THE TECOMEN GROUP (TCM) IS THE LARGEST MANUFACTURER OF WATER PURIFIERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA (SEA). TCM AIMS TO BECOME ONE OF THE WORLD’S LEADING MANUFACTURERS OF HOUSEHOLD WATER PURIFIERS AND ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES BY 2040. TO ACHIEVE ITS GOAL, TCM HAS EMBARKED ON A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION—STARTING WITH MODERNIZING ITS BUSINESS PROCESSES THROUGH SAP ON AZURE.
STAYING AHEAD OF THE MARKET
Since 2006, the Tecomen Group (TCM) has specialized in manufacturing, trading, and distributing water purification equipment, household appliances, and healthcare equipment across Southeast Asia. As the company has grown, so the market has evolved, which brings its share of challenges.
According to TCM management, this rapid growth has spurred the company into action. “Access to information, management recording, and processes and procedures needed to be more professional and efficient,” explains Dao Thu Huong, Strategy and Innovation Director at TCM. “I started as a development consultant in 2017. It was important the company enhance its enterprise resource planning system and other systems so it could respond quickly to market changes, which is why we chose SAP on Microsoft Azure.”
Another challenge was the unreliability of the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) system. Typically, companies purchase more bandwidth or use more than one ADSL to avoid broken cable issues. Instead, TCM decided to use Microsoft Azure. “Since we implemented SAP on Azure, we have not had any issues. The system is stable with no risk of losing any data,” adds Dao.
“We deployed through SAP and Microsoft partner, NGS. It only took six months for our six companies,” says Pham Tuan Khanh, IT Specialist at TCM. “Deploying our older system was time-consuming. Azure has an amazing function. We need only click once and in minutes, we’re able to build the new system and our database is ready.”
TCM’s IT department assembled a team with experience in SAP to handle all change requests and manage staff training. Six months after the launch, the IT team conducted a survey among the staff regarding the impact of SAP on Azure. Feedback was positive, and it was clear that the teams all understood the system.
OFFERING COST SAVINGS, SCALABILITY
In addition to being time-efficient and user-friendly, the new system offers financial benefits. “We don’t have to buy new servers for SAP. We’re paying less on fees, according to demand. Already, we’ve saved maybe up to USD1 million,” says Dao.
The system’s flexibility is rivaled only by its scalability, allowing the company to see through its expansion plans. “We intend to open up new offices, namely in Indonesia. When we need to increase the workload, we can switch up the system very quickly without any additional installation,” she adds.
OPERATING WITH SPEED, EFFICIENCY, AND SECURITY
Doing business has become convenient. “We used to do reports manually and that took time. The administration report used to take a week. Now, it only takes a few minutes,” says Dao. “Approval processes used to take several months. Now, it only takes a week. We also do Materials Requirement Planning, purchasing plans, and production plans on SAP. We develop our sales plan with all these inputs and then upload the plan to Azure cloud.”
According to Pham, customizing the import-export inventory report for TCM is a snap using SAP. In addition, Pham says, “With SAP, the numbers and comparisons are accurate. With Azure, calculation is faster. Where it used to take hours, now it takes 10 minutes.”
On weekends, electricity in TCM’s main office is cut, but this is no longer worrisome. “The data is uploaded to the cloud, so it’s safe, and information is accessible to staff regardless of where they are across our several locations in Vietnam. Managers are one click away from financial reports,” says Dao.
“Also, Azure security includes Microsoft Azure DDoS Protection. When the number of requests increases by too much, we won’t have issues,” Pham points out.
The system has also made IT management that much easier. “I do not have to check the server system anymore. I do not need to check how the hardware every day. I do not need to care about the health of the server. Azure takes care all of that for me. I also used to handle upgrades. Now when I need to upgrade, I press the upgrade button. That is a major advantage of Azure,” explains Pham. “Azure is also easily scalable. When Tecomen opens more branches in other countries in the region, the Azure cloud will be very friendly and convenient for us.”
KEEPING THE INNOVATION ADVANTAGE
TCM is already moving forward on its future projects, aiming to set up machine learning and IoT. “To use Azure IoT functions, we will need to combine data from our sensors, machines and factories. AI and machine learning will generate reports that will help us leverage specific intelligent insights for our business,” says Pham. “Microsoft provides a total platform for us. We have everything we need for a modern workplace,” concludes Dao.