Published on 16-Sep-2010
"We are convinced that the IBM Cognos 8 BI tools will help us deliver faster, better and more cost-efficient management reports." - Eddy Coose, Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse Coordinator, SCA Packaging Europe
Business-to-Business, Business Intelligence
IBM Business Partner:
It is essential for SCA Packaging to keep an eye on the profitability of its individual customers. This information forms the basis for correct decision making and gives insights into the company’s cost structure.
IBM offered the best tool for consolidating, accessing and analysing data; and for viewing information by department and by role.
Thanks to a centralized corporate data warehouse and a standardized toolset for reporting - IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence – all SCA Packaging users now have access to the same reliable information.
Once the European rollout is complete, SCA Packaging will be able to closely monitor the profitability of all its customers via the new extensive reporting possibilities. That way customers can rely on a level of service tailored to their needs. This standardised working method across the company will also reduce the total cost of ownership.
SCA Packaging is a leading European provider of customer-specific packaging solutions with emphasis on state-of-the art design and local service close to customer facilities. With a product portfolio that includes transport, consumer and display packaging, customised protective packaging, industrial packaging and heavy duty, SCA Packaging answers to each market requirement. SCA Packaging is Europe’s second largest producer of containerboard paper used for the manufacturing of corrugated board. SCA Packaging employs more than 15,500 people at more than 200 production units in 25 countries (www.scapackaging.com).
SCA Packaging has evolved from a supplier of standard products to a supplier of customized packaging solutions aimed at individual customers. This differentiation of core activities makes product lifecycle management extremely complex. SCA Packaging produces a wide variety of packaging materials for customers active in equally diverse sectors. The customers expect a number of services tailored to their individual needs as well as sharp, competitive prices.
It is therefore crucial for SCA Packaging to continue to analyze the company’s cost structure in detail. Above all, the profitability of each customer must be monitored closely.
“We work with very different pricing models, hence our decision to improve our pricing methodology and to shift the focus from ‘volume’ to ‘value’. In other words: from high-volume sales to more extensive customer service,” explains Martin Jones, Business IT Manager at SCA Packaging Europe.
SCA Packaging therefore needed to gather all kinds of information that was dispersed across different databases, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, or purely and simply in the minds of the employees. These disparate data sources existed partly because of the company’s decentralized organization, which had undergone strong growth mainly through acquisitions. Most of the companies acquired by SCA Packaging already had their own ERP systems, leaving IT in need of greater streamlining.
SCA Packaging decided to gather all this dispersed information within a single corporate data warehouse. “That was the only way to ensure our users easy access to reliable, unambiguous information,” tells Eddy Coose, Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse Coordinator at SCA Packaging Europe. “The purpose of our data warehouse strategy is to break down the information silos and provide reliable data for management. At the same time we wanted to
use one common toolset.”
It was very important for SCA Packaging to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) in advance. The terms defined, moreover, had to be valid for all individual users: from sales to accounting.
The moment the company went in search of a software provider, IBM® Cognos® 8 Business Intelligence appeared to be the most suitable solution.
“The tools offer us many different possibilities for visualizing the information,” says Jones. “For example, it is possible to adapt the display depending on the user – managers or analysts, for instance. Moreover, all the necessary features are in one package, so that everything is perfectly aligned.”
IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence delivers the complete range of BI capabilities. SCA Packaging can now use reports, analysis, dashboards and scorecards to monitor business performance, analyze trends and measure results. A service oriented architecture (SOA) makes it easy to deploy and manage.
The project was supervised by Keyrus, a service provider in the area of business intelligence and performance management. Three Keyrus consultants worked on the software project for two months. The predefined objectives were achieved with success thanks to a close working relationship between business and IT.
“The collaboration with Keyrus went very smoothly,” says Coose. “At this moment in time chances are that we will work with them in the future to make business intelligence in SCA a ‘full information provider’ for making the right strategic decisions.”
The new IBM software helps SCA Packaging write and deliver any type of report, adaptable to any data source, quickly and easily. The organization can also build OLAP cubes, dashboards and scorecards using all data sources. The solution is scalable to hundreds of thousands of users, while the modular deployment makes it possible to meet immediate user needs and expand or modify as needed. Scorecards are built to align teams and tactics with strategy. Complex information can be communicated quickly with a range of easy-to-build dashboards.
“We are convinced that the IBM Cognos 8 BI tools will help us deliver faster, better and more cost-efficient management reports”, says Coose. “We can now analyse the customer profitability at a very detailed level to get a better understanding of a particular account. This allows our managers to take corrective action based on a standard set of KPIs. The dynamic tool allows users to drill down further on a particular point on any graphic. At the same time it helps the business to gain full cost/profit insight in any selection.”
“This project really proves what you can do with standardisation and consolidation,” adds Jones. “Having a central platform helps us lower the Total Cost of Ownership. The tool is the same everywhere. An employee from middle Europe should be able to work with the tool in any other region. Because it is a centralized solution a report made by any plant can be reused in the whole of Europe. By having a generic interface there is no need to spend days on linking other sites.”
About IBM Business Analytics
IBM Business Analytics 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 Business Analytics 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 Business Analytics solutions.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Cognos 8 Business Intelligence
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