Bünting trades mit ‘observability’ auf ERP

In North-West Germany, when they hang out the bunting, they often start by going to Bünting. This Europe-wide trading company employs some 12,000 people and has interests in food and drink distribution as well as retailing and e-commerce.

In addition to a core international tea trading operation (tea in German is tee, it’s a global product), Bünting carries out business operations with over 200 supermarkets in its part of the German market. The company also maintains and operates an online grocery platform, which supplies numerous wholesale and retail partners.

Needing a tight ship to govern its core business fabric and trading base, Bünting developed its own merchandise management system to keep track of its inventory and make sure its customers have the products they need when they need them.

 

The ERP is slow – Das ERP ist langsam

Due to the scale of its operations and the scope and breadth of its trading network, Bünting employees voiced some consternation with the company’s own ERP system. In live operations, ERP users often complained to the IT team about slow response times for business processes that required complex ‘read operations’ from the database.

Unfortunately, since the company lacked data integrity across testing and production environments, it was next to impossible to determine the source of these bottlenecks.

To figure out the best way forward, the company decided to develop a framework that measured each application function and the associated response times with all substeps, which it would then store as a data repository in a database.

As a result, the team initiated a search for a NoSQL database that delivered the performance and scalability Bünting needed. With the right NoSQL solution in place, the company felt that it would not only be able to solve its ERP performance issues, it would also be able to implement an event-driven architecture to optimise business processes.

 

The solution – Die Lösung

Bünting evaluated several NoSQL databases, including MongoDB, Elasticsearch and Apache Cassandra. Since the IT team had little experience working with NoSQL, they needed a solution that developers would be able to learn quickly. After studying their options, the team decided that DataStax provided the right approach, built on open source Cassandra.

Bünting was also able to extend its investment by adding search and analytics to its database of choice. This enables users to carry out quick searches across a massive variety of parameters and correlations, and use real-time analytics.

 

The results – Die Ergebnisse

With these software and data tools in place, Bünting is now able to continuously monitor its ERP system in production to pinpoint the conditions that lead to performance loss. As a result, it is able to resolve problems that materialise quickly – and even prevent them from occurring in the first place.

For example, after analysing its infrastructure, the IT team realised that certain workflows were only slow at certain times. By shifting tasks to night processing, that issue was quickly resolved.

Additionally, Bünting was able to implement a new event-driven architecture that optimised recurring processes. Now, when a task arises and a user needs to take action, the system automatically lets that individual know. Once that person completes their task, the next person in line is automatically notified.

Add it all up, and the right people are notified at the right times—all without manual intervention.

With DataStax, Bünting was able to quickly introduce Apache Cassandra and implement new ERP projects. Thanks to the scalability of the approach, the company is well-positioned for the future.

According to Jens Nintemann, software developer at The Bünting Group, to date, Bünting has already implemented DataStax for four ERP modules; the company plans to add more modules in the future.

While Bünting has just started getting used to implementing real time analytics, the company is excited at the prospect of unlocking additional use cases for the product, including in the area of condition simulation.

DataStax delivers an open, multi-cloud data stack built on the scalable Apache Cassandra database. The company’s marquee offering is Astra DB, the industry’s first open, multi-cloud serverless database, which is built on a modern, Kubernetes-based architecture.

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