About the customer
merz+benteli ag, founded in 1918, specialises in the production and marketing of adhesives and sealants for the construction, automotive, marine and hobby sectors. Customers are supplied in Switzerland and abroad. The family business has100 employees and in 2014 generated a revenue of 46 million Swiss Francs.
merz+benteli ag uses the ERP software ABACUS across the entire company. Until recently, this had also been used to carry out data analysis. In order to meet the increased reporting requirements of the enterprise, a specific business intelligence software needed to be introduced. An IT solution was sought which enabled data to be extracted quickly and easily from ABACUS, then prepared and analysed in an agile manner. Additional requirements were ease of use, which would allow it to be used directly in specialist departments, as well as a comprehensive analysis flexibility so that all queries could be represented. In addition, the solution should have visualisation options which allow query results to be represented in an easily comprehensible manner.
merz+benteli took the data discovery solution QlikView under the microscope and soon realised they had found exactly the right software: The in-memory technology of QlikView allows connection to any data source. Data are compressed to up to 10 percent of their original size, whereby the performance of the processors is optimised and at the same time mass memory data can be analysed directly in the working memory. A key aspect of this solution, moreover, is the orientation towards a consumer product, with its correspondingly simple user prompting. A wide range of graphical display options enables visualisation which is customised according to user and information content.
QlikView provides users in the specialist departments genuine self-service BI - an aspect which is of particular importance for merz+benteli; The company take is to ensure an optimal cost-benefit ratio with a complete IT outsourcing strategy. Accordinly, a powerful, reliable partner is of vital importance:
Qlik solution provider Informatec was commissioned with the implementation of the entire BI project.
"We were delighted with Informatec as a partner," said Robert R. Portmann, Finance Director / HR / IT merz+benteli ag. Not only their high competence with QlikView played a role: "The efficient project management and the project leader’s in-depth, comprehensive knowledge were also decisive for success. Both have contributed enormously to rapid solution approaches for complex issues such as compositions, module restructuring and batch traceability."
Application areas and uses
Informatec developed two extensive applications for sales and technology (storing, purchasing, production and quality assurance), which are currently used by 15 employees. 10 GB data volume derived from ABACUS is analysed.
Sales applications include comparisons between revenues, profit margins and amounts over various time periods, articles, etc. Also typical are analyses of customers, purchases and conditions. The focus for the R&D department is the exact observation of diverse composition parameters over time. In the laboratory, individual compositions are compared and raw material components analysed.
Quality assurance detects deviations and trends in the compositions. If a semi-finished product reaches threshold values, for example, a more detailed examination of the final product is immediately initiated.
Complaint processing controls, among other things, whether there are abnormalities in the values of a particular batch and whether other batches might be affected.
"We have made enormous improvements, especially in the composition analysis of the full product range. Before, time expenditure was significantly higher, and some evaluations have only now become possible, " said Portmann. "If I had to choose a BI solution again, I would definitely opt for QlikView."
"We were looking for a solution which enabled staff in the specialist departments to independently call up precisely the information they needed for their daily work, simply and quickly. We found it in QlikView."
– Robert R. Portmann, Director Finance / HR / IT, merz+benteli ag