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Business Analytics with SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects
This case study describes the project executed by element61 for and with Omega Pharma corporate to set-up a central Business Analytics & reporting environment. During the project multiple new modules and new analysis domains were added to the set-up and rolled out to multiple European countries.
Omega Pharma is a European vendor and manufacturer of prescription free (OTC – Over The Counter) pharmaceutical products and was founded by Mark Coucke in 1987 in Belgium. In 2014 Perrigo, an American manufacturer of OTC products acquired Omega Pharma. The headquarters of Omega Pharma are located in Nazareth, Belgium with local offices in many European countries.
Omega Pharma started with the vending of special medical shampoos via pharmacies and has evolved into a European player specialised in prescription free products via pharmacies. The wide Omega Pharma portfolio includes products for respiration, vitamins & minerals, skin care, weight loss, personal hygiene, baby care, a range of product for animal care and many more.
Some of the brands owned by Omega Pharma are well known in the market. Davitamon for vitamins, Predictor for pregnancy prediction, Etixx for sport nutrition are brands that are well known and perceived in the market, between other, thanks to the sponsoring of football or cycling teams.
Some of the brands were added in portfolio by mergers or acquisitions executed from 2000 onwards, including Chefaro in Germany in 2000 and GlaxoSmithKline’s OTC production unit in Herrenberg Germany in 2012.
Omega Pharma is running SAP ECC as global ERP application. SAP runs the most important processes within the organization and SAP BPC (Business Planning and Consolidation) is used to streamline the budgeting and consolidation process.
Within Omega Pharma, the standard reporting possibilities offered within SAP ECC were widely used to gather and analyse data. Still, Omega Pharma was in search for a global solution to offer both centrally guided and corporate reports without losing the flexibility for the local offices to produce their own reports and to analyse the data in a more profound way. Thanks to a successful SAP BPC implementation, element61 was asked to take care of the set-up and development of a central Business Analytics & reporting environment.
Omega Pharma was confronted with multiple challenges that needed to be solved with the central reporting environment. The proposed solution had to be easy to integrate within the chosen set-up of Omega Pharma and had to be able to gradually grow alongside the European rollout of the SAP ERP implementation. All SAP ERP data had to be integrated within the final BI solution, but a phased approach was needed since not all modules were implemented at the same time or present at all locations.
Not only SAP data had to be present into the analysis environment, but also external data needed to be integrated within Omega Pharma’s reporting environment, enabling them to have an integrated view on data. External data included IMS market data to have a better market share view, stock data not incorporated within SAP systems and many more.
The front-end solution needed thorough security set-up to make sure that all reports were secure and only appropriate data was shown to the end-users. Creating reports and analysis had to be made easy for both corporate report creators as for the report creators in different countries. Both multi-dimensional analysis and standard reports had to come from the same platform to be able to execute root cause analysis as well as printing a customer report for a sales visit.
element61 assisted Omega Pharma in the decision towards an integrated SAP Business Analytics Solution composed out of SAP BW at the back-end and the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform as front end for the end-users. For Omega Pharma, SAP BI was the most logical choice: it enabled them to follow the pace and priorities that were set-up within the SAP ERP implementation project.
Data extraction from the SAP ECC system into SAP BW is by default included in SAP BI. The selection of any other solution might require extra investments to replace this built-in extraction functionality. Investments towards user security could be inherited from the SAP ECC system towards the SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects environments at no cost.
For the first phase within the project, Omega Pharma had chosen to implement the Controlling - Profitability Analysis (CO-PA) and Sales Order reporting domains. After the successful implementation of this first iteration, the company was able to execute a full sales analysis focussing on Gross Margin and individual sales details.
Thanks to the integration of the CO-PA and the sales data within the SAP BW environment, some extra characteristics that were not available in the standard CO-PA environment could be added to the end-user reporting. Generated reports still had a strong focus on financial data and the sales and supply organisation within Omega Pharma.
To enable end-users and corporate report creators to create their own reports with SAP BusinessObjects WebI, element61 suggested to include more objects in the SAP BW queries. These objects could be used within the WebI query panel, enabling report creators to create reports in an easy way without losing any performance and openness within the reporting capabilities.
With WebI, end-users can easily change their reports and interact with them, without needing the thorough technical knowledge on creating complex calculations for their solution within the SAP BEx queries.
This first phase was well received both at corporate level and within Germany, one of the pilot countries to implement the analysis and reporting solution. After this first successful phase, several countries were asking to extend the project and start the rollout. The Netherlands and UK were added to the group of pilot countries to make use of the implemented Business Analytics platform.
In a later phase, Sales and Operations Planning data were added in multiple cubes for pilot brands for all countries on the reporting and analysis environment. Where needed the SAP data was enriched with external data delivered in flat files by external partners on a regular base. The integration of this data showed the power of the SAP BW environment and the chosen set-up. All data could now be seen in an integrated view and one report without extra efforts. Before this, data had to be integrated within Excel, demanding a monthly effort of several man-hours to produce the final reports.
For this purpose, element61 has set-up a process to receive and validate the figures in an automated way, to save time and integration issues in the process. Rejections and faulty layouts are discovered automatically and responsibles are warned instantaneously.
Budgeting data coming from SAP BPC is meanwhile also integrated within the global solution at Omega Pharma. This enables management to have a close follow up on any discrepancy that might appear between actual data coming from the SAP ERP system and the budgeted data as available from SAP BPC.
One of the most important achievements is the integration of IMS sales data within the analysis environment on corporate level. This enables Omega Pharma to see how the competition is doing on the market and have this in comparison with the actual data. This enables Omega Pharma to better analyse for their own products both the data that is in their ERP system and compare it with market knowledge as offered by IMS data. The IMS reports were also included in a pilot on mobile reporting with SAP BusinessObjects WebI, to enable representatives of the Corporate marketing team to carry along their reports at country visits.
Based on this success setup, the Belgian subsidiary asked to integrate even more detailed IMS data within the global environment. This enabled Omega Pharma Belgium to understand the local market even better and to discover opportunities even sooner.
Over time, Omega Pharma, in close co-operation with element61, has implemented more modules and external data to be available within the reporting and analysis environment. All pilot countries have now full access to the implemented solution. Any new country that connects to the SAP ERP environment receives instant access to their figures and the corporate reports; a rollout of the reporting and analysis solution goes currently side by side with the rollout of the SAP ERP system to new countries.
Omega Pharma Corporate has chosen for a strong integration of their ERP, budgeting, planning and consolidation software, all running on SAP technology, with their analysis and reporting environment.
Therefore they have implemented the SAP BI solutions, including SAP BW and the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform. For Omega Pharma Corporate this was a logical solution to maximize the investments made, but also to maximize all future integration possibilities.
Omega Pharma uses as technology components:
- SAP Business Warehouse 7.3
- SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1
SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 as front-end reporting tools include :
- SAP WebI for the corporate and country specific standard reports
- SAP WebI for ad-hoc reporting both at corporate and entity level
- SAP Analysis for OLAP as analysing data and finding root causes
- SAP WebI for mobile reports with interactivity
- SAP WebI scheduling is used to push pre-formatted reports to people having no access to the SAP BI system
Currently Omega Pharma is exploring the possibilities to implement other tools included in the SAP BI platform to offer more possibilities towards end-users and analysts. SAP Lumira is being evaluated as a self-service tool towards new sources, not yet integrated or to visualize data in a different way.
element61 has been responsible for the following roles & activities:
- Source analysis
- User requirements gathering
- Defining the SAP BW architecture and SAP BEx queries
- Integration of external data
- Automated loading of external data with early warning indicators
- SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects security set-up, including Single Sign On
- SAP BusinessObjects reports for the corporate standard reports
- Coaching of corporate users in using SAP BusinessObjects WebI
- Coaching of corporate users in developing cubes and queries on SAP BW
- Close co-operation with the hosting partner towards performance and installation
- Coaching of end-users of the pilot countries
Omega Pharma currently has a complete reporting and analysis environment that integrates all SAP data coming from multiple SAP companies, external sources and other tools. With the iterative approach of adding modules and data gradually, Omega Pharma stayed in control of the analysis and reporting environment. Having just a few ‘pilot countries’ made sure that a complete and working solution could be rolled out to other countries without facing too much hurdles.
With the current implementation, Omega Pharma has identified clear benefits:
- Both corporate as the individual countries have the same data at their disposition. Everybody is talking now about the same figures and definitions.
- Less manual work has to be spent in integration data coming from external providers.
- The data quality and issues with external data is strongly improved.
- Data is available at daily refresh, showing the latest available figures and trends.
- Countries can spend more time on analysing data instead of producing reports.
- A new country that implements the SAP ERP system immediately has the data and a set of reports available.
You can also download the SAP Branded casestudy about this project here.