Published on 04-Jul-2012
"Our sales representatives find that the uniform structure and intuitive operation of the new sales dashboards help them stay much better informed – which means that the new solution has fully paid off." - Martin Reinhardt, IT Manager, LEO Pharma
Business Analytics, Business Intelligence
IBM Business Partner:
LEO Pharma GmbH is the German subsidiary of LEO, a global pharmaceutical company based in Denmark. LEO Pharma develops and sells innovative, effective and safe drugs for the treatment of skin diseases, thromboses, pulmonary embolisms, nephritic illnesses and osteoporosis. The German subsidiary in NeuIsenburg employs more than 180 people, including approximately 130 field representatives.
A dynamic growth rate combined with an accompanying increase in personnel meant that LEO Pharma GmbH’s existing tools for sales reporting and analysis could no longer cope. The effort of installing, maintaining, training and regular updating individual reporting solutions on more than 120 notebook computers was no longer sustainable with the resources available.
IBM Cognos® Business Intelligence provides access to all sales data from any authorised device via the internet. Easy-to-use sales and management dashboards offer current-day overviews on achieved revenues and incurred costs at any time. Graphical maps that show local sales figures compared to the company’s targets help to highlight successful regions as well as identifying problems and weak spots.
Accelerates the build speed of the sales database from more than 30 hours to just 20 minutes, an improvement of approximately 99 percent. This enables daily updates.
Enables detailed insight and analysis of all field representatives’ current-day sales activities by mouse click. Eliminates time and effort previously spent installing, managing and updating client software on 120 notebook computers. A standard browser is all that is needed to access all data. Provides deep insights into sales, revenues, regions, costs and profits down to the level of individual salespeople.
To read a German version of this case study, please click here
LEO Pharma GmbH is the German subsidiary of LEO, a global pharmaceutical company based in Denmark. LEO Pharma develops and sells innovative, effective and safe drugs for the treatment of skin diseases, thromboses, pulmonary embolisms, nephritic illnesses and osteoporosis. The German subsidiary in Neu-Isenburg employs more than 180 people, including approximately 130 field representatives.
The LEO Pharma has committed to a growth strategy for the next several years. As part of this commitment, the company increased its staff levels by approximately 50 percent, and instituted a special sales approach that focuses on making the sales processes more transparent and improving data protection.
The need to increase the flexibility of reporting
For some years, LEO Pharma had been using IBM Cognos Business Intelligence for sales reporting and analysis. However, the solution architecture that the company had developed over the years was no longer capable of meeting its increased requirements.
Martin Reinhardt, IT Manager at LEO Pharma, explains the initial situation: “Every sales rep had an individual IBM Cognos Business Intelligence installation with an individual data cube on his or her notebook computer. This gave them data about the direct pharmacy sales figures and the indirect sales of our own and our competitors’ products. In addition, it held the field rep’s individual CRM data, including for example contact addresses of doctors and clinics, visit reports, visit frequency requirements and personal sales performance. The internal sales team at headquarters worked with a general overall cube. A number of standard reports were also available for analysis. It was also possible to create individual custom queries, but this was used only by a very small percentage of users.”
“It was an immense effort to maintain and regularly update the software, to train new employees in the solution and to regularly send gigantic volumes of data to about 120 sales reps’ notebook computers all over Germany,” reports Martin Reinhardt.
“Moreover, the data was not sufficiently up-to-date to support tactical sales activities. In addition to using data from the cubes, the company also needed to perform an elaborate process to obtain its own daily sales figures from pharmaceutical wholesalers across Germany. These were then summarised in a spreadsheet and emailed to the sales and management teams. This process took approximately half an hour every day, and was dependent on one person. If she was ill or out of the office, the whole company had no access to the current figures.”
IBM Cognos Business Intelligence fulfils all requirements
Because the LEO Pharma team was generally satisfied with IBM Cognos Business Intelligence’s user-friendliness and wealth of functionality, after detailed examination they decided to upgrade to version 10 of the software. With the new version, it is easy for users to access all current reports and analyses via the internet. A comprehensive access management system ensures that every user can view and analyse only the data relevant to their role in the business. Moreover, for the sales team, there is no longer any need to install specific software on their notebooks: all they need is a web browser.
The company worked with CENIT AG, an IBM Business Partner, on this project due to their successful history of working with this company for many years. The commercial skills, industry know-how and comprehensive experience that the CENIT specialists had gained from implementing many other similar projects for clients of different sizes enabled LEO Pharma to complete the whole project within the time and budget constraints.
“The consultants and system specialists from CENIT certainly know their business,” reports Martin Reinhardt. “Our in-house team designed the application concept and the dashboards we wanted, but the CENIT specialists were responsible for the subsequent implementation of the solution, which has worked out perfectly. As a result, we decided to transfer the maintenance and support contracts for our IBM solution to CENIT as well.”
New sales dashboards increase transparency
A central component of the new solution is a sales dashboard, which visualises each sales rep’s individual business data, sales and market share in the different territories, as well as their sales targets. Standard reports can be significantly personalised by marking different check boxes. Users can navigate from a top-level overview down to the detailed data, enabling them to identify the reasons for any deviations from the company’s plan.
The regional marketing managers’ dashboards have the same structure, but present an overview of all sales reps in their region. Missing information can quickly be detected, and data can be compared to reveal new insights and identify areas where improvements are possible.
Finally, the national sales manager and the board have a version of the dashboard that displays an overview of all sales regions. The fact that users at all levels of the company are using dashboards based on a common design and a single database makes it easy for them to discuss the data in a consistent and objective manner.
Martin Reinhardt describes the improvements that have been achieved: “Our sales representatives find that the uniform structure and intuitive operation of the new sales dashboards helps them stay much better informed – which means that the new solution has fully paid off. Moreover, we should be able to reduce the cost of training new sales reps thanks to the intuitive web interface of the solution. Training that used to take a whole day can now be completed in one hour.”
In addition, the performance of the solution is excellent. According to Martin Reinhardt: “Our sales people usually access the reporting and analysis system in the evening from home via a VPN connection to look at the current figures and to upload their visit reports. Although the number of accesses is currently increasing, there are no performance problems.” As a contributing factor to this performance boost, LEO purchased a more efficient server when they introduced the new solution.
Martin Reinhardt adds: “The time taken to generate the cubes has been reduced from 30 hours to just 20 minutes, so we can now do it every day. Moreover, editing the daily sales data – which used to be a manual process – is done automatically as part of the process. As a result, now everyone always has the current figures at his or her disposal.”
Detailed profitability estimates
In parallel with its sales reporting and analysis solution, LEO Pharma also introduced a powerful dashboard for its senior management team. By integrating sales data with cost data from the ERP system, the solution allows users to perform nearly any form of cost-benefit analysis with just a few mouse-clicks. It also makes it easy for users to review and compare travel expenses, vehicle expenses and the salaries of individual sales units between regions and periods.
“The management dashboard opens a new dimension of understanding for us,” says Martin Reinhardt. “This is very important for our German business, as well as for our reporting to the group headquarters. Our colleagues in Denmark are now looking at developing the solution further.”
“The new IBM Cognos Business Intelligence solution has taken us an important step forward towards our strategic targets,” concludes Martin Reinhardt. “Nevertheless, we are still constantly developing the system. I am convinced that the insights we have already gained into the working mechanisms of the business – and the insights we plan to gain in the near future – will help us continue to preserve our competitive advantage.”
About CENIT AG
CENIT AG is a consultancy and software specialist that focuses on the optimization of business processes in product lifecycle management, enterprise information management, application management services and business optimization & analytics. With its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany and further offices in five other countries, CENIT’s 700 employees generate global revenues of nearly €100 million.
For more information about CENIT, please visit www.cenit.de/en.html
About IBM Business Analytics
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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.
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Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Cognos Business Intelligence
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