Reporting with DeltaMaster: Finding out More – in Half the Time
The automobile supplier Scherdel uses DeltaMaster throughout the Group as a uniform tool for strategic and operational reporting in sales, purchasing, and production. By using the solution, Scherdel cuts the time spent on reporting by 50%, and benefits from increased transparency.
Due to pleasing growth, both organically and through purchases, a heterogeneous system landscape has evolved at Scherdel over the years. This has resulted in highly complex data gathering from the various systems.
Heterogeneous system landscape and analyses with Microsoft Excel
“For us in Controlling, it used to be very difficult to calculate revenue with an automobile manufacturer on a Group-wide basis, for example,” explains Melanie Rosenberger, Business Intelligence team leader at Scherdel. “We had to request the necessary information from the individual locations and enter it manually in Excel. By the time we had gathered all the data, it was already effectively out of date, and so we spent more time discussing the accuracy of the figures than deciding if anything had to be done and if so, how.” This therefore called for the creation of a new solution with which the data could be obtained and analyzed quickly and in a structured way.
Data warehouse and BI front-end solution
The first step was to set up a data warehouse based on Microsoft SQL Server and Analysis Services in order to ensure a uniform data pool throughout the company. Thirteen different source systems were connected, including solutions for ERP, CRM, quality management, and cost calculation. Initially, Microsoft Excel continued to be used for the data evaluations for reporting.
“We accessed the cubes built with Analysis Services with pivot tables. All employees have Excel on their computers, enabling them to call up the necessary figures at the touch of a button. However, we in Controlling soon noticed that when it comes to defining standard reports, it is much harder with Excel,” relates Rosenberger. “It takes a long time to prepare a report from scratch every month. That is why we looked around for business intelligence front-ends with which reports can be defined once and then updated simply by clicking.”
“To me, DeltaMaster’s biggest strength is its flexibility in creating reports and analyses. I finally have the freedom to work with the figures instead of wasting lots of time preparing them, as before.”
Melanie Rosenberger, Business Intelligence team leader at Scherdel
Unlimited options with DeltaMaster
The project manager at Scherdel for the data warehouse got Bissantz & Company on board with the DeltaMaster solution – a lucky choise, as it turned out. “The product presentation was a eureka moment for me,” Rosenberger recalls. “Seeing everything that DeltaMaster could do felt a bit like Christmas: all functions for standard reporting, from set-up of the report to distribution at the touch of a button, and all kinds of analysis options at the same time. I was also impressed that as well as seeing the actual situation, you can track the development of the figures at a glance with the Sparklines. Basically, it was clear there and then that we had found our tool with DeltaMaster. Even so, we looked at other solutions at a BARC conference, just to make sure. To sum it up for us, every provider has strengths in certain areas – but with DeltaMaster, everything is possible.”
Of course, even “everything” has a starting point – and at Scherdel, it was the calculation report for sales controlling. This was produced in just three days. “We have a small number of very large automobile manufacturers and suppliers as customers,” explains Rosenberger. “Therefore, the customer dimension has always been a focal point for us. DeltaMaster enabled us to analyze contribution margins not just at plant level, but also at customer and product level for the first time. We track our highest-revenue, lowest-income and highest-income customers and parts with the report.”
In addition, orders on hand, customer acquisition (forecast, success rate), and profitability of products are analyzed. Revenue planning is also carried out with DeltaMaster. For instance, for purchasing controlling, the effective price change compared with the previous year is calculated. In production controlling, aspects such as productivity, changeover levels, stoppage levels, and reject rates are ascertained.
The reports produced by the controllers are available in English and German. They are regularly distributed to several hundred employees in all divisions via the DeltaMaster ReportServer. The reports are individually adapted to the respective recipients, for instance geared towards specific plants, business lines, or sales units.
Bissantz impressed on a personal level, not just technically: “We simply feel that we are in good hands with Bissantz. We have personal contact, and know the employees. If we need support, we dial a number and have a skilled, ‘real’ contact on the phone who knows what it’s about and provides remote assistance straight away,” Rosenberger points out.
Dashboards are coming
In the future, DeltaMaster will also be used for interactive dashboarding: “The aim is for the board, heads of department, and sales managers to enter DeltaMaster directly and gain a live overview of the most important indicators from all divisions,” explains Rosenberger. In a further project step, departmental dashboards are being set up for sales, purchasing, and production.
- Reporting 50% faster
- 13 feeder systems combined
- Fast start after just three days
- Reports adapted in line with the target group
- Automated standard reporting and interactive analysis with the same tool
- “Hidden champion” in the automobile supply industry
- Specialty: technical springs
- Family company based in Marktredwitz, established in 1889
- 30 locations and 40 production plants worldwide
- 5,000 employees, revenue €680 million (2016)