BJB sheds new light on business data: Industrial-style report production with DeltaMaster
DeltaMaster offers BJB a complete solution for analysis, planning, and reporting with rich automation and standardization capabilities. Various user groups, from top management to individual business epartments, can now access innovative, data-dense cockpits featuring graphic tables.
BJB is a market leader for lamp connectors. In 2012, it generated revenues of 104 million euros in over 70 countries. The company, which was founded over 140 years ago, is still family owned and operated. Innovation and efficiency play an important role in securing the company’s future success. Each year, BJB makes around 100 improvements or new developments to its 2,000 products. Efficient, high-quantity production is essential to ensure that its production site in Germany remains competitive on the global market.
Increasing efficiency at constant quality levels is a proven practice in production processes. At BJB, it sets those same standards for automation and standardization in Business Intelligence and management accounting. To support various business departments and international subsidiaries with relevant information, the company needed a new BI solution. It wanted a user-friendly tool so that users could directly answer spontaneous questions arising from reports using analytic methods. To minimize manual work, the company placed emphasis on highly automated processes for generating and distributing reports.
Today, BJB uses a solution that combines relevant information into a relational data warehouse in Oracle and processes it into multidimensional cubes of Microsoft Analysis Services. Users, in turn, access the information they need from a single front end: DeltaMaster. Approximately 50 users work with DeltaMaster to analyze purchasing, sales controls, inventory controls, and cost/activity accounting. Its ReportServer automatically generates reports and distributes them on a set schedule. In addition to standard reports, the automated distribution functions also support ad hoc requests, for example, to monitor inventory, analyze trends, or prepare for on-site customer visits.
Higher data density through graphic tables
To increase the data density of its reports and cockpits, BJB has designed them almost exclusively with graphic tables. These charts combine the advantages of graphics and tables but without their disadvantages. The graphic elements complement the numbers and direct the reader’s attention on the reports that require closer examination. BJB uses specialized visualizations such as trumpet curves as an early-warning system. This method shows the cumulated budget-actual variance followed by a target achievement forecast over the course of the fiscal year.
”We drastically reduced the manual work involved in creating reports and explaining variances.”
Klaus Blaszczyk, Head of Management Accounting at BJB
Analytic applications for various departments
BJB wants its decision-makers to answer their own questions – not just look at data. This ensures that they can recognize and understand trends and changes at an early stage. DeltaMaster does just that in three different ways:
- Guided analysis: Users can jump from links in central reports to detailed reports, where they can analyze information in more detail. The P&L statement, for example, contains a link to sales revenues broken down by customers or customer groups.
- Pivot navigation: This function enables in-depth analysis within a pivot table. DeltaMaster expands the pivot table, step by step, with additional columns or rows that drill down on another dimension.
- Threaded analysis: Users can delve even deeper in their data to find answers to complex questions. They can take the analysis a step further by merely double clicking on an unusually positive or negative member.
Drill-through to individual records
Another advantage of DeltaMaster is that users can conduct highly granular analyses. When analyzing overhead costs, for example, they can access individual invoices stored in the relational database – directly from the multidimensional database. The SQL Drill Through method in DeltaMaster makes this possible.
Faster, more flexible reporting
Klaus Blaszczyk, Head of Management Accounting at BJB, sees many different advantages in using DeltaMaster. “We drastically reduced the manual work involved in creating reports and explaining variances,” he stated. “The speed, flexibility, and high data quality are impressive as well. We can now generate reports for another location, country, or product group – online and at any time.”
- Oracle Database
- Microsoft SQL Server/Analysis Services
- Standardization of tools and report formats
- High data density through graphic tables
- Analytic applications for multiple departments
- Early-warning functions (trumpet curve)
- Drill-through access to individual invoices
- Manufacturer of lighting solutions and components, world market leader for LED connectors
- Founded in 1867, owner-managed family business
- around 650 employees, about 450 in Germany
- Production sites: Headquarters in Arnsberg as well as Spain, USA and China
- More branches and Representations in more than 50 countries