Who is the Company

The company is a multinational sportswear and footwear retailer with over $9B in sales.

The Challenge

The company’s e-commerce platform was based upon SAP Commerce Cloud integrated with Talend. Talend is a low-code platform that provides data integration, management, and extract-transfer-load (ETL) support. All company product information was stored in MariaDB.

They were experiencing problems uploading data from their product information management system (PIM) into SAP Hybris. Data uploads were scheduled to occur every 12 hours. Because the execution time took between 15 to 17 hours, the old system was causing a delay in new product introductions. More recent products appeared to be unavailable when in fact, they were available. Further, customers needed clarification as older products still showed up with the old prices and attributes.

To summarize, the company was looking for the following:

  • Timely access to new products: As the current system processing time often shot past the twice-daily product uploads, new product information was unavailable, resulting in missed sales opportunities.
  • An accurate view of product data: Due to time delays, the website often displayed outdated or inaccurate product information. This increased customer dissatisfaction as they would not get what they expected.

The Solution

Our Managed Services team carefully analyzed the existing logic in the digital commerce transformation (DCT) product feed process and identified a major performance issue. The uploaded jobs were reading data from a custom-generated database view per channel. This resulted in an average of 20 to 25 minutes of execution time per job per channel. The massive burden placed on the database caused poor performance.

To remove the dependency on the database view generation, our team devised a solution whereby the system reads view data only once. The view data is stored in a temporary file cache on the production server. With the new solution, the first upload reads data from the view. Subsequent requests come directly from the query cache. Job execution time dropped dramatically to 120 to 150 seconds on average.

The most dramatic improvement was visible in the jobs feeding the Hybris Style table that runs 31 times per data load. In the old system, it took around 30 minutes per job, resulting in a total time exceeding 16 hours. With the new system, the same load process now takes two minutes per run, a total of 62 minutes. This represents a whopping 94% increase in performance to process inputs to this table.

Our solution provided these key improvements:

  • Average job read time reduced: Each data upload job took 22.5 minutes on average under the old system. In the new system, read time dropped to an average of 2.25 minutes - a 90% reduction in average read time.
  • Massive overall data upload improvement: The old system took an average of 16 hours to process all jobs for all tables. Once our solution was in place, performance dropped to an average of 3.5 hours, representing a 450% increase in speed.

Business Impact

  • No new products are missed: Because our solution significantly reduces upload time, the company misses no new products or product information updates. Uploads occur every 12 hours, and the overall upload time has been reduced to 3 or 4 hours, which means all updates are now available as needed.
  • Timely access to data: The products are made available on the company’s website much faster and are visible in just 4 hours from the product and inventory information load. This change positively impacts dropship products from external vendors. With the new system, products show up online as soon as inventory is made available.
  • Fast and accurate data: Consumers on the site will see accurate data much quicker now. An added benefit is that paid media campaigns and Google feeds now accurately refer to the newer links on the website.

Technologies Used

SAP Commerce Cloud: Cloud platform that provides product management for B2B, B2C, and B2B2C enterprises
SAP Hybris: Provides omnichannel personalized e-commerce support tightly integrated into SAP Commerce Cloud
Talend-SAP Data Integration: Provides support for data integration and ETL between SAP and external data sources
MariaDB: Popular open-source database modeled after Oracle MySQL

Related Capabilities

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