Our client is a division of a Global packaging manufacturer that operates across Asia Pacific. They were rolling out a new ERP across a large portion of the business – QAD 2014 – to standardise and centralise their business processes across their many production sites, but also had to accommodate existing implementations of the IFS ERP. They had an existing suite of reporting that was using QlikView and Excel but struggled with stability, performance and data integrity issues. To operate efficiently they needed visibility over Operational Efficiency, Sales, Machine performance, Inventory, Waste, Quality , DIFOT and other metrics.
The existing solution provided limited distribution of information, in a static rather than interactive model. This limited ability to drill down into issues and self serve for analysis. Substantial manual intervention was required to run reports and manage the inconsistently structured data sources. The data challenges were exacerbated by Master Data issues and unstable and inconsistent business processes across the regions. From a business perspective, they did not provide complete coverage – the reports had not been adapted to changes in the business. This was due to the cost and complexity of doing so, with no ability for end users to self serve and drive change themselves. This led to significant ad-hoc analysis and frequently going back to source to construct needed data, which was time consuming and often resulted in repeated work.
Before the ERP rollout began, the business was unable to view data across the whole region – they could only view by each individual country. Moving to a single ERP meant data was centralised and to some degree more standardised. This made region wide reporting possible.
Subject area by subject area, we helped construct a new Data Warehouse and Datamarts that captured the data across the two ERPs. This data was pulled into an SQL Server using SSIS. Where reference data was required to be created, the solution was supplemented by SharePoint lists and Excel. These Datamarts then fed subject area aligned Analysis Services cubes which in turn were consumed by PowerBI reports.
By creating PowerBI workspaces & Apps for end user consumption it allowed access to be managed through workspaces by subject area. This allowed for easier access to reporting with self service capability enabled to give the business the capacity to build their own content. The business could now drive analysis without having to resort to ad-hoc processes and data extracts from raw sources.
The solution delivered a single source of truth across all Countries in the region, giving management visibility for all Countries/Sites using the new QAD 2014 ERP as well as IFS ERP. By creating a self service model with a well structured data set, this gave the business a much more powerful capacity to drill down to a greater level of detail to investigate issues. It also drove productivity by giving the business the ability to turn around analysis much faster. The improved confidence in the data finally allowed the wider organisation to benefit from consistent benchmarking across all Asia Pacific sites. This powerful broad view gave the business the ability to identify cross country issues and set consistent production targets across machinery.
A powerful impact from the technical perspective was that the modernised solution was fully automated & IT had the capacity to properly govern and support all reporting.
One of the challenges experienced during delivery was that despite a single ERP having been rolled out, it was exposed that business processes and data management was not consistent across countries. The reporting solution allowed for easier identification of the issues and support on ongoing business effort to standardise organisational behaviour across the region and improve outcomes across the board.