Sonneveld Group is a producer of ingredients for bakeries.
To create a modern ‘Central Park’ for data in which data is automatically prepared, documented, sorted and validated based on simple data definitions.
It was vital that this environment was capable of connecting and validating data from a multitude of sources ranging from Exact, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics and AS/400 to local systems that are only used in a single location.
With assistance from the consultants at Intraworks Solutions, Sonneveld implemented TimeXtender to create exactly this type of environment to enable data management and data mining as well as establishing a single source of truth.
Sonneveld also selected a Power BI front end for the visualization of data via dashboards and reports.
Intraworks has been active as a software house since 2001. We have extensive experience in developing custom software solutions and implementing data analytics & data management solutions for smart customers. Our clientele from large (listed) companies to small organizations in various industries. From healthcare to trade and from agro to industrial sector.
Sonneveld Group’s data journey: from cost-driven to value-driven
Sonneveld Group, part of the Orkla Group – one of the largest listed companies in Norway – provides an extensive range of products and services to traditional and industrial bakeries. The company is a market leader in the Netherlands and exports to countries in Europe, the Middle East, South America and South-East Asia. Innovation and knowledge sharing is a high priority at Sonneveld Group, as evidenced by the company’s founding of the European Bakery Innovation Centre (EBIC).
Data plays a vital role in Sonneveld Group’s operational environment and the machines in the company’s production environment generate vast quantities of data. The supply chain in the food industry must be clear and transparent at all times and the organization needs insight into stock levels, prices of raw materials, customer preferences and transport statuses, among countless other vital aspects. Due to all of these factors, data was a vital priority for Ismail Yasemin upon his appointment as CIO of Sonneveld Group in 2015
“What struck me straight away was the enormous hunger for data and the great pressure that this put on the IT department,” says Ismail. “First the Director of Operations would drop by, then the Finance Director and then the Quality Director. They all wanted the same report, but with slightly different definitions or from a slightly different perspective. Then they would plug all the data into Excel and make further adjustments, a process I used to refer to as ‘Exceleration’. It drove the CEO mad, as he always had to deal with different versions of the same report: everything was green in the financial director’s report, while the same data was red in the quality director’s report. The company was lacking a single source of truth.”
“TimeXtender allows businesses to build an automated environment in which all of their data is collected: a data park that enables all kinds of data to be connected in all kinds of ways.”
Sefa Uysal, Director, Intraworks
A tour of the organization
This observation marked the beginning of Sonneveld Group’s data journey: a mission to establish simple data definitions, traceable data, clear-cut KPIs and modern tools in order to extract and organize validated data from a wide array of international systems such as Exact, Unit 4, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics and AS/400. The first step of this journey required the CIO to talk to everyone within the business. “I knew that the IT department created 88 unique outputs, which were then elaborated by the various departments in countless ways,” explains Ismail. “As a result, there were hundreds of reports within the company, yet no-one knew exactly what these reports told us. To gain insight into this matter, I went on a tour of the organization together with the CFO. We spoke to everyone, from sales and marketing to production and procurement, and made clear agreements with them on a wide range of issues, such as what our KPIs would be, how the data would be defined and who would be the owner of specific types of data.”
Once you have a data management environment like TimeXtender, in which all data is automatically collected, compiled, documented, validated and prepared, you can truly get your data to work for you via analytics, data mining or AI. And once your data is working for you, your organization can operate in a data-driven, flexible and agile manner.”
Ismail Yasemin, CIO, Sonneveld Group
An automated way of building a modern data park
At this point, the technical debates started. From which systems would we obtain the data and which tools could help us to test and validate the data? To assist us with these issues, Sonneveld Group hired Intraworks Solutions, a specialist in business intelligence and data warehouse solutions. “The enormous increase in quantities and sources of data both inside and outside organizations has left more and more businesses struggling to get a grip on their data architecture,” explains Sefa Uysal, Director of Intraworks Solutions. “This was clearly the case at Sonneveld Group. When helping businesses come to grips with their data, we often advise them to implement TimeXtender. Using this tool, businesses can use automation to build an environment in which all of their data is collected: a data park that enables all kinds of data to be connected in all kinds of ways.” Following an analysis of all possible solutions, Sonneveld Group agreed that this was the right way to go. “The other providers focused too heavily on visualization or only offered limited opportunities for data connection,” says Ismail. “TimeXtender proved to be highly effective in sorting and preparing data from all kinds of sources and was even able to connect to an old Hungarian ERP system that we use. TimeXtender also allows you to play around with data as well as enabling data mining, which impressed us greatly.”
Today, TimeXtender serves as the spider in Sonneveld Group’s data web. “We’ve made vital steps in our data journey,” says Ismail. “We’re now at a point where we can create validated reports incorporating all of our systems, all of our definitions and all of our data. Auditing takes less time as every data point is traceable. We’ve boosted the level of data awareness within the organization and improved the quality of the data. TimeXtender now serves as our ‘Central Park’ in which all of our data is collected and distributed. This is a vital factor, as every organization strives to become value-driven rather than cost-driven, which is simply impossible without a data management platform like TimeXtender. Once you have an environment in which all data is automatically collected, compiled, documented and validated, you can truly get your data to work for you via analytics, data mining or AI. And once your data is working for you, your organization can operate in a data-driven, flexible and agile manner. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re on the right track.”
“TimeXtender now serves as our ‘Central Park’ in which all of our data is collected and distributed. We can now create validated reports incorporating all of our systems, all of our definitions and all of our data. This has helped to boost data quality within the organization.”
Ismail Yasemin, CIO, Sonneveld Group