About the customer
Valorec Services AG, which is part of the global French Veolia Group, specialises in environmentally friendly industrial services and consulting. Since 2001, the environmental service provider with over 330 million employees, has assisted chemical and pharmaceutical companies through efficient management of energy and hazardous waste as well as the preparation and handling of solvents. The company, which has four industrial locations in the pharmaceutical-chemical cluster Basel, also ensures the operation and maintenance of facilities for its customers. Since 2012, Valorec Services AG has relied on the data-discovery solution QlikView when it comes to creating meaningful energy and waste statistics from data sources such as SAP®, SQL databases and Excel for customers. Around 15 applications are now actively in use.
Operational excellence: Operational reporting success factor
Due to good experiences with BI solutions, the service provider also plans to display operative reporting in QlikView in the context of a comprehensive operational-excellence programme. “We are concerned in the framework of this programme with the continual and dynamic optimisation of all processes and systems along the entire value chain from the point of view of efficiency. We focus here on customer needs and dealing with causes rather than symptoms”, explained Jean-Philippe Bernard, Lean Project Manager / Business Applications Manager, Valorec Services AG. “In this context, operational reporting is essential to increasing the productivity and value of our services being able to establish cost-consciousness at all levels. Our goal was to provide more transparency to employees with meaningful and uncomplicated reporting and to enable control and evaluation of operational and financial data, costs and performance”.
As a project partner, Valorec continues to rely on Informatec Ltd.liab.Do, a Basel-area (Muttenz) Qlik-expert partner with a focus on business-intelligence solutions for demanding customers. The operative-reporting solution was developed and implemented in QlikView over about 200 working hours. “The cooperation with Informatec worked really well, just as it did in our previous joint BI project”, emphasised Bernard. “We especially appreciate the combination of BI expertise, a high level of understanding of our business processes, and the collaborative attitude with which we have been able to realise this project”.
Application areas and uses
Currently around 25 operational heads, operations and project managers as well as cost-centre personnel from controlling, procurement, sales, maintenance and projects use the QlikView application to identify costs and their associated causes. The basis is several million points of actual and target-value data from the previous six years from SAP. The users, for example, can call up information about which costs have been generated by which maintenance orders. What kind of material was ordered? What services were commissioned by whom? Is the work planned or unplanned?
Period comparisons are also possible. In addition, data for customer projects can also be analysed, such as the type of order, the processing status and profitability.
Transparency at the operational and strategic levels
“Previously there were no individual transactions in our SAP system that enabled such complete traceability”, explained Bernard. “Now we can jump from controlling to maintenance or sales in a few clicks. The personnel in sales can now learn about costs in their areas without needing to ask a specialist from the finance department. As a result, they can better and more easily maintain responsibility for meeting budget targets and running the business efficiently. They need less time to get information, and have greater trust in and understanding of these numbers. For example, relationships between orders, contracts and invoices are much clearer. At the same time, the sales, finance, and controlling departments get some relief and can concentrate on their core responsibilities instead of evaluating SAP data via Excel for the operational managers”.
Using the data about targets and current values as well as historical data from the previous year, there is also an aggregate information basis available which can provide assistance for more efficiently coordinating sales and finances in the context of budget negotiations. “Previously businesses experienced the budget phase as a burden. Through the use of QlikView, this burden has decreased significantly and acceptance on the part of the finance department and regarding the topic of cost control has significantly increased. Previously this was a bit of a black box”, added Bernard.
The QlikView-based reporting is also an important source of knowledge for the annual view with suppliers.
Valorec benefits from QlikView as a standardised tool for analysis and reporting requirements at both the strategic and operational levels. Through the modular and extended design, it also guarantees high investment security.
“The demand has been growing steadily for performance-reporting tools and management instruments based on practical work and designed for practical work. This is not just true for finance and controlling but also for operations”, said Bernard. “With QlikView, we have a user-friendly and powerful tool available to meet this demand at all levels. We’re on our way to “operational excellence” using this solution. The employees have a transparent view of what they’ve achieved with their work. And this transparency is a strong motivation to develop further”.
Precise answers to key questions
The business intelligence suite QlikView is the perfect solution for companies seeking easy-to-use, departmental or enterprise-wide dashboards and ad hoc BI analytical capabilities with this revolutionary business discovery approach. No more waiting for outdated reports, no more guesswork. Instead, quick answers to the most important questions.
In the future, reporting will be extended to other SAP modules. The working hours depicted in SAP CATS will be made analysable in QlikView, and accounting areas will also be displayed, for example regarding timely payments. Moreover, feedback from department personnel will ensure continuos improvement of the useful application and availability will be expanded to an additional 25 personnel.
“Thanks QlikView we’re on our way to “operational excellence”. The employees have a transparent view of what they’ve achieved with their work. And this transparency is a strong motivation to develop further“
– Jean-Philippe Bernard, Lean Project Manager / Business Applications Manager, Valorec Services AG