Published on 01-Dec-2009
"For any group listed on the Stock Exchange, reliable planning is essential to ensure analysts’ confidence in the company’s growth and to secure long-term shareholder value. In terms of controlling, it is particularly important to be able to display rolling plans which can be adjusted rapidly and in a controlled manner to any changes in the market. IBM Cognos Planning has made an important contribution in this area, surpassing the performance of our previous tools." - Udo Schütz, Finance Director, Milupa GmbH
IBM Business Partner:
Pitagora Informationsmanagement GmbH
With a need to report effectively to its parent company, Milupa Austria had to overcome the limitations of spreadsheets for presentations and process support, while enabling departments to model their own planning environment, rather than rely on programming services. The project motto was ‘Consistency – Control – Contribution’: Consistency of data quality and operation, Control of planning, data flow and reporting, and Contribution from all individuals.
The Milupa planning process also needed to address other common place challenges such as the limitations of spreadsheetsl for presentations and process support, mapping changes in the product portfolio or product launches and the associated time lags in master data, as well as a complex discount system. Information technology posed yet another challenge: the company’s ERP software was a proprietary development which offered only limited support for planning.
Milupa Austria uses IBM Cognos Planning architecture.
Logical and reliable planning, quick and easy adjustment of the planning process, a more structured process, access to detailed data as well as an overview and improved data quality.
Click here for a German version.
Millions of infants have been raised on Milupa products, and the name is still synonymous with top-quality baby food. Its history dates back to the 1930s when Emil Pauly, the company’s founder, invented a milk-based rusk food for bottle-fed babies. Today, Milupa is part of the Danone group, Europe’s leading food manufacturer with a turnover of over 15 billion euros and employing more than 90.000 staff.
Milupa Austria was established in 1957, and its head office is located in Puch near Hallein, where it employs around 50 staff. With a turnover of 30 million euros in the baby food sector, the company is the Austrian market leader in prepared, milk-based baby foods.
Balancing national and international planning requirements
As part of an international group, Milupa Austria was incorporated in the parent company’s reporting and corporate planning. However, this presented a challenge as the planning process had to satisfy both local and national demands as well as the group’s requirements. In practical terms, this meant that sales and marketing plans had different focuses at both a product and brand level, and key dates varied according to the different product portfolios.
The Milupa planning process also needed to address other commonplace challenges such as the limitations of Microsoft® Excel® for presentations and process support, mapping changes in the product portfolio or product launches and the associated time lags in master data, as well as a complex discount system. Information technology posed yet another challenge: the company’s ERP software was a proprietary development which offered only limited support for planning.
Against this background, Milupa Austria began actively seeking new planning software, together with consultancy support. A vital selection criterion was that departments had to be able to model their own planning environment, rather than having to rely on programming services. Another important factor was a restriction on additional internal IT resources. In the autumn of 2004, a decision was made in favour of the IBM® Cognos® planning solution delivered by Pitagora Informationsmanagement, a certified IBM Premium Business Partner.
Assessing planning needs
The project kicked off with a joint learning exercise, presenting the IBM Cognos planning architecture and its applications to representatives from the finance, sales and logistics areas. Planning requirements and volumes were also defined and the required level of detail identified according to both local and group level needs.These initial workshops determined the first topics to be addressed by the project: sales conditions and individual sales planning. The project motto was “consistency — control — contribution”:
- Consistency with regard to data quality and operation
Control of planning contributions, data flows, reporting
Contribution from all individuals involved in the planning and communications process, to create a strategic advantage for Milupa.
The benefits of better planning
In the course of a highly efficient project, a number of benefits were achieved for Milupa Austria, including:
- • logical and reliable planning
• quick and easy adjustment of the planning process, planned product portfolio and planned customers
• a more structured process
• access to detailed data as well as an overview
• improved data quality
Conditions planning involved planning 13 conditions in a three-level price model for 120 products and nine key accounts, as well as three summary accounts, in individual sales planning followed by turnover and quantities. To provide comparative values, consolidated master data from a period of 12 months was loaded in 33 million data cells. Updates from an extract of the ERP system take less than one minute.
The sales planning project has opened up several exciting possibilities for Milupa Austria:
- • Roll-out to finance (next step)
• Distributed planning (integration in the Intranet, planning workflow, mapping of a multi-step organisation)
• Forecasting (method-based)
• Future integration in performance management and reporting
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.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Cognos 8 Planning
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2009 IBM Canada3755 Riverside DriveOttawa, ON, Canada K1G 4K9 Produced in CanadaSeptember 2009All Rights Reserved. IBM, the IBM logo and ibm.com are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, Excel and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. This case study is an example of how one customer uses IBM products. There is no guarantee of comparable results. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference in this information to non-IBM Web sites are provided for convenience only and do not in any manner serve as an endorsement of those Web sites. The materials at those Web sites are not part of the materials for this IBM product and use of those Web sites is at your own risk.