Schwartau steers sales performance with DeltaMaster
DeltaMaster has simplified and automated analysis and reporting at Schwartau. Sales, production, and human resources analyze their data with the software.
Schwartauer Werke, a family-owned and operated company founded in 1899, is the market leader for fruit preserves in Germany. The company sells over 370 million of its popular Corny granola bars annually.
Since Schwartau joined the international consumer goods group Hero in 2002, its reporting requirements both within the company and to group headquarters have increased. Due to the additional flood of information, users have to run more analyses and create more reports. The company must now also generate annual financial statements in compliance with both German Commercial Code (HGB) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Replacing highly manual reporting processes
At that time, reporting at Schwartau was a highly manual process. The management accountants, who received Excel files of exported SAP data, had to add attributes and define performance indicators by hand. Once a month, they had to rebuild the reports from scratch because they could not directly access the data in SAP.
Presenting these reports in PowerPoint also involved a great deal of work. Overall, analyzing data and reporting the findings was so time-consuming that it regularly blocked the resources of four management accountants.
DeltaMaster impressed the management team
Schwartau was looking for a BI solution that could simplify and automate the complete analysis and reporting processes across the company. During the selection process, the project team at Schwartau carefully examined the solutions of various vendors. At a DeltaMaster-Matinee, they first experienced the potential of the software from Bissantz. „We were simply amazed and brought that enthusiasm back to our company,” recalled Thomas Rieß, Senior Management Accountant at Schwartau. “We especially liked the capabilities for automatically creating PowerPoint presentations.”
An initial prototype, which already supported analyses of the company’s own data, was built quickly. „The reports impressed the entire management team,” recalled Rieß. Shortly thereafter, Schwartau chose DeltaMaster as a front-end system for SAP BW.
“We have been able to reduce eight mandays of work to a half day. That’s what I call effective!”
Thomas Schenkirsch, Controller, Schwartau
First project: Sales controls
Schwartau first deployed DeltaMaster for sales controls and monitoring. Users can now view revenues by product groups or customers and analyze variances to the budget or the previous period. DeltaMaster visualizes these deviations as graphical tables to direct the attention of report consumers to key elements of the report. Users can also create gross margin calculations with DeltaMaster.
Thanks to the new BI solution, users at Schwartau now regularly conduct both routine and ad hoc analyses. They can also evaluate variances in product prices and quantities down to the details. „The work involved in creating a report like that is minimal,” emphasized Rieß. „We can create one of those today within five seconds.”
Microsoft SQL Server boosts performance
In a separate project, Schwartau also implemented Microsoft SQL Server, which now directly feeds DeltaMaster and has increased the solution’s performance. „We made such great improvements in query performance that speed is no longer an issue,” explained Rieß. The day-to-day work in the team has drastically changed since the implementation of DeltaMaster as well: „We have been able to reduce eight man-days of work to a half day,” the management accountant added. “That’s what I call effective!”
Analyzing relational data with DeltaMaster TableWizard
In addition to the data that is loaded into Microsoft SQL Server, the users also analyze production and human resources data, which is stored in Excel files and not OLAP cubes. To analyze this relational data, they use DeltaMaster TableWizard. With this tool, DeltaMaster can directly access Excel spreadsheets. Users can then create an analysis model from this data with just a few mouse clicks – while only having to define dimensions and KPIs a single time. Afterwards, they can use almost the full analytic capabilities and visualization forms in DeltaMaster including the export functions to Word or PowerPoint.
The users at Schwartau generally work with DeltaMaster TableWizard for fast ad hoc analysis or scenario testing in larger projects. Users can flexibly define new KPIs such as output quantities or labor costs per product line and edit them at any time. This information serves as a basis for discussion in meetings with the production director. “Our department is no longer dependant on internal or external service providers,” added Rieß. “I can now run different scenarios without needing help from IT, which makes me very happy.”
- Replaced system based on Microsoft Excel
- Data storage in SAP BW
- Improved performance with Microsoft SQL Server
- Reporting standards, common notation
- Sparklines, graphical tables, automated variance analysis
- Ad hoc analysis of relational data (DeltaMaster Table Wizard)
- Sales, production, human resource
- founded in 1899 in Bad Schwartau and integrated into the food group Hero since 2002
- Market leader in jams, worldwide known for muesli bars Corny
- Around 800 employees at the Bad Schwartau plan