allnex: how to integrate and automate great reporting

Key messages

Virtual dashboards


SAP integration

'allnex', producer of coating resins, merged with Nuplex in september 2016. Dries Van Avermaet, director at MI&S, was already working for the allnex group, basically dealing with a pure SAP-project. Historically, Nuplex was working on the Microsoft AX system, whereas allnex has always been using SAP. Our new mission was: integrate both. Or to put it differently: provide an integrated reporting solution that supports synergies between the sales and procurement departments.

Functional Approach

Step one? Define an elaborated set of dimensions and data definitions for both departments.
Van Avermaet: ‘immediately, we could use our typical MI&S-approach, which is very functionality-driven, rather than technology-driven. We took a look at the problem from a reporting need.’ As a consequence, the first reporting cubes already came out in May 2017. The first interactive dashboards went live in september 2017. allnex opted for upgrading SAP BI to Hana. Why was that? Van Avermaet: ‘Earlier SAP BI-versions turned out to be quite troublesome when dealing with non-SAP data sources. Hana is more flexible in this respect. Since allnex is not active in the Cloud, a decision was made to implement BW on Hana on premise.’

All together the project was run by a dedicated team consisting of MI&S consultants, external subcontractors and internal allnex specialists. All-in-all some 40 people were involved.

Quick start

Large projects typically result in big ‘lessons learned’. No surprise, this holds for the allnex case too.
Van Avermaet: ‘I am pleasantly surprised by the speed of the management. The fast decision to migrate to Hana enabled a quick start of the project. Also, there was a strong focus on the functional side. Thanks to this, the reporting was set up in merely four months: three months to discuss and define the functional needs, and one more month to do the technical implementation.’ 

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