Leading New Zealand manufacturer leverages EPI-USE Labs’ landscape solution to get a new business acquisition up and running quickly, with no downtime.

Daiken New Zealand (Daiken) is a manufacturer of world-class premium Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) products renowned for superior colour, consistency and quality. MDF products are used in the construction of furniture, cabinetry and shelving, through to the design of children’s toys. Focusing on this niche allows Daiken to take advantage of a highly automated production process while leveraging technical expertise to provide value for customers through versatility and machinability.

The Acquisition Challenge

Due to the acquisition of a competing international company’s New Zealand (NZ) division, Daiken was required to carve out the data relating to the NZ branch from the seller’s SAP system and build a new standalone operational SAP system. The new system would house one company code extracted from the source system, which contained 49 company codes; approximately 650GB of data from the seller’s 5TB system (13%).

The seller refused to use cloud options or let Daiken run transactions on any of its systems due to the commercial sensitivity of data, given they’re competing entities. The seller suggested Daiken ship two physical servers to its international headquarters in Korea to run SAP, they would then do a full copy, manually remove sensitive data and ship the servers back. This process would take six weeks and during this time Daiken’s production operations would have to be shut down, as no SAP systems would be available. With all customer orders and production data going through Daiken’s SAP system, this was not a viable option.

Data Sync Manager Chosen to Automate and Streamline Project

Zag (formerly known as Soltius) approached EPI-USE Labs in response to Daiken’s request for guidance in designing and implementing a solution to carve out the data for this company code and set up in a new SAP instance. EPI-USE Labs put forward its System Landscape Optimization (SLO) service which leverages its Data Sync Manager Landscape Transformation (DSM LT) product to automate and accelerate the carve out process.

During blueprint, all parties worked to define the project requirements, solution design and to clarify ownership of SAP data between buyer and seller. It was agreed that EPI-USE Labs would take responsibility for the data carve out from the seller’s SAP system, while Zag would provide ancillary services to support the extraction, re-build and ongoing maintenance of the new standalone SAP system. This includes resources for Project Management, Functional Testing, system configuration and interface development services.

“We have a lot of trust in Zag due to the strong level of communication with our Account Manager and our history of successful project outcomes. Zag has good knowledge of our needs and SAP solutions, so we approached them to help us understand our options. With Zag’s trust in EPI-USE labs and our trust in Zag, we had the confidence to put our faith in EPI-USE Labs – it was a Blockchain of trust.” – Paul Schulz, IT Manager for Daiken NZ

EPI-USE Labs and Zag Perform Carve Out and New SAP Build

Daiken shipped two staging servers to Korea for the seller to restore its entire production SAP system onto. The copy took the seller five days to complete through a back-up and restore procedure, then EPI-USE Labs was given access to the servers, using DSM LT to cut the contents down to just the one company code needed and restore this to the second staging server on-site in Korea for the seller to validate. At this stage the sale hadn’t been approved, so Daiken didn’t own the data, and EPI-USE Labs acted impartially, protecting data that was commercially sensitive.

With the server installed on its network, the seller could perform multiple tests and verify EPI-USE Labs’ first build of the stand-alone system before providing VPN access for Daiken to confirm operational viability. It followed the same process for the cut-over, in just 12 hours EPI-USE Labs electronically copied the required company code data to NZ over the sellers existing 2Mb wide area network (WAN) ready for installation on Daiken’s server once authorised by the seller. On confirmation, the build of the NZ production system was executed immediately with only the data that had changed since the initial data copy needing to be transferred. Just a few business validation tests later and the system was operational 24 hours ahead of schedule.

The expectation was to get the first build between 60% and 80% accurate, however EPI-USE Labs overachieved by getting it 92% correct with precisely defined issues for resolution in Build 2. In under two weeks the second build was delivered at 97% accuracy. All up, the process took only eight weeks from blueprint through to the second test build and completed validations.

A few secondary SAP documents were missed in the first productive posting run, yet thanks to the granularity and flexibility of DSM Object Sync, EPI-USE Labs could quickly select the missing documents from the server in Korea and copy it to NZ. Using DSM’s templates and BusinessObjects workbench, all decisions and selections were recorded in the on-demand engine. The two full builds were thoroughly tested, and adjustments made, meaning an easily repeatable build cycle was in place, allowing for a predictable and automatic outcome at go-live.

Smooth Cut Over with No Production Downtime

As anticipated, the go-live weekend went quietly and the cut-over was smooth and easy. With no production downtime, Daiken wasn’t required to shut down, so customer experience and sales weren’t disrupted. Without EPI-USE Labs’ fast, secure and powerful suite of DSM products this outcome would not have been possible. The fixed price agreed upfront between Daiken, Zag and EPI-USE Labs was upheld.

“The implementation couldn’t have been better, we didn’t experience any outages or business interruptions, so our clients weren’t affected. EPI-USE Labs exceeded our expectations and the trust we put in Zag to be the agent acting on our behalf was not misplaced. They transformed a difficult situation into something successful.” – Paul Schulz, IT Manager for Daiken NZ

A United Digital Future

With the new stand-alone SAP solution, Daiken is well placed to standardise the operational and technical excellence across both businesses and continue growing and innovating. The company now has more data that will be used to derive better insights. To support this, they have recently implemented SAP Business Warehouse to realise superior reporting and Business Intelligence.

In its roadmap for the next 12 months, Daiken will look to move its on-premise ERP system to S/4HANA on Cloud. When it moves to S/4HANA, Daiken plans to integrate the new acquisition (Daiken Southland) into the same S/4HANA server as Daiken New Zealand, consolidating data and intelligence while making use of advanced technologies enabled by SAP’s flagship platform.

“We’re excited by the possibility of adding sensors and turning sensory data into field information that goes straight into SAP, along with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and Predictive Analytics for raw material usage, as enabled by the S/4HANA platform.” – Paul Schulz, IT Manager for Daiken NZ

Daiken case study