Ung Cheng Hup,
Chief Consultant, UL Solutions Sdn Bhd
Shop Floor Control and Inventory application supports manufacturing and business customers with maximum availability, adaptability, and scalability through ongoing adoption of MySQL Enterprise Edition.
Business Challenges & Goals
UL Solutions Sdn Bhd provides Shop Floor and Inventory Control (SFC) applications for manufacturing companies in Malaysia. Their flagship product, Operation Management System (OMS), helps their customers track and manage business operations such as warehouse management, bills of materials, vendor management, part numbers, order fulfilment, inventory, and many more customer-specific components.
The company's customers, mainly small and medium enterprises, subscribe to UL Solutions' on-premises package of OMS software bundled with a MySQL database as the backend data repository.
With most of their customers using multiple platforms such as Windows Servers, Linux, and other low-cost open-source platforms, UL Solutions initially worked with MySQL Community edition. As customer expectations grew, the company upgraded to MySQL Community versions 5.6 and 5.7 but still required more functionality and performance.
Business Results & Metrics
With MySQL Enterprise Edition 8.0, UL Solutions began offering their customers greater performance in tracking the productivity, efficiency, and yield of their manufacturing processes. At the same time, customers on various open-source platforms keep their costs under control with MySQL as backbone database engine.
Maximum availability, the mainstay of MySQL, is enhanced by MySQL Enterprise Backup which completes full restore in one minute versus five minutes using the MySQL Community edition. "Furthermore, MySQL Enterprise Backup allows fast incremental job scheduling with zero downtime, a critical factor when we are dealing with a very large and constantly growing database of manufacturing data," notes Cheng Hup.
In terms of availability and performance, the OMS application embeds MySQL Enterprise Monitor which empowers manufacturing plant owners and supervisors to identify, address, and resolve issues as or even before they occur.
To stay abreast of customer growth and the continuous need to boost performance, UL Solutions examines every new feature offered by MySQL Enterprise Edition. "It's an ongoing upgrade process," comments Cheng Hup, "As our customers' business grows, so does our solution, adding MySQL additional functionality in response to new requirements for manufacturing, warehouse, and inventory management environments."
The company optimized query processing by adopting the Common Tables Expressions and Lateral Derived Tables features of MySQL Enterprise Edition 8.0, which improved database performance, such as reducing the time for generating heavy-duty production reports from over a minute to less than 10 seconds.
Recently, it was introduced to HeatWave, the massively parallel query accelerator for MySQL Database Service. "HeatWave is an avenue that we are exploring in order to become more integrated," says Cheng Hup, "It's another example of how we keep upgrading the entire database engine to get whatever Oracle is launching within new versions of MySQL."
The company also feels that the MySQL support organization backed by MySQL engineers is ever present. "The support is highly responsive, we never feel left alone, and this fact alone causes us to stay with MySQL. It makes us very confident in the solutions we provide our customers, constantly reaffirming that we made the right choice," says Cheng Hup.
With the advent of massive volumes of manufacturing data stemming from Industrial 4.0 and Internet of Things, UL Solutions is planning a future in the cloud. Customers are looking to reduce on-premises IT operations and expect greater scalability in the face of the increase in data capturing devices. "The requests for cloud are coming in and we're planning on a migration to Oracle Cloud with minimum disruption. For the time being, we will continue to offer a hybrid solution since many companies in the region do not have sufficient internet bandwidth for cloud yet," remarks Cheng Hup, "But Cloud is definitely our future."
As UL Solutions prepares for the cloud, they are also planning to take their OMS application beyond pure manufacturing environments. "We're seeing demand for Shop Floor mechanisms outside of manufacturing," Cheng Hup says. "I'm confident that MySQL will support us as we expand to other areas."
After UL Solutions attended the launch event for MySQL Enterprise Edition 8.0, they rapidly upgraded their customers to that version. In version 8.0, they found a wealth of functionality and performance enhancements that convinced them to subscribe. "We hitched our wagon to MySQL Enterprise Edition in the knowledge that it will bring us long term scalability and a backend supporting our growth," explained Ung Cheng Hup, Chief Consultant.
MySQL Support services, available round-the-clock in multiple languages and backed by MySQL engineers, provided additional incentive to upgrade to MySQL Enterprise Edition 8.0.