Published on 26-Feb-2009
Validated on 01 Nov 2010
"“We’re a better company after implementing IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence. In addition to saving money, we’re delivering a better and more cost-efficient product for our customers. With Cognos, our ROI was first quarter. Within six months, it was paid for and in the black.” " - ~ Tom Adams, Data Quality Engineer, Ryobi Technologies, Inc.
IBM Business Partner:
Ryobi sells power tools and outdoor power equipment, and has won supplier awards in multiple categories at The Home Depot in North America, for six consecutive years. The company was also recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the top five emerging giants of the global manufacturing industry in June 2006.
Ryobi faced challenges identifying trends and communicating quality issues overseas in a timely manner.
Ryobi chose to implement IBM® Cognos® 8 BI to work towards their goals of having a solution to track and report on returned products and warranty expenditures to drive product improvement
Significant savings in time & money; Increased product quality, decrease in returns; Real time reporting; Improved communication & credibility of information across global offices
Ryobi Technologies, Inc. and Homelite Consumer Products, which are owned by Techtronic Industries (TTI) Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong, is one of the world’s largest and most innovative power tool manufacturers. Specializing in making pro-featured power tools truly affordable, Ryobi sells power tools and outdoor power equipment, and has won supplier awards in multiple categories at The Home Depot in North America, for six consecutive years. The company was also recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the top five emerging giants of the global manufacturing industry in June 2006.
Ryobi is a global company, with headquarters in Hong Kong, manufacturing in China, and engineers in both China and the United States. With its strong commitment to innovation and quality, the company wanted to produce better products by enhancing collaboration between manufacturing and engineering. Ryobi chose to implement IBM Cognos 8 BI to work towards these goals.
Ryobi faced challenges identifying trends and communicating quality issues overseas in a timely manner. When a Ryobi product was returned, U.S. technicians would take apart the tool and determine if there was a problem. This information was then entered into a Microsoft® Access® database manually, which raised concerns about the integrity of the data. This information was then mailed to China.
“Our best turn around time was four or five days to look at the same data,” explains Tom Adams, Data Quality Engineer at Ryobi Technologies, Inc.
Equally important, Ryobi needed a solution to track and report on returned products and warranty expenditures to drive product improvement. “We didn’t have an effective way to document the process,” says Adams. “We were not able to quickly drill down and get the information that was necessary.”
Before Ryobi could move forward with this initiative, it needed to secure executive management buy-in. Once Ryobi was able to quantify in dollars how much money would be saved, management agreed to support the initiative.
Ryobi evaluated reporting solutions from IBM, Business Objects, and Hyperion. It also considered SAP, Ryobi IT department’s legacy system. Ryobi was attracted to IBM Cognos products because of the flexibility, ease of use, performance, and seamless integration across multiple data sources including Microsoft Access, mySAP, and SAP BW, its data warehouse. Another important consideration was the ability to deploy IBM Cognos content quickly and produce high-quality detailed reports in real-time.
“We felt that we could make more professional reports with Cognos, rather than investing in more products from SAP,” explains Adams.
With the help of a third party consultant, Ryobi quickly implemented its BI solution in October 2004 and had the system up and running by the end of the year. “We only took 10 days for implementation and had a working application that ran 10 reports,” stresses Adams.
Most recently, Ryobi partnered with Data Clarity on its migration to IBM Cognos 8 BI. It was attracted to IBM Cognos 8 BI’s low-maintenance, web-enabled platform and its scorecarding and dashboarding capabilities.
Moving forward, Ryobi plans to expand the benefits it has achieved with IBM Cognos solutions to other departments.
Ryobi also anticipates quadrupling the number of users from this year. TTI is currently benchmarking Ryobi’s approach to determine applications throughout some of its different divisions and companies, driving product improvement and extending the savings to other areas of the business.
“We’re a better company after implementing IBM Cognos 8 BI. In addition to saving money, we’re delivering a better and more cost-efficient product for our customers,” says Adams.
Leveraging IBM Cognos products, Ryobi has been able to increase visibility and collaboration across its engineering and quality departments and drive product improvement. “Cognos is the tie that binds us all together,” states Grady Hughes, Director of Quality Assurance North America Hardware Group. “Whether we’re in China or the U.S., we can now all see the same information, issues, and causality. We can then come together with a common goal towards resolution of any problem.”
With its IBM Cognos solution, Ryobi has been able to improve accuracy, save time, and improve quality by standardizing its reporting. Reports are now generated in seconds. “Ryobi is saving at least a week of one of our engineer’s time every month,” says Adams. In addition, reports are also more professional and easier to read with information conveyed in graphs and charts.
“Previously, reports were generated in several different formats, which were difficult to understand, and as a result, gain executive buy-in,” explains Grady.
Ryobi has been able to pinpoint issues with product quality using its BI solution. “Using the Cognos drill-down analysis, we can see what’s wrong with a product, how many times it has been returned, and if there was a common timeframe for the returns,” explains Jo Ann Hayes, Quality Engineer, Homelite Consumer Products. “Before all of this information was contained in different reports and made this analysis difficult.”
Ryobi has also been able to significantly improve quality. “Cognos helps us get the information quicker so we can turn out an improved product,” states David Young, Quality Engineer, Ryobi. “We now get a report on the first 100 returned units of new products, which allows us to conduct instant analysis to determine where the defect lies, and we can apply that to our production.”
As a result of these processes, Ryobi Tools has gained a competitive edge. Its return rate for factory defects is less than 0.5 percent. “As far as we know, Ryobi scores better than other brands when it comes to return rates,” adds Joseph Serrano, Quality Engineer, Ryobi.
Ryobi has experienced a positive impact on the company’s bottom line with its IBM Cognos solution. “With Cognos our ROI was first quarter,” explains Adams. “Within six months, it was paid for and in the black.” Grady adds, “Leveraging Cognos as an ongoing performance continuous improvement tool has driven millions of dollars to the bottom line.”
Ryobi also saved money due to a significant reduction in customer returns. After sales skyrocketed in 2005, Ryobi forecasted a 49 percent increase in warranty costs. The actual number came in 23 percent under projections, resulting in a savings of around 26 percent, based on returns analysis. In 2006, Ryobi experienced another 17 percent reduction. “We attribute these savings to Cognos and the hard work of the Marketing, Engineering and Quality department members of the Continuous Improvement Team,” says Adams.
Ryobi is already reaping rewards from its IBM Cognos 8 BI implementation. With the quality and flexibility of reporting from IBM Cognos 8 BI, meetings at Ryobi are smoother and more efficient, as employees are able to come to the conclusion they are looking for at that meeting. Engineers are now able to do analysis on-the fly during meetings and present answers. Adams sums up his company’s IBM Cognos experience, “The bottom line is that the Cognos solution has worked better than we ever imagined.”
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.
For further information or to reach a representative: www.ibm.com/cognos
Products and services used
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