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Closed loop Performance Management at H.Essers

This case was first published in IBM Inspire


"We have been able to do our financial closing each 10th of the month,
whereas it used to
take six weeks after each quarter
to do the closing."

Joeri Fabry,

Group Controller, H.Essers



Premium logistics
provider H.Essers wanted to move away from Excel spreadsheets for reporting
and analyzing its business  performance.

To sustain its growth, the company needed a
solution for integrating reporting,
analysis, and consolidation
with budgeting. With the implementation of the IBM Cognos Business Analytics suite, H.Essers can now use the time previously devoted to
spreadsheets for getting business insights.

Closed loop Performance Management at H.Essers


H. Essers offers complete supply chain solutions and has experienced solid growth over its
85 years

of existence. Today, the company has 37 sites in 11 countries across Europe, 16 of which are situated
in Belgium. "Each of our business units
generates vast amounts of data”,
explains Steven Pacquée,
Team Manager Business Intelligence at H.Essers. Reporting
had been done for many years in Excel
spreadsheets, but the company found that there were limits to this method.

"We needed a reliable and intelligent solution
to collect, process,
and analyze this data,”
says Pacquée.

Setting up a Business Analytics road map

Working together closely with element61, the thought-leading Business
Analytics consulting company, H.Essers
defined a business analytics
road map that led to

a multi-year program that defined
the information needs, processes, technology, and organization. Between
the actions taken, a Business Intelligence Competence Center was set up within
the existing

Strategic Information Center.
As a second step, H.Essers
embedded the IBM Cognos BI and IBM Cognos Controller solutions for reporting and consolidation within

its existing Cognos TM1 structure
for budgeting, which
has created numerous  advantages. 

From repetition toward valuable insights

Reporting through
spreadsheets was time consuming for H.Essers’ employees. This was time that could
have been used better to generate valuable
insights. Steven Pacquée:
"By implementing IBM Cognos, the time that was previously devoted to spreadsheets can now be used for analyzing the data
and getting business insights.

Time decreased, insights increased.” IBM Cognos
enabled H.Essers to significantly reduce the time of financial closing. Joeri Fabry, Group
Controller: "We have been able to do our financial closing
each 10th of the month, whereas
it used to take six weeks after
each quarter to do the closing. That is a huge improvement that enabled us to adapt
much faster to changing budgetary realities.”

Clear perspective on budget and business

The shift
had more advantages. H.Essers already used
IBM Cognos TM1 to do budget
forecasting, but was never able

to compare specific
budgets with specific
transport orders. Today, H.Essers
is able to compare its existing transport orders with those of last year and find out how they correlate with their respective budgets.

It enables the company to maintain a clear perspective on both the budgetary reality and each specific transport order. Previously, analyses were restricted to an aggregated
level. Each user now has the ability to tailor his/her
reports to his/her

own needs. Today, 60 users are
making use of IBM Cognos at H.Essers,
a number that is expected to double in the upcoming year.

True asset

The close collaboration between the consultants of element61, in a coaching and co-development modus, with H.Essers’

BICC was key to the
success of the initiative.


"IBM
Cognos TM1 has been very valuable to us in terms of
budgeting, but  to sustain our growth and
improve our ability to manage big
sets of data, we needed a bigger
solution that integrated reporting, analysis,
and consolidation with budgeting. Expanding
from IBM’s Cognos TM1 software to the IBM Cognos Suite, including
BI and Controller, has proven to be a true asset to our data warehouse”, says Steven Pacquée. "We are very glad that our partner element61 guided us to this IBM Solution.
We could not have done it without
them.”


 

"By implementing IBM Cognos, the time that was previously devoted to spreadsheets
can now be used for analyzing the data and getting business insights"

Steven Pacquée,
Team Manager Business Intelligence at H.Essers



Challenge

To define and deploy a manage- able and user-friendly Business Analytics solution at H.Essers  that enables the quick collection, process, and analysis of data from a variety of business units to deliver management information.

Solution

Moving  from  Excel spreadsheets  to IBM Cognos for reporting and analysis, IBM Cognos Controller for consolidation and management reporting and connect to the existing IBM Cognos TM1 budgeting solution.

Key benefits

A high performance, fast, and reliable data warehouse based solution that enables the Business Intelligence Competence Center at H.Essers to generate valuable insights for the company.

Download and read the full case study here.