ERP systems run the world’s businesses. These stalwart systems are great at managing records and processes for finance, operations, supply chain management and more. But their insights need an upgrade.
That’s the case put forward by Maxa, an enterprise-grade startup that has made it their mission to reinvent the way companies access and use ERP data for transformational insights. Maxa unifies multiple ERP and data systems into a single stream of pre-computed financial, operational and supply chain insights that are ready to be consumed by business users and executives. It’s all delivered via the Snowflake Data Cloud as a Snowflake Native App.
Why do ERP insights need reinventing?
The technical and manual labor required to make sense of ERP data and answer business analytical needs is intensive. These are complex systems with cryptic data relationships and schemas, which makes integrating their data with other data sources especially complex.
Many companies have multiple ERP systems—a common side effect of growth and M&A activities—which only exacerbates the issues. CFOs and their teams suffer through it, but it takes a lot of data wrangling, pipeline tools and Excel to get things done.
Maxa relieves that burden by translating all these different schemas into one universal schema, which is then automated so that your core enterprise analytics are delivered in a coherent stream. You now have data and pre-crunched analytics at your fingertips and ready to use, so you can make changes, comparisons and pivots when you’re on a Zoom call or in a boardroom, without requesting another update.
The Maxa team wrapped their data automation technology into a Snowflake Native App with a highly visual Streamlit UI that turns your financial and operational ERP insights into clear, easy-to-understand charts and graphics. Customers can install the app in their Snowflake account with a single click from Snowflake Marketplace.
The Snowflake Native App model simplifies the process for Maxa customers to use the technology on their own terms: in their own Snowflake environment, with strong governance and security, without moving their data or potentially facing another round of procurement approvals.
This is especially important for teams dealing with ERP data, which spans almost every sensitive-data category from financial and customer data to transaction data. The fact that executive and finance teams can bring the Maxa native app to their data and use it within their own Snowflake environment with their own security policies makes everyone feel more comfortable—and more interested in leveraging their data in new ways.
But what’s the impact for a real company that wants solid financial and operations insights but is facing a tangle of disconnected systems? The story of Hart Print, a pioneer in digital printing on aluminum cans, illustrates the real-world benefits of using a Snowflake Native App: speed, security and accessibility.
Transforming data into action: Hart Print’s success with Maxa’s Snowflake Native App
Hart Print faced a challenge common to many businesses: an abundance of data with no clear way to harness it for actionable insights. With data trapped in multiple systems, including ERP, CRM and an in-house customer order portal, the IT team found themselves caught in weekly manual updates and spreadsheet manipulations. Getting to real-time data intelligence would involve a substantial investment in resources, time and technology—all luxuries that Hart Print didn’t have.
The breakthrough came with deployment of Maxa’s Snowflake Native App. This strategic move rapidly paid off. In just four to six weeks, Hart Print created a unified view of its data landscape by merging information streams from its critical systems. Maxa fully automated the data and reporting tasks, minimizing Hart Print’s reliance on spreadsheets and freeing up time for activities that add value. The ability to visualize business metrics daily revolutionized Hart Print’s decision making, with live insights now available on-demand for all stakeholders.
Note: figures mentioned above are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect actual data.
The transformation extended beyond data processing to cultural shifts. Instead of data gatekeeper, the IT department has become a strategic partner, giving a broad spectrum of users access to key business information when and where they need it. With Maxa’s Snowflake Native App, Hart Print saw continual improvements through automatic updates and on-demand reporting adjustments. The company is also assured of being at the technological forefront with Snowflake and Streamlit.
The Hart Print team had instant confidence in the new system. Within two months, they began incorporating the app’s capabilities live in executive meetings, shifting away from traditional presentations to interactive sessions involving the Streamlit UI’s intuitive visuals. It’s one example of the dynamic, agile environment Hart Print now enjoys with a modern data foundation—and for Hart Print’s team, it’s just the beginning.
Preparing for the next frontier: AI meets ERP insights
What if a CFO or manager could directly question their data? How much more efficient would that be? Maxa is aiming for this next frontier with a plan to release LLM-powered capabilities that will allow executives to ask natural-language questions in plain English.
Adding LLMs that run directly on Snowflake with models that have been trained with enterprise information gives executives even more direct ways to engage with their data. Maxa’s ability to bring all of an enterprise’s data together and “pre-crunch” it allows a company to apply dynamic governance, and to control which models can access which data, creating a trustworthy source of insights for LLM-powered apps. And the company’s sensitive data remains under its control the entire time, thanks to the Snowflake Native App model.
Explore Maxa’s Snowflake Native App for yourself
Customers can deploy the Maxa app, available as a private listing in their Snowflake account, with just a few clicks using Maxa’s managed service offering. Also check out Maxa’s free version on Snowflake Marketplace: Click here to download. The native app comes with preloaded sample data and documentation so you can explore on your own.
Want to know more about Maxa and its approach to Snowflake Native Apps? Watch the Powered by Snowflake demo of Maxa’s solutions or check out this Show Me Your Architecture webinar. And if you’re a developer, register for BUILD 2023 and join Maxa’s session on how the company manages its Snowflake Native App release cycle.