Scalable enterprise solution
Recent investments in new ERP and MES systems provide new capabilities for Suominen’s information driven supply chain and production excellence. At the same time Analytics transformation has taken place: former report factories have been replaced by empowered self-service analytics and old reporting tools by a new state-of-the-art analytics platforms. This has enabled business users to better understand their data in highly visual form and easily find and share their own insights.
The new analytics solution provides insights for several business functions. Both company management and individual production plant managers can follow company-wide or regional Sales and Profitability on an account level. In addition, Customer service can gain valuable information about delivery success and accuracy, and Production can keep track of how efficiently they use their raw material. In the future the solution will expand to cover even more business functions and processes. This means that data can be tracked and analysed across business functions to quickly see, for example, how changes in raw material prices affect end-customer prices and therefore profitability.
Suominen operates in five countries, with tens of analysis users across several time zones in USA, Brazil, Spain, Finland and Italy. This means it is vital that the system is available 24/7 and development can be done while the system is active, without significant downtime for one timezone.
The technical architecture consists of three main components: EDW as an inbound layer for cleansed source data, SAP HANA as an application layer for business logic, and Tableau for end-user friendly presentation, visuals, self-service, sharing and advanced analytics.
Agile development alongside ERP implementation, benefits to process development
Suominen was implementing a new ERP system at the same time as the data and analytics journey began. This means that, in order to have one common view of the business, the data had to be harmonized between the old and new ERP systems. To keep the development project running smoothly, and in order to make the most out of the limited time of people involved in the ERP project, requirements and business rules were gathered and testing was done with agile methodology.
After expanding the use of Tableau, Suominen is now able to use company-wide data to identify processes which need to be developed or harmonized between operating countries. Also, it is easy for managers to analyze data and spot profitability issues, monitor delivery accuracy through visualization, or find ways to maximize the efficiency of raw material use. Furthermore, all interested parties are now able to view the data directly in Tableau instead of receiving it in spreadsheets, which also makes the job of financial controllers easier and increases data security.