HUSCO International• Hydraulic control valves for industrial vehicle and automotive markets• Customer-specific solutions superior to competitors’ generic valves• 6 manufacturing plants in North America, UK, China and India• 1200 employees worldwide with 700 in offices www.huscointl.com
Systems Environment• Infor Baan IV ERP – sole data source• Oracle 10G database• Crystal Reports• No OLAP cubes• Extract ERP data with stored procedures developed in PL/SQL.• IT staff of 4 people dedicated to our business system.
Technical Challenges• No programmers in house• Limited experience with data warehouses• Crystal Reports dumped data into error-prone spreadsheets• New automotive division mushroomed data volume and complexity• Growth from 3 to 6 plants worldwide caused scalability and performance concerns• Too many different ways to solve the BI problem
First BI Stepsat HUSCO• Have educated users for years about BI (with limited success)• Built support via pilot program that produces global inventory reports• Early users understood the contents and the value of the reports• Early reports led to more user requests
HUSCO’s BI Goals• Focus on one area of the business to start• Simplify report writing• Eliminate manually merging Excel sheets• Avoid staffing large IT effort• Drive better business decisions
Evaluation ProcessTechnologies Evaluated• Actuate / BIRT• Oracle BI SuiteEvaluation Committee• Database administrator• Director of Information Services• Requirements set by initial users – Materials Management, Purchasing
Actuate Selectedas BI PlatformReport Server• Actuate BIRT iServer on Windows• Actuate securityDevelopment ToolsActuate 11 suite• BIRT Interactive Viewer• BIRT Studio• BIRT 360 Dashboards• BIRT Data Analyzer• BIRT Spreadsheet
BI Rollout IssuesData Warehouse• Used Oracle consultant to build data warehouses• Data warehouse updated daily and weeklyCreating Data Set• Users slow to specify needs• Scope shifted as users saw BI capabilities• Took 5 months to spec and create initial data setReports and Applications• Used Actuate for guidance on complex reports• Reports run on demand
Objectives ofInventory Reports• Predict when and where shortages could occur• Reduce inventory turns• Track up to 20-week lead times on parts• Compare and validate data from various suppliers• Avoid adding headcount to capture and aggregate data
Deploy InventoryReports• 40 initial users, 34 of which are materials managers• Initial reports are for purchasing and inventory control• Adding supply chain users: expediters and purchasing agents 20 reports deployed with 150 reports and dashboards planned
Early Returns fromInventory Reports• Inventory levels and costs trending downward as people trust the data• Can now view inventory levels in various locations and systems• New reports replace error-prone spreadsheets and manual processes• Better visibility has led to consistent measurements and strategies worldwide
BI Visibility HasAttracted AttentionWe are adding reports anddashboards for:• Purchasing• Sales• Days sales outstanding• Accounts receivable• Cash flowBI now has the attentionof HUSCO executives
Single Versionof the Truth• One source for decision data• No more islands of info• No two people should show up at a meeting with different data• No decisions should be made using incorrect information
User Self-Sufficiency• Easy report navigation• Easy to run and view reports• East to export data• Easy to do further analysis
Technical Benefits• Write and maintain just one report for all locations• Cleaned up underlying data and complexity• Provide consolidated view to users• Much easier to make complex reports and dashboards• More intuitive UI and navigation• Easy to link reports and sub-reports via drill-down
Culture ChangeTakes Time• People are used to assembling and checking data in Excel• It takes months for people to trust a new solution and its data …but they eventually see the power of having one version of the truth
Leverage ProfessionalServices• Spread the use of outside services out across the life of the project• Get some training, put it into practice, then come back for more• Use outside services to help you make informed decisions
Take ThingsOne Step at a Time• Start small and show results to prove value and get management buy-in• Break BI projects into discrete, digestible phases• Don’t buy the ultimate dream and spend a fortune up front
Questions & Answers David Surteesdavid.firstname.lastname@example.org
Stepping into BI, DrivingBetter Decisions David Surtees Director of Information Services HUSCO International Waukesha, Wisconsin
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