ANCAP refines its approach to operational analytics

Published on 27-Aug-2013

"The IBM Cognos solution we implemented was a total success, in every area of the company up to top management levels, and we are absolutely satisfied with the technical support and business insight delivered by both IBM and Quanam." - Sergio Pi, CIO, ANCAP

Customer:
ANCAP

Industry:
Energy & Utilities, Government

Deployment country:
Uruguay

Solution:
BA - Business Analytics, BA - Business Intelligence, BA - Performance Management, BA - Predictive Analytics, Big Data & Analytics, Big Data & Analytics: Transform processes, Big Data & Analytics: Operations/Fraud/Threats, Business Integration, Business Performance Transformation, Business Resiliency

IBM Business Partner:
Quanam

Overview

ANCAP works to provide energy services to the entire country, so it needs to have a clear, unified and up-to-date view of its complete operational structure.

Business need:
How can a leading energy company manage every aspect of its business – from refining and logistics through to sales and marketing – when time-consuming reporting processes prevent it from gaining a centralized view of its operations?

Solution:
Working with IBM® Business Partner Quanam, ANCAP deployed a suite of IBM Business Analytics solutions to help streamline operations by providing a unified, real-time view of the entire business.

Benefits:
Increases operational visibility with access to real-time information. Reduces budget consolidation processes from 60 days to just two. Reports which used to take 10 days to produce can now be generated instantly.

Case Study

To read a Spanish-language version of this case study, click here

What if you could save at least ten days’ work by generating sophisticated operational reports at the touch of a button? If you could instantly understand exactly what was happening across your entire business, what difference would that make to operational efficiency and customer service?

Whether you have the monopoly on a specific industry, or you aim to compete with numerous and fierce rivals, having data that can be readily transformed into valuable business insight is pivotal to ensuring commercial success.

For ANCAP – Uruguay’s largest energy company – this kind of deep insight is crucial for maintaining tight control over an extremely varied and highly complex line of business. The state-owned energy company holds the monopoly on the refinement and distribution of fuel and is a key player in other areas of Uruguay’s energy sector. Its business spans the entire energy value chain, including refining, distribution and trade of fuels, gas, liquid petroleum and lubricants – as well as other business fields such as natural gas, Portland cement, alcohol and sugar production.

Managing this multi-faceted business model is a huge task for the company’s 2,500 employees – and one that would be impossible without analytics.

Building better business awareness
ANCAP works to provide energy services to the entire country, so it needs to have a clear, unified and up-to-date view of its complete operational structure.

The company wanted to bring information on all aspects of its operations together in order to obtain a better, more accurate picture of its activities. With deeper insight into its complex business, ANCAP would be able to fine-tune its processes for maximum efficiency, helping to cement its leadership position in the industry.

ANCAP understood that the possibilities for business innovation were huge, and teamed up with IBM® Business Partner Quanam to implement a new analytics solution, built around IBM Cognos® software.

Rosario Pontillo, Solutions Development Manager at ANCAP, says, “The IBM Cognos software perfectly integrates with the rest of our IT landscape, including our SAP applications – which is a huge advantage because it enables us to unite data from across the enterprise to reveal new insights and improve operational efficiency.”

Automated applications for on-the-spot budgeting
A central concern for ANCAP is represented by its financial budgeting plans which need to be developed and delivered on both a public and a private level.

Sergio Pi, CIO at ANCAP, comments: “In the past, we used spreadsheet-based processes to manage our budgeting plans, and it could take up to 60 days just to consolidate and review all the information. With IBM Cognos TM1®, we can now carry out this operation in two days. Having a comprehensive and totally trusted view of our finances within 48 hours is invaluable for us.”

Contingency planning for multiple scenarios
ANCAP also benefits from being able to create much more complex and detailed budgets. The company can simulate different scenarios in order to better understand the company’s profitability and its position in the market.

For example, global fluctuations in the price of oil are likely to have a significant effect on almost every aspect of ANCAP’s business. With TM1, the company can enter several different predicted values for oil prices into its budgeting model, and calculate the impact on profitability, pricing, cash flow, human resources and other elements of the budget in each case.

“Previously, creating even one version of the budget was a huge effort,” comments Pi. “Now we can quickly and easily create multiple different versions to assess the possible scenarios – helping us plan effectively for the future and mitigate the risk of unforeseen market changes.”

Real-time analysis for better management
Another key requirement for ANCAP is the delivery of information to all its refineries across all of its business areas. Reports are created in the form of lengthy presentations (containing at least 50 slides) which contain all the key performance indicators that need to be shown to ANCAP’s top management.

Assembling this document used to take up to 10 days, which meant that the consolidated information could only be delivered about 15 days after it was requested. Now, IBM Cognos Business Intelligence generates the reports in real time, literally at the touch of a button – freeing ANCAP’s analysts from time-consuming manual work and allowing them to focus on creating new analyses to help refine business operations.

This instant reporting capability also gives ANCAP a fully accurate and up-to-date view of all its activities. The company can run comparisons of its current financial results with those of past years, as well as verify whether there have been any losses, shortages or related issues.

Enhanced logistics ensures efficient supply
ANCAP is also using its analytics solution to support a number of operational improvements – including, for example, better management of logistics. The company uses a fleet of trucks to deliver fuel to service stations across the country. Managing these fuel deliveries efficiently is the key to maintaining a reliable supply throughout the country, and ensuring that fuel is available when customers want to buy it.

“We integrated IBM Cognos Business Intelligence with Google Maps, which enables us to create specific and targeted routes for our trucks,” says Pontillo. “We can optimize the routes that our drivers take to each service station, and even plan for specific scenarios – for example, determining which dispatch area the trucks should go to if there is a shortage of fuel at one of the main distribution plants.”

Geographical analysis enhances business planning
Geographical analytics capabilities are also useful for the company’s production, pricing and sales teams.

“We can use the mapping tool to track up-to-date information about how much fuel we sell at each of the different stations across the country, and can even compare the results to those in neighboring countries such as Argentina and Brazil,” says Pontillo.

Building a successful partnership
ANCAP’s IBM business analytics solution is developed and maintained by its IT department in close partnership with Quanam, one of Uruguay’s leading analytics specialists and IBM Business Partners.

The ANCAP and Quanam team has built a corporate data warehouse that pulls data from multiple sources, including the company’s SAP ERP system and a range of in-house applications. It has also replaced all of the company’s existing analytics applications with IBM Cognos tools, and created a single central analytics platform that is easily accessible for ANCAP’s employees at any time.

“By integrating IBM Cognos TM1 with SAP, we have created a closed-loop process that allows us to extract financial data from SAP, enrich it in our budgeting tool, and then return the updated data to SAP,” comments Pi. “The integration between the two solutions is a significant advantage: SAP provides a reliable source of detailed data, and Cognos provides the powerful analysis capabilities we need to make that data useful to the business.”

The close partnership between ANCAP and Quanam has been a significant factor in the project’s success. Pi adds: “Working with Quanam has allowed us to broaden our capacities and expertise in business analytics and, ultimately, guarantee a smooth implementation of the IBM Cognos software,” says Pi. “Today, our IT staff collaborates with nearly fifteen Quanam professionals who provide great quality support. Having Quanam as a local partner in Uruguay means that we can always count on them to answer any questions or quickly resolve any problems we might encounter.”

He concludes: “The IBM Cognos solution we implemented was a total success, in every area of the company up to top management levels, and we are absolutely satisfied with the technical support and business insight delivered by both IBM and Quanam.

“Looking to the future, we are excited about extending our capabilities further – we are investigating the possibility of using predictive analytics to support maintenance, and launching a mobile solution for analytics on tablet devices.”

About Quanam
Quanam is a certified IBM Premium Business Partner that specializes in Cognos, TM1, SPSS, i2 and OpenPages solutions. Headquartered in Uruguay and with offices in Miami, San Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Montevideo, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile and Lima, the company offers ICT services and solutions to a wide range of customers.

About IBM Business Analytics
IBM Business Analytics software delivers data-driven insights that help organizations work smarter and outperform their peers. This comprehensive portfolio includes solutions for business intelligence, predictive analytics and decision management, performance management, and risk management.

Business Analytics solutions enable companies to identify and visualize trends and patterns in areas, such as customer analytics, that can have a profound effect on business performance. They can compare scenarios, anticipate potential threats and opportunities, better plan, budget and forecast resources, balance risks against expected returns and work to meet regulatory requirements. By making analytics widely available, organizations can align tactical and strategic decision-making to achieve business goals.

For more information
For further information please visit ibm.com/business-analytics

Products and services used

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

Software:
Cognos TM1, Cognos Business Intelligence, Cognos Data Manager

Service:
IBM-SAP Alliance

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Uruguay S.A. Plaza Independencia, 721, Montevideo - Uruguay. Produced in Uruguay. August 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Cognos and TM1 are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation.