For over 50 years, the Swiss family business peka has been developing and producing pull-out systems as well as complete solutions for the kitchen and furniture industry. The company based in Mosen by Lake Hallwil is a world market leader in tall cabinet pull-outs, extendable corner solutions and user-friendly, ecologically smart waste separation systems. Numerous international patents testify to the innovative strength of the company. The range comprises over 800 sales articles. peka has around 130 employees and distributes its products worldwide in more than 50 countries.
peka-metall used to rely on a business intelligence software system to fulfil its analysis and reporting requirements on the basis of ERP data from Oracle and Excel. However, this was no longer meeting the growing demands of the furniture specialist. The solution particularly lacked flexibility and user-friendliness: Due to the need for high programming expertise, evaluations could only be generated within IT.
A BI software was sought that would enable employees in the specialist departments to independently create data, analyses and reports based on information provided by IT. Data modelling was to be simplified and the solution had to be straightforward to use. In addition, peka-metall expected a dedicated authorisation system and mobile accessibility via a browser.
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The Qlik Sense analytical platform ticked all the right boxes. Crucial factors were the speed of the data preparation, the simple user interface and the flexibility to be able to connect any data source.
The furniture specialist sought an implementation partner who was an IT service provider with comprehensive Qlik expertise and project experience. The choice fell on the Qlik expertise partner Informatec. Founded in 1998, the company has established itself as a specialist for consulting and the needs-based implementation of comprehensive Qlik-based BI solutions for analysis, reporting and planning throughout the DACH region.
“At the presentation, we immediately noticed that Informatec has a very high level of expertise, both in IT and in the production environment, and knows exactly what we are talking about and what we as clients require,” confirms Roger Vögeli, Head of IT, peka metall AG.
“It's just great to work with professionals.” It took six months from the initial contact with Informatec to the roll-out of the Qlik Sense applications in the departments, which according to Vögeli was entirely due to the fact that the internal resources were too scarce to operate any faster.
Field of application and benefits
Qlik Sense is used on the distribution side. For example, the management as well as employees from the sales department and the field service use sales and customer analyses and target-actual comparisons. The data can be viewed in various dimensions, such as according to product category, product and year-on-year comparison.
The field staff is provided with a specific customer call app, the layout of which can be flexibly adapted to the individual staff member’s requirements in terms of the information to be presented. The authorisation system ensures that each member of staff sees only his own customers.
The data view for the members of senior management contains the all the employees’ figures. It also contains the contribution margin as an additional indicator.
Every month, the management team receives a report containing the key financial figures.
The first trial evaluations have already been carried out for production planning in the production department in order to analyse to what extent the capacities of the individual production sites, in other words machines, are kept busy with production orders and when they become overstretched or underutilised.
Purchasing uses a Qlik Sense application to monitor the blanket orders. Users can see the number of views, how many positions are still open and when collection is to take place.
By using Qlik Sense, peka-metall was able to reduce the IT effort for analysis and reporting by around 60 percent. Relief was also provided by the implementation of two power users who take care of the distribution or purchasing and production applications. The employees are able to autonomously retrieve information at the desired time and in the desired form. The newly gained transparency enables manufacturers of pull-out systems and storage solutions, for example, to make more efficient use of machines and to identify those that are no longer usable and can thus be taken out of the park. The sales representatives are immediately able to provide information in customer meetings if the customer needs more in-depth information, for example at the item level.
The feedback from colleagues in the specialist departments was correspondingly positive, reports Vögeli: “The staff convinced us how easy Qlik is to use. The visualisation of the information in various graphic forms also proved very popular – depending on the individual preference of the colleagues.”
A positive side effect of the use of Qlik for Vögeli: “The more employees work with Qlik, the greater their understanding of the ERP system itself: they understand relationships better and data literacy increases.”
In the future, the use of Qlik Sense will be extended to around 20 users. Further development of the applications is planned by connecting the financial system ABACUS. The Qlik-based individual standard solution iVIEW, developed by Informatec, is to be used for this. It enables information from all essential ABACUS modules to be processed, as well as that from additional data sources and applications. It evaluates the data rapidly and flexibly via the standard templates or visualises them through individualised KPIs and dashboards. In the long term, peka-metall is also considering integrating the warehouse management system with Qlik.
„Qlik Sense makes it very easy to add other sources and then use the data in the analysis. This ensures that we can not only implement current but also future analysis requirements. “
Roger Vögeli, Head of IT, peka-metall AG