Published on 13-Sep-2009
"Just Born selected and implemented an IBM Cognos system. However, it took our partnering with Sky Solutions to build on that investment to make our metrics actionable." - Ed Broczkowski, Director, Business Advisory Services, Just Born
IBM Business Partner:
Just Born had an older version of IBM® Cognos® software, and knew that an updated system would provide the supply chain management insight the company needed.
React faster to changing market conditions and capitalize on opportunities.
The comprehensive IBM Cognos 8 BI, IBM Cognos Enterprise Planning and IBM Cognos Data Manager system provides Just Born with the “big picture connections,” facilitating timely and effective business decisions with easy-to-use performance management software.
Consolidation of multiple information sources into a single-view platform; enhanced, comprehensive, accurate business analysis and reporting for improved decision-making; automation of routine planning and budgeting tasks; dashboards for quick, easy insight into customer behavior.
Just Born is a third-generation, family-owned candy manufacturing company established more than seven decades ago. Social responsibility is an important part of Just Born’s corporate culture, and the company donates funds to more than 150 local charitable, educational and arts organizations. With this highly deserved reputation as a principled and caring community-focused employer and manufacturer, Just Born promotes a 20-line corporate philosophy that frames its approach to business. As a highly motivated organization, Just Born continually strives for self-improvement in all facets of its operation; not least its information systems.
As a customer-focused organization, Just Born was concerned that its ability to react promptly to changing market conditions was being compromised by a lack of quality and timeliness of information – including regular production, sales and profitability reporting, and key market intelligence data such as customer purchasing behavior. This situation led to slower decision making and an inability to capitalize on market opportunities. As a market-driven organization, the resultant delay in decision-making affected Just Born’s supply chain and procurement abilities. What little information management did receive (such as manual downloads onto spreadsheets), was incomplete and consumed valuable time and expense, better spent on analysis and evaluation. Having reviewed internal processes, management identified three areas to focus on: efficiency and use of production lines, accurate reporting of product-mix profitability and provision of timely sales-performance data.
To resolve this situation, Sky Solutions implemented its business-ready solution with IBM Cognos 8 BI software, providing Just Born with enhanced business insight for superior decisions.
Just Born set out to establish a list of business and technology objectives. At the top of the list was the goal to acquire accurate business intelligence (BI) to enhance its supply chain management (SCM), including the procurement of raw materials and determining the work-in-process and finished-goods inventory levels. Accurate understanding of SCM would reduce overall logistics costs, and contribute significantly to company profitability. Obtaining this intelligence would require much technological know-how, and as the company was using an older version of IBM Cognos BI software, Just Born realized they needed to find an expert who could help them upgrade this key business management tool to achieve its goals.
Just Born chose to team with IBM Platinum Business Partner and Information On Demand Specialty member Sky Solutions, an expert in supply chain solutions and leading provider of performance management and BI solutions. Using its Strategic Roadmap methodology, Sky Solutions provided Just Born with a plan for implementing performance management for its current requirements and building a vision for the future. This plan centered on the need to implement a data warehouse to consolidate all Just Born’s multiple information sources from disparate locations. Upgrading to the IBM Cognos 8 BI software would deliver a single, accurate view of the business, which would form the basis for all Just Born’s future strategic decision-making.
Sky Solutions planned a robust solution for Just Born which included:
- • Upgrading to IBM Cognos 8 BI for enhanced business analysis, dashboards and reporting.
• Deploying IBM Cognos Data Manager to enable Just Born to extract, transform and load data from its IBM iSeries® System i® servers into data marts to allow for a timely and accurate view of its business.
• Following the IBM Cognos Performance Applications, which outline a 4-step progression from the automation of routine planning and budgeting tasks to the advancement of effective performance management throughout the enterprise.
• Installing IBM Cognos Enterprise Planning to implement an enterprise budget solution.
• Implementing a General Ledger Data Mart and the key building blocks for a comprehensive data warehouse to provide Just Born with a platform for future development.
Sky Solutions implemented the business-ready solution for manufacturing, providing the key building blocks for Just Born to develop a complete data warehouse, to provide a centralized repository for all the company’s information. By integrating all the feeds from numerous disparate sources, Sky Solutions enabled the IBM Cognos BI technology to have full access to all the data and provide real business intelligence.
Sky Solutions included implementation of the General Ledger Data Mart, allowing specific GL data to be extracted, transformed and loaded. Sales Dashboards were developed for easy viewing of sophisticated sales analysis, and the IBM Cognos Enterprise Planning facility was installed to provide real-time insight into resource requirements and future business projections.
The Sky Solutions’ implementation of the upgrade to IBM Cognos 8 BI has dramatically transformed Just Born’s business intelligence experience. Gone are the copious manually data manipulated spreadsheets, and the tedious searching of pertinent information from a variety of data locations. Now, management is treated to an on-demand, automated BI capability delivered from a single-view data warehouse. Data is now presented in preferred formats, tailored to each user’s requirements, and available with a variety of analytical tools such as dashboards and multidimensional analysis.
Just Born now enjoys significant business benefits with its fully functioning IBM Cognos 8 BI solution:
- • On-demand reporting of real-time data, allowing greater insight into customer behavior and facilitating well-informed and prompt decisions.
• Greater visibility of the organization’s key performance parameters, for the establishment of current levels of business success and planning of future targets.
• Corporate confidence that all data is drawn from one single-view source, and is comprehensive and accurate.
• One set of BI tools for significant time and cost savings, through a focus on one platform for operation and training.
“Sky Solutions has enabled us to access the benefits of our IBM Cognos applications more rapidly. Speed is crucial when you think about the benefits of key performance metrics (KPM) visibility and alignment with organizational strategy,” says Ed Broczkowski, Director of Business Advisory Services at Just Born. By putting in place the key building blocks to develop a complete data warehouse, IBM Cognos 8 BI now offers Just Born the most comprehensive reporting and analysis capability. The models and templates present information that allows Just Born to see the “big picture” – critical business information in visual format – so management can make connections and spot trends, making business decisions in a timely and effective manner.
Now Just Born can support its corporate mission with informed and effective strategies and tactics.
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
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