Published on 18-Sep-2009
"The easy-to-use and tailored performance management system provided by IBM Cognos fully meets our demanding requirements for transparency, security, and reliability." - Dirk Volmarhaus, Project Manager with MAQUET GmbH & Co KG.
MAQUET GmbH & Co. KG
MAQUET was prompted to create new technological foundations for its in-house reporting.
Above-average growth and a stronger competitive position prompted MAQUET to create new technological foundations for its in-house reporting. In the past, data had been sent by email, which needed to be consolidated manually. Aims for the new system included simulating business scenarios and having the ability to make planning changes at short notice.
• IBM® Cognos® 8 BI • IBM Cognos 8 Planning • IBM Cognos 8 Controller
• Consolidation and flexible use of data for better decision making • Standardised and reduced planning cycles throughout the entire organisation
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MAQUET GmbH & Co KG is a leading supplier of medical technology for operating theatres and intensive care units. The Rastatt-based subsidiary of the stockmarket-listed Swedish group, GETINGE AB, represents GETINGE’s Medical Systems business area. The group is one of the world’s leading providers in the field of healthcare. Its medical technology products and therapeutical concepts are making a decisive contribution to increasing quality and reducing costs in the healthcare sector.
Above-average growth and a strengthened, positive competitive position were the deciding factors in MAQUET’s decision to create new technological foundations for its in-house reporting. At the time, MAQUET was using Microsoft Excel in combination with Microsoft Access.
“However, maintaining this kind of dynamic environment in Excel was extremely time-consuming,” explains Project Manager Dirk Volmarhaus, SAP CC Controlling & Finance, who is responsible for IT Controlling solutions at MAQUET. “In the past, we had to send data by email and consolidate it manually in MS Access. In addition to the high level of manual work, this system did not provide the required transparency for our business.”
MAQUET’s management first began thinking about a standardised reporting system back in 2004. In addition to optimising its customer care, this well-established company set itself the task of streamlining its internal business flows. The main objective for the solution was to create new foundations for its operational sales planning. In addition to greater flexibility, transparency, and workflow optimisation, MAQUET’s management was looking for a solution capable of considering the company’s international dimension. MAQUET’s 34 international subsidiaries operate all over the world, meaning that online access to management sales data for analyses and reporting was an essential requirement for the company.
In the middle of 2005, MAQUET set about finding a reliable IT partner. The company was looking for a BI provider capable of offering the best possible response to its requirements, in the form of a tailored and userfriendly solution and with minimum expense. MAQUET initially considered both Cognos and SAP, before opting for a solution from Cognos, an IBM company. Now, the IBM Cognos Planning solution is used in operational sales planning within the MAQUET group, together with a Cognos business intelligence (BI) solution, and the IBM Cognos 8 Controller consolidation software.
The use of the new solution in the MAQUET group’s operational sales planning enables it to consistently plan lot sizes, sales volumes, and sales costs in a user-friendly workflow and across distributed sites. The highly flexible system also allows the simulation of business scenarios, and permits planning changes to be made at short notice. The company also uses a Cognos BI solution to produce continuous and detailed analyses of its sales data. The BI solution allowsMAQUET to compare planning data with up-to-date actual data and to run comparisons according to a wide range of criteria.
The entire GETINGE group uses the IBM Cognos 8 Controller consolidation solution to produce legally compliant financial statements within very short lead times, providing management with an overview of the company’s performance at all times.
One particular benefit of the IBM Cognos solutions is their integration into the existing infrastructure. All data sources—both SAP and non-SAP data—are fully integrated. The complete solution interlinks planning and financial consolidation logically with analysis and reporting, resulting in a performance management approach. The planning data is used for daily analyses and for plan-to-actual comparisons in reports. The results of the analyses and reports then flow back to planning. This management cycle enables MAQUET to identify both market opportunities and potential improvements. Another benefit is the low cost of training users.
In addition to project manager Dirk Volmarhaus, a further nine employees were involved in the implementation of the project.MAQUET was supported by IBM Cognos, as well as the IBM Cognos consulting partners, Objective Partner and RSMConsult. “In the beginning, there was a revolution at MAQUET, a new way of thinking,” explains Volmarhaus, describing the introduction of the IBM Cognos technology performance management system. “We had to think in different dimensions, in analysis models.” The solution has opened up undreamed of creativity for the company in terms of data capture and analysis.
“We are discovering the full extent of our potential,” affirms Volmarhaus. The IBM Cognos solution offers MAQUET everything it needs for first-class performance management. It provides the tools required to define meaningful business targets and develop clear routes to commercial success. As a result, the medical technology supplier benefits from extremely accurate forecasts as well as fully coordinated and verifiable responsibilities throughout the entire process. And this progressive company is eager to look to the future. Further projects are already in the pipeline. The system is a “living entity”, as Volmarhaus knows.
“We need to include additional objects, such as purchasing data, and more financial data. On the other hand, we need to expand our view of existing data—for instance, using dashboarding,” explains Volmarhaus.
The solution provided by IBM Cognos has brought MAQUET GmbH & Co. KG significantly more flexibility and transparency, and optimised workflows in its operational sales planning. The IBM Cognos planning, analysis, and reporting products are now used by up to 300 people within the company, providing user-friendly access to detailed analyses of all relevant data at any time. This efficient provision of decision-making information is an essential key for the company’s competitiveness and its aim to build on its position as a quality leader.
About IBM Cognos BI and Performance Management
IBM Cognos business intelligence (BI) and performance management solutions deliver world-leading enterprise planning, consolidation and BI software, support and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. IBM Cognos solutions bring together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers an open, adaptive and complete performance solution. Over 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries around the world choose IBM Cognos solutions.
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