Novenco Gains a Robust and Stable BI Platform
“We are in the midst of a turn-around that will strengthen Novenco’s economy and competitive advantage. In that connection, we have started to use key numbers and performance indicators from across the organization – including production, sales, project management, purchasing, finance, shipping, and so on, – to help guide the management of our company. And to do this, we use a Business Intelligence solution consisting of TimeXtender and Targit. We use TimeXtender to build up our data warehouse and Targit as the presentation tool. It’s really a great combination because it enables us to give management all the metrics that they want,” says Søren Haugaard Jacobsen who is the Business Improvement Manager for Novenco
Novenco is one of the world’s leading producers of ventilation equipment and fire extinguishing systems. For many years, Novenco had been a part of the British York company, but in 2006, the company was purchased by the capital foundation Dania. Since then, Novenco has acquired the necessary financial resources to develop the company. In 2007, Novenco initiated the Hercules project – a comprehensive plan consisting of 10 large change projects intended to improve the company’s economy and competitive capabilities. One of these 10 projects involves the introduction of business activity monitoring – or managing with metrics – using a modern BI solution where the success criteria are credible and updated metrics centered on the company’s critical supply chain processes. This includes being able to visualize the company’s performance, provide analysis data to the other “turnaround projects”, and finally, but most importantly, give management the possibility to take corrective action based on the accepted data.
Targit and TimeXtender
Søren Haugaard Jacobsen is responsible for this project which has resulted in a solution that combines TimeXtender to build up a central data warehouse and the Danish BI-system Targit for presenting the data to management. And it’s proving to be a great combination. “There is a razor-sharp interface between these two tools and both are incredibly user-friendly. It took us less than 6 months with very few resources to build up a BI solution where we can produce all the important metrics that management needs,” says Jacobsen.
The successful introduction of business activity monitoring depends very much on the ability to present data to users in easy-to-understand graphs and tables. “And this is where Targit has its strength,” says Søren Haugaard Jacobsen.
“So we have found exactly what we were looking for: a robust and user-friendly BI platform that makes it possible for our organization to present all the key metrics.” – Søren Haugaard Jacobsen, Novenco
The next step in the development of the BI solution will be to start using Targit’s notifications functionality where the system monitors the most important metrics and automatically sends notifications to the responsible persons when a value starts to move in the wrong direction or exceed a critical boundary or limit. In this way it’s possible to keep an eye on potential problems early on and take corrective action quickly before things develop further in the wrong direction.
TimeXtender Creates the Data Cubes
”But the “motor” in the BI solution is TimeXtender’s data warehouse including OLAP cubes,” emphasizes Søren Haugaard Jacobsen and adds, ”Without these data cubes, Targit doesn’t have much data to present. And it’s usually a very time-consuming task requiring specialists with programming experience to build up a data warehouse and the associated OLAP cubes. But with TimeXtender you don’t need the specialists because TimeXtender generates the code automatically. We just use the built-in functions in the menus and easily carry out the data treatment we want, like selection of source data, consolidation, cleansing and manipulation.”
When Novenco decided to initiate the BI project, three specific criteria came into focus: Fast implementation, low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and user friendliness. All three criteria are important so the need for external assistance is minimized and the company builds up internal ownership and knowhow.
“In the beginning, we didn’t have any preference for the choice of BI system. So we invited TimeXtender to a presentation to see what they had to offer. It was a convincing presentation because they quickly proved that it wasn’t any problem to retrieve data from our ERP system and clean it. There was almost nothing that needed to be programmed.”
Only 3 Days to Learn TimeXtender
Having completed a 3-day training session, four of Novenco’s employess became TimeXtender certified, and were able to start up and begin working independently. “The people at TimeXtender really know their product – inside and out. And it’s obvious in the daily support because when we call them with a problem they get back to us with a solution quickly.”
So the people at Novenco are very satisfied with the Targit and TimeXtender project as Søren Haugaard Jacobsen confirms: “The first concrete result we can see is that we have more knowledge about the delivery capabilities of our own internal and external suppliers and where the kinks are in the supply chain. Plus, we now have an important and comprehensive overview of our core processes and this information has been made easy to access for key employees via a Web solution.”
The Technology Behind the Solution
The technology platform for both TimeXtender and Targit is built on Microsoft SQL Server 2005 – proven server technology that is well-known in Novenco. This means that there is no need for special routines or procedures in the daily operation. ”So we have found exactly what we were looking for: a robust and user-friendly BI platform that makes it possible for our organization to present all the key metrics that management may want to see. It’s a BI platform that we can maintain and build on ourselves in the coming years. What’s more, we can stay on budget and meet our deadlines,” concludes Søren Haugaard Jacobsen.