Published on 28-Sep-2009
"I can now press a button and IBM Cognos provides all the relevant data at a glance. We have a transparent view of all figures at all times and can provide all the relevant people with valuable information to implement a forward-thinking corporate policy." - Gerhard Jahn, IT and Central Controlling Manager, SONAX GmbH & Co. KG
SONAX GmbH & Co. KG
Business Intelligence, Smarter Planet
Smarter Solutions for Retail
SONAX has a comprehensive view of all areas of its business.
SONAX needed a comprehensive view of all areas of its business. It wanted an analysis and planning solution that would allow for better decision-making. The solution also had to provide comprehensive, up-to-date decision-making information while integrating seamlessly with the existing IT landscape. An important factor was the ability to analyze targeted strategic and operational management data and feed the results back to planning.
• IBM® Cognos® 8 BI • IBM Cognos 8 Metrics Studio • IBM Cognos 8 Planning
• Comprehensive overview of sales, products and the procurement market • User-friendly, web-based solution speeds consolidation of information from multiple sources • Consistency figures • Time savings in day-to-day tasks • Reduced operating costs • Greater flexibility, transparency and a complete overview of strategic and operational decision-making\ • Strongly positioned to handle future global challenges
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Smoothing out bumps, improving visibility and creating a brilliant finish – these key criteria from the world of car care can also be applied to a company’s internal processes. For SONAX, a producer of car care products, the future is looking bright and shiny thanks to IBM Cognos Business Intelligence solutions.
SONAX GmbH & Co. KG was founded in 1950 and operates in 90 countries. Part of the Hoffman group, an amalgamation of separate and legally independent group companies with an annual turnover of around 100 Million Euros and some 430 staff, SONAX is based in Neuburg an der Donau, Germany.
SONAX is an innovative company that produces and markets chemical products and services for all aspects of auto care. It offers a professional and comprehensive range of vehicle cleaning and care products under the SONAX umbrella brand. This includes innovative polishing and treatment products as well as windscreen and alloy cleaners. SONAX’s positioning is based on high quality, a clear focus on the premium segment of the market, and environmentally friendly and innovative products.
In conjunction with consistent corporate objectives, SONAX’s success can be attributed to its strong brands, customer orientation, and innovation. The SONAX product range represents the results of more than 50 years of research and development. Managers work in SONAX’s own testing laboratories, continuously improving the product range to stay ahead of the competition.
SONAX knows that a clear view of the company’s performance is essential for its daily business. As a result, they were looking for a solution to provide a comprehensive view of all areas of the business. More specifically, they wanted to introduce an analysis and planning solution that would create a strong basis for better decision-making within the company. The solution had to be capable of providing the group of companies with comprehensive, up-to-date decision making information while integrating seamlessly with the existing IT landscape.
Gerhard Jahn, IT and Central Controlling Manager at SONAX GmbH & Co. KG, sums up the company’s key requirements this way: “An important factor was the ability to analyse targeted strategic and operational management data and feed the results back to planning. This performance management approach was crucial in creating a solid foundation for our decision-making.”
The company set out to find a performance management solution that could integrate seamlessly with its existing IT landscape. “We were looking for an innovative approach that combined reporting, analysis, and planning,” explains Gerhard Jahn. “And this is where IBM came in.”
Jahn, a business administration specialist, had encountered IBM Cognos products in the mid-1990s. Even then he could see clearly how the wide range of applications for IBM Cognos solutions could generate significant added value for his company. In addition, the company had a deep trust in the innovative and flexible IBM Cognos BI partner whose Upfront solution had been in use at SONAX since 1999.
As a result of these positive factors, SONAX had no hesitation deciding in favour of the IBM Cognos 8 BI and IBM Cognos 8 Planning products in mid-2006. The IBM Cognos solutions were integrated quickly into the car care producer’s internal planning concept. According to Jahn, “the planning concept consists of 22 individual plans that are linked together. Plan one contains the strategic business plan, and plan 22 the finance plan. To put it simply, we feed strategic data into the first plan and the end result shows us exactly what this strategy has brought SONAX in euros. In other words, we use IBM Cognos solutions throughout our entire strategic decision-making chain.”
This use of Cognos in their processes creates a strategic and integrated foundation for SONAX’s plans and allows the company to provide all their key groups with targeted information for better decision making. Users include SONAX’s management as well as selected specialists and technical experts.
SONAX also uses IBM Cognos 8 BI for reporting and analysis of corporate data. Combining analysis and reporting with planning allows SONAX employees to compare up-to-date planned and actual data and carry out comparisons across a wide range of dimensions.
As Jahn explains, “IBM Cognos 8 BI and Planning offer an enormous functional scope. Cognos technologies allow us to carry out multi-dimensional analyses. We can map 100 or even 500 dimensions simultaneously, enabling us to analyse our business based on a wide range of factors. And despite this vast functional scope, IBM Cognos products remain very easy to use.”
Jahn points out that another advantage of IBM Cognos is the excellent support provided by Cognos employees. “We have a very good partner in Cognos and receive excellent support from all sides. This is one of the reasons why we have managed to integrate Cognos into the company’s IT flows in such a short time.”
IBM Cognos 8 BI and IBM Cognos 8 Planning have given SONAX a comprehensive overview of sales, products, and the procurement market. The provision of important data to ensure optimal strategic and operational management is critical. “What is important to the customer and what does the customer need? I can now press a button and Cognos provides all the relevant data at a glance,” says Jahn. “We have a transparent view of all figures at all times and can provide all the relevant people with valuable information to implement a forward-thinking corporate policy.”
There are additional advantages to IBM Cognos, as well. The user-friendly, Web-based Cognos solution makes for ease of use and enables SONAX to quickly consolidate data from disparate sources. “Most important, the worldwide availability of our data over the Internet brings the SONAX group a real competitive advantage, since we can quickly and flexibly access information from our more than 100 users and prepare it for strategic decisions. Cognos offers an enormous range of possibilities and still holds great potential,” emphasises Jahn.
Time savings in day-to-day tasks, reduced operating costs, and faith in the Cognos technologies have also brought added value for the company. “We were enthusiastic about the IBM Cognos solutions and their almost endless potential from the very start,” says Jahn. “IBM Cognos is a thousand times more flexible than Microsoft Excel.”
IBM Cognos 8 BI and IBM Cognos 8 Planning have put SONAX GmbH & Co. KG on the right track to manage its future global challenges. The Web-based aspect of the IBM Cognos solutions gives SONAX greater flexibility in its daily work, and worldwide access to decision-making information. All important strategic and operational management information can now be prepared optimally and made available to provide a comprehensive overview. The Neuberg-based company feels it has built the ideal foundation to improve its prospects for market leadership and a brilliant future.
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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