Media Markt Switzerland: Self-service BI for purchasing – with DeltaMaster
“When I first saw DeltaMaster, it was science fiction to me,” says Harald Huber, recalling his first encounter with the business intelligence software. These days, DeltaMaster is in daily use as an essential tool for employees in specialist departments.
BI solution to local analysis requirements
In 2011, Huber, Head of Accounting and Controlling at Media Markt Management AG, Switzerland, faced the challenge of analyzing data from the newly opened online shop: “In the group, we use a central management information system based on SAP BW. By contrast, we manage our online shop decentrally in Switzerland. I had no way of migrating the online shop data to the MIS. Up to then, for mapping local analysis requirements and for planning, we used a multidimensional database to which we transferred data from SAP BW.
However, this solution was technologically outdated and unsuitable, especially given the expected large volume of data from the online shop. SAP was ruled out, too: although its performance would have been suitable here, SAP is too complex for us to use. So we opted for local use of business intelligence software.”
List of criteria
The following criteria were particularly important to Huber: openness of the system in order to meet future requirements smoothly; clearly defined standards for reporting; maximum ease of use; automation of even complex reporting requirements in terms of preparation and distribution; and a short implementation phase. He was also keen to have a modern report layout with unambiguous signals.
Huber first became aware of DeltaMaster several years ago. “When a colleague showed me the DeltaMaster Hyper Browser, it was like science fiction to me. I was really enthused by its analysis options and transparency. It wasn’t just bells and whistles. So this software came to mind straightaway for the current challenge at Media Markt.”
BI applications for 90 employees
An initial prototype suitable for live use was available within four weeks. Some 500 million records relating to some 50,000 inventory items per month are now processed over a time span of three fiscal years in DeltaMaster and are updated daily. The web shop is connected directly via an interface. In addition, there are flat files (CSV and TXT), some of which are read in from SAP automatically and some manually, as well as direct input, e.g. for planning.
The project was carried out in collaboration with PIT Informationssysteme AG, a Swiss IT solutions provider and certified DeltaMaster Passionate Partner. Huber describes PIT as highly professional, very helpful, and grounded.
“We arrived at pragmatic solutions quickly, and have an outstanding working relationship. The great consistency of our contacts has definitely been a factor here: We have been working with the same team since 2011. And our collaboration has been a success story since 2011.” 50 buyers, the managing directors of the 28 stores and seven heads of department use various DeltaMaster applications for the online shop, service, insurance, shopping card, purchasing (purchase price, time series, average price, and margin analyses), sales (sales figures and margins), finance, HR, projection, and budgeting.
“DeltaMaster is a phenomenal analysis tool!“
Harald Huber, Head of Accounting and Controlling at Media Markt Switzerland
Browse, zoom, navigate – via selfservice
Huber sees substantial added value in the option allowing colleagues in Purchasing and Sales as well as managing directors to perform analyses on a self-service basis. The specialist departments receive a basic set of information relevant for their day-to-day business – such as revenue, the departmental situation, and a time span. They can use this set to perform analyses in line with their information requirements. “In their defined fields, employees can evaluate what they want to and when.
They have the option here of navigating in multiple directions from a finding – and back again. It’s so easy to use that they can refer to it even while in discussions with the country management, the supplier, or the manufacturer, for instance,” explains Huber. “In addition, the crystal-clear display with Graphical Tables ensures that employees take in and understand the figures at a glance.”
Keeping an eye on purchase price and volume
One of the focal points is purchasing. “Our colleagues in Purchasing have lots of different tasks,” says Huber. “They range from negotiations with suppliers, productline structuring, and placement on the markets to structuring of additional sales promotion measures. It is important here for employees to keep an eye on what matters: namely purchase price and margin.To promote understanding of this aspect, we compiled goods purchasing reports that enable employees to drill down quickly in the individual categories in particular and identify problem areas as well as look at general developments.
It is now instantly possible to see which of the 16 million items sold each year delivered the best margin, the highest revenue or profit, or cost the most. This results in important information for Purchasing, particularly in terms of setting purchase prices. With DeltaMaster, we get better information more quickly so that we can take promising decisions promptly.”
- Independent analyses by employees in the specialist departments
- Detailed drill-down from macro to micro level
- Visualization of query results in Graphical Tables
- Use of DeltaMaster as a planning environment
- Consumer electronics retailer
- Swiss organization of the Media Markt Group
- 28 stores, 1 online shop
- Around 1,200 employees
- Around 13 million visitors in-store and 22 million visitors online each year