ROLAND Rechtsschutz introduces transparency into planning processes with Cognos TM1

Manual workload reduced by approximately 90 percent

Published on 19-Jul-2011

Validated on 02 Dec 2013

"We chose IBM Cognos TM1 because it offers us the ability to build up individual analytics solutions which are tailored to meet our requirements. Given the flexibility of the Cognos architecture, we are already planning to utilize the solution more widely." - Milan Steinhauer, Head of Corporate Development and Controlling at ROLAND Rechtsschutz-Versicherungs-AG

Customer:
ROLAND Rechtsschutz-Versicherungs-AG

Industry:
Professional Services, Insurance

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
BA - Business Analytics, Business Integration, Business Performance Transformation, BA - Performance Management, Business-to-Consumer

IBM Business Partner:
CENIT AG

Overview

Headquartered in Cologne, ROLAND group is a legal protection specialist operating across Europe with more than 1,300 employees. Two main business areas shape the company’s service portfolio: comprehensive law and insurance services and mobility assistance solutions.

Business need:
ROLAND Rechtsschutz was looking for a solution for workflow-based corporate planning to optimize planning processes and improve transparency and flexibility.

Solution:
With IBM® Cognos® TM1, IBM offers a comprehensive corporate planning solution with high integration capabilities for ROLAND Rechtsschutz’s existing IT landscape.

Benefits:
Thanks to its versatile analysis capabilities, IBM Cognos TM1 has lowered the workload for ROLAND Rechtsschutz’s IT department. The automatic integration of SAP and Excel data has improved the speed and transparency of planning processes. In addition, ease of use and a 90 percent reduction in time taken to prepare planning reviews has ensured a high level of user satisfaction at the company.

Case Study

To read a German version of this case study, please click here

Headquartered in Cologne, ROLAND group is a legal protection specialist operating across Europe with more than 1,300 employees. Two main business areas shape the company’s service portfolio: comprehensive law and insurance services and mobility assistance solutions.

ROLAND Rechtsschutz-Versicherungs-AG, the parent company of the ROLAND group offers its customers expert help with legal issues. In 2010 the company generated gross premiums of around €287 million in Germany, Austria, Italy and the Netherlands. With approximately 1.3 million contracts, ROLAND Rechtsschutz is ranked number four in the German market, with a market share of 8.3 percent.

Shortcomings of spreadsheet-based planning
“We were no longer satisfied with our planning process,” explains Milan Steinhauer, Head of Corporate Development and Controlling at ROLAND Rechtsschutz-Versicherungs-AG. “It simply did not meet our requirements in terms of data quality and process efficiency. We needed company-wide consistent and integrated planning models, and we wanted to achieve improved planning quality with increased transparency.”

The new planning solution was required to cover three main areas:

  • Portfolio planning, including new business, changes in premiums, and cancellation/restructuring
  • Risk management and contingency planning
  • Cost planning, including investments, material costs and integration of HR costs

Less manual work, more time for analysis and planning
Central controlling wanted to reduce the workload of manual tasks and coordination processes to gain more time and capacity for the actual management of planning process. Further goals included the ability to quickly and precisely aggregate all data from SAP source systems, Microsoft Excel, IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and carry out easy versioning of planning states.

ROLAND Rechtsschutz required the new system to provide detailed content, responsibilities and coordination processes, and make it possible to track the status of planning tasks.

It was also hoped that the ability to store explanations in addition to pure planning figures would increase transparency and improve the quality of planning data.

CENIT AG enables swift project completion
Following the decision to implement IBM Cognos TM1, ROLAND Rechtsschutz decided to gain additional support for the project from conunit GmbH, one of the most successful Cognos partners in Europe. During the implementation period, conunit GmbH was integrated into CENIT AG, but this had no impact on the implementation team or the project strategy. With the industry-specific knowledge and comprehensive experience of the CENIT experts, the project was completed within the agreed budget and timeline.

Highly specific requirements for the new solution
During a series of in-depth talks with CENIT experts, the ROLAND Rechtsschutz managers defined the requirements of the new planning system. It was particularly important for the controlling department to be able to operate the planning system independently, without external support. The planners should be guided through the planning process by system-controlled workflows, and planning tasks should be clearly defined. The system should also be able to supply up-to-date data through automated loading processes, without the need for manual work.

Furthermore, ROLAND Rechtsschutz required flexible features to enable the controlling department to manage data structures and create planning forms and workflows. The solution needed to be easy to use, so that the company would not have to provide users with extensive training. In terms of cost planning, the company required the easy distribution of planning values for the business year through different distribution algorithms across the individual months. With help of context-specific comments, the planners should be able to explain every single position. ROLAND Reschsschutz also required the capability to create unlimited contingency plans. Finally, the solution should be integrated with the company’s standard user rights management solution, enabling easy login.

IBM Cognos TM1 covers all the necessary requirements
After careful consideration, ROLAND Rechtsschutz decided to implement IBM Cognos TM1. The decision was made because of the extent to which the solution was able to fulfil all the requirements of ROLAND Rechtsschutz’s management team and the ease with which the solution could be integrated into the company’s existing IBM Cognos landscape.

Project manager Milan Steinhauser explains: “We chose IBM Cognos TM1 because it offers us the ability to build up individual analytics solutions which are tailored to meet our requirements. Given the flexibility of the Cognos architecture, we are already planning to utilize the solution more widely.”

Smooth implementation with the CENIT stage model
Following an analysis of ROLAND Rechtsschutz’s structures, processes and data flows, and the clarification of the requirements and targets, CENIT experts worked together with ROLAND Rechtsschutz to create a business and IT strategy for the target solution. This strategy comprised the project plan, the system architecture, and the definition of the interfaces required to support the flow of data. Besides the definition of the planning model and the calculation principles, the solution concept also included the design of the planning forms and reports

Within just a few weeks, CENIT experts and the project team at ROLAND Rechtsschutz had created a working prototype of a planning solution in which the different planning areas – portfolio planning, risk management and costs planning – were integrated and tested sequentially into IBM Cognos TM1. Small challenges, such as implementing ROLAND-specific business logic into the overall model, were managed easily by the CENIT team, entailing no delays to the planned completion date of the project.

Since the solution’s introduction on 15th September 2010, about 30 people have already planned with the new solution: “The introduction of the productive operation went smoothly, and our users are very satisfied with the solution,” Milan Steinhauer comments.

High flexibility and transparency
Within just three months, the entire project was completed successfully. A workflow-based planning process led to substantial improvements in planning results. All the different plans (investments, material costs, portfolio, and risk management) are fully integrated. As a result, there are now many more opportunities for the analysis of plans and actual data.

The new planning transparency and the solution’s ease of use have led to high levels of user satisfaction from both general users and the controlling team. In particular, the high degree of flexibility on offer for the customisation of input forms and reports through Microsoft Excel integration has contributed to the very positive reception which the solution has received at the company.

In addition to these considerable improvements, the manual work required to prepare plans (which could previously take five to ten days) has been reduced to just one day. The time needed to aggregate data for planning revisions, which amounted to about five days for each revision, has been eliminated completely. Finally the planning solution is user-friendly and oriented to users in all departments, meaning that users are not overly-reliant on the central IT department for technical assistance.

The performance of CENIT as technical consultant and implementation partner has impressed ROLAND Rechtsschutz: “CENIT focuses on the requirements of its customers and implements customized and coherent solutions,” explains Steinhauer. “This was the principal reason we chose CENIT as our partner for this TM1 project. With CENIT’s support we were able to create the organisational and domain-specific preconditions for the successful introduction of the central planning system. The high level of user satisfaction in the departments that are involved in planning is the result of a well-structured, efficient, and consistently goal-oriented collaboration between ROLAND and CENIT.”

Scope for planned extensions
Looking ahead, ROLAND Rechtsschutz now sees several possibilities for extending the solution to other areas: for example, the planning of profit and loss statements and capital investments. ROLAND Rechtsschutz is also planning to add further features related to cost projections and continuous reporting for business development. The innovative IBM Cognos TM1 solution has all the essential features needed to accommodate the company’s future plans.

About IBM Business Analytics
IBM Business Analytics software delivers actionable insights decision-makers need to achieve better business performance. IBM offers a comprehensive, unified portfolio of business intelligence, predictive and advanced analytics, financial performance and strategy management, governance, risk and compliance and analytic applications.

With IBM software, companies can spot trends, patterns and anomalies, compare “what if” scenarios, predict potential threats and opportunities, identify and manage key business risks and plan, budget and forecast resources. With these deep analytic capabilities our customers around the world can better understand, anticipate and shape business outcomes.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Cognos TM1

Legal Information

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