of our IT deployment tasks to a professional third-party service provider. This will help support future business expansion for us and allow our IT team to focus on developing IT infrastructure to facilitate our internal business operations.”
However, ThaiBev faced another challenge: how the company would utilize and fully take advantage of a state-of-the-art and complex solution like ERP, without having to hire more IT staff. Generally, to support SAP applications, many organizations would need to add 4-5 more IT staff. With ThaiBev, because of its size, it would need to add a lot more than that.
SAP deployment for 35 companies within short period
To respond to such challenges, ThaiBev established a standard business process for systems and data aggregation and implemented it across every subsidiary company. After the data was refined, it was imported into SAP ERP system. “After we successfully deployed SAP to the first company with the aggregated data sources and system, we could make and use that as a template to roll out to other companies. As a result, the deployment took only short time to achieve and required not many people to do it,” Teerapan added. “The standard business process and data template have enabled us to achieve the successful SAP deployment in a short timeframe using small workforce. In 2008, we had a big IT project where we deployed SAP for 35 companies simultaneously and could finish it in just only 1.5 years. It could be said that we had made a new record for fastest SAP deployment in Thailand. Also, we rolled out the system to the subsidiary companies in less than 30 days.”
Apart from having the standard work process and data sources, another factor contributing to the success of the project was a support from a team of professionals. ThaiBev has chosen to adopt the SAP application hosted on Cloud, with TCC Technology (TCCT) helping to manage the IT infrastructure for the company. “TCCT’s expertise in SAP data center helped enable 100% availability of ThaiBev’s SAP services. TCCT managed our system with great efficiency and effectively planned system resources according to different system loads during the day. We have outsourced all of our system administration tasks – both infrastructure and SAP services – to TCCT. Our main application is hosted in TCCT’s data center which is monitored and handled 24/7 by the company. Our in-house IT team takes care of the IT applications that are directly involved with ThaiBev’s internal operations such as application configuration or user exit development.”
Moving strongly into the future
Thanks to the standard work process and templates that enabled rapid deployment along with the support from a team of professionals, ThaiBev’s IT infrastructure achieved the flexibility and robustness in handling the fast-changing business environment. For this reason, ThaiBev has undoubtedly become a strong organization whose transparent operations will propel the company to become one of the greatest beverage manufacturers in the world.