Monarch Industries accelerates financial analytics

Taking the pain out of forecasting, and delivering rapid results to the business

Published on 16-Oct-2013

"This project shows that even for a mid-sized business, enterprise-class analytics doesn’t have to be a gigantic investment. IBM Cognos Express gives us all the reporting and business planning capabilities we need at a very affordable price." - Chet Raghoo, Business Intelligence Coordinator, Monarch

Customer:
Monarch Industries

Industry:
Industrial Products

Deployment country:
Canada

Solution:
BA - Business Analytics, Business Integration, BA - Business Intelligence, Business Performance Transformation, Business Resiliency, Empowering People, Enabling Business Flexibility, Enterprise Modernization, BA - Performance Management, ROI Study

IBM Business Partner:
Stream Integration

Overview

Monarch Industries, Canada’s largest manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders and custom castings, is an expert in delivering its products to order – and the secret of its success is its use of analytics technologies.

Business need:
To align its manufacturing processes with customer needs, Monarch Industries relies heavily on its ability to forecast demand – but its spreadsheet-based forecasting processes were laborious and time-consuming.

Solution:
Monarch implemented IBM® Cognos® Express to automate the forecasting process and integrate it with its MRP system. By harnessing the power and flexibility of Cognos Express and the expertise of Stream Integration, Monarch got a new operational solution up and running within just six weeks.

Benefits:
30 times faster insight – the business can see the latest forecast data from the previous day, not just the previous month. By moving from manual offline spreadsheets to an automated integrated system, Monarch will achieve an 18-month return on investment through labor savings in the forecasting process.

Case Study

When your business depends on its ability to manufacture products in tight alignment with customer demand, how can you ensure that your sales forecasts are accurate enough to deliver precisely what your customers need?

Monarch Industries, Canada’s largest manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders and custom castings, is an expert in delivering its products to order – and the secret of its success is its use of analytics technologies.

“We’ve been using IBM Cognos software for more than five years to provide insight into the operational data in our manufacturing resource planning system,” comments Chet Raghoo, Business Intelligence Coordinator at Monarch. “It’s no exaggeration to say that the guys in our factories couldn’t run their production lines without the custom reports Monarch has been able to create using Cognos.”

“Recently, we decided to extend our analytics landscape to handle forecasting as well as reporting – and the results have been outstanding.”

Faster insight for the business
Working with Stream Integration, an IBM Business Partner, the business intelligence team at Monarch developed a sophisticated forecasting solution that gathers and integrates historical, current and future sales information, which is passed to the company’s enterprise resource planning solution on a daily basis.

“We used to ask our 24 sales reps to provide forecast updates once a month, and then we consolidated the information manually in a central spreadsheet,” says Raghoo. “Now, the reps can submit their forecasts directly into the system whenever an update is necessary, and the figures are consolidated, validated and reported on a daily basis.

“Instead of waiting until after the end of the month for the new forecast figures, the business can see the latest position at any time.”

Reducing workload for sales reps and analysts
With the former spreadsheet-based process, Monarch used to spend hours or even days each month just processing and checking the data and creating the reports. Now, the process is completely automated.

“My forecasting workload has reduced to almost nothing,” says Raghoo. “This gives me much more time to spend on developing new reports and analyses, rather than just crunching the numbers myself.”

Accelerated implementation
Stream Integration leveraged its deep Cognos expertise and accelerated approach to speed up the deployment process, while also ensuring a best-practice approach. As a result, Monarch was able to get a new operational solution up and running within just six weeks.

“We first encountered Stream Integration at the IBM Information on Demand event in Las Vegas, and we were immediately impressed with the way they understood our needs,” comments Raghoo. “Dimensional modeling was new to us, so we engaged them to help us with the project and they more than justified our confidence: they achieved more in six weeks than we had previously managed in six months!”

Rapid return on investment
Based on the labor savings for the business intelligence team and the sales reps, Monarch has calculated that the solution will provide a full return on investment within just 18 months.

Raghoo comments: “This project shows that even for a mid-sized business, enterprise-class analytics doesn’t have to be a gigantic investment. IBM Cognos Express gives us all the reporting and business planning capabilities we need at a very affordable price.

“Moreover, with the excellent training and knowledge transfer that Stream Integration have provided, we are able to handle the day-to-day management of the solution ourselves.”

About Monarch Industries
Monarch Industries is a privately owned company that was founded in 1935. Monarch is a vertically integrated manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders and custom iron castings. These products are marketed throughout North America into the retail, agricultural, industrial and original equipment manufacturer markets.

To learn more about Monarch Industries and its products, please visit www.monarchindustries.com

About Stream Integration
Stream Integration is an information management and enterprise analytics consultancy focused exclusively on leveraging IBM technologies. Stream’s performance management practice leverages the latest IBM Business Analytics technologies, including IBM Cognos Express, to help clients such as Monarch optimize their performance management processes and excel with better analytics and insight.

Working closely with IBM, Stream Integration has expanded rapidly to include services, solutions, and software reselling. Its partnership with IBM extends from software engineering through to post-implementation support, ensuring that its customers receive the greatest service possible.

To learn more about products, services and solutions from Stream Integration, please visit www.streamintegration.com

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.

Hardware:
Power Systems

Software:
Cognos Express

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Corporation, Software Group, Route 100, Somers, NY 10589. Produced in the United States. October 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Cognos and Power Systems 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. IBM and Stream Integration are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Stream Integration makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. 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. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. 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.