Challenge: BOS sought a unified solution for standardized reporting and visualization that would integrate easily into their IT infrastructures.
Solution: Pentaho Data Integration and Pentaho Business Analytics automate data processing and improve access to data.
An international automotive parts manufacturer and distributor wanted to standardize reporting and visualization.
BOS is an international company with locations in Europe, North America, and Asia. The company develops, manufactures, and distributes innovative systems and components for the automotive industry. Over the last 100 years, BOS developed into a global player working hard to acquire technological and market leadership in essential product fields.
The company maintains production sites on three continents. Every location has its own solution in place for monitoring and managing projects with suppliers from all over the world. In most cases, these are software applications BOS has developed themselves. Without a centralized management accounting solution, projects and supplier details were sent to the German headquarters by means of Excel sheets. This resulted in both data fragmentation and data quality issues. Preparing reports and other forms of visualizations was both cumbersome and time-consuming since these had to be implemented directly in Java.
Thus, it was no surprise that the demand for a standardized reporting solution with visualization capabilities grew louder and louder. BOS began searching for a solution with which data could be analyzed and processed centrally without too much programming effort. It also needed to integrate with the location’s own in-house developments.
As a highly innovative and dynamic company, BOS relies on integrated business processes. The company therefore opted for the Pentaho business intelligence suite. Not only is it characterized by a wide range of enterprise features and a high degree of flexibility, the software also easily integrates with existing IT environments though its many interfaces. IT-Novum, as a Pentaho Enterprise Partner with extensive experience implementing the suite in both midsize and large companies, was an easy choice for BOS. Marcus Schablack, the head of the Application Development department, says this about the decision: “We chose Pentaho because it focuses on high-end business intelligence solutions. IT-Novum was the perfect partner for us because, in addition to their expertise in the area of business open source, they also have extensive experience implementing complex enterprise-level projects.”
Hitachi Vantara partner IT-Novum used Pentaho Data Integration and Pentaho Business Analytics to build a central management and reporting platform. A central evaluation and reporting component provides evaluations of BOS suppliers. From the aggregated data, ratings are automatically generated that support the purchasing decision-making process.
IT-Novum developed a Pentaho-based centralized management accounting and reporting platform for BOS, consisting of three components: a “project cockpit” for project-related data, an operations cockpit with over 30 metrics, and a system for supplier evaluations and reports.
Project Cockpit - A ‘project-cockpit’ component gives a central view of all project data resulting from the entire BOS product range. An ‘operations-cockpit’ component aggregates about 30 KPIs from BOS facilities. German headquarters uses the data for analysis and reporting on the status of its global production facilities. The project cockpit allows for a centralized view of all the data concerning BOS’ individual products. In order to integrate the company’s different data sources, their project database, SAP and Excel sheets, IT-Novum set up a data warehouse. With Pentaho, data across BOS’ various locations are loaded into the data warehouse and then aggregated into a consolidated data model. As a result, project managers can view and access all relevant project information, such as contacts, budgets, project and product costs, project phases and pictures of products in development.
Supplier Evaluations for the Purchasing Department - BOS evaluates their suppliers on a regular basis. Using Pentaho, IT-Novum developed an automated way to generate reviews of suppliers and, in turn, suppliers are informed during the process about the results of the assessment through an automated e-mail system. The content is based on the supplier’s classification, language preference, and country of origin.
Operations Cockpit - With business locations across three continents, having access to a centralized view of the state of production is absolutely essential. IT-Novum developed an operations cockpit that aggregates approximately 30 key business metrics from the various factories. The factories send their data in the form of Excel worksheets to the German headquarters, where it is loaded into the data warehouse so that it becomes available for reports and analyses.
The new BI solution, with its data integration processes and dashboards, enables BOS to quickly analyze and prepare data for good-looking reports, charts and evaluations. Pentaho’s open architecture made it easy to integrate the system with existing infrastructure at BOS as well as with third-party applications. BOS is extremely satisfied with the new solution, which offers solid added value for their business.