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Picture of two people, next to it the Mosca logo, behind it pictures of a machine and two men working on a machine, valantic Case Study Mosca

Successful use of IBM Cognos Business Analytics at Mosca GmbH

Mosca GmbH of Waldbrunn, Germany, had already had licenses for the IBM Cognos program for several years without truly exploiting the strengths of this data warehouse system. Based on a recommendation, this international machinery and equipment supplier with annual sales of approximately EUR 168 million (2018) turned to valantic to finally get the program “up and running.” From September 2016 to October 2018, valantic worked with Mosca to build a central data warehouse and uniform reporting platform for the areas of sales and service, HR, controlling, warehouse and logistics, purchasing, manufacturing, and production. Gregor Karmowski, Director of the Department for Continuous Improvement Processes (CIP) in Mosca’s in-house consulting group, explains what changed with deployment of this powerful tool at the manufacturer of strapping machines and materials with more than 1,000 employees.

  1. Challenge

    The Mosca team wanted a uniform reporting/business analytics platform for the company’s different areas. Here, the focus was on the combination of the master data from various source systems and the integration and consolidation in a central data warehouse.

  2. Advising approach

    valantic worked with Mosca to build a central data warehouse and uniform reporting/BI platform for the areas of sales and service, HR, controlling, warehouse and logistics, purchasing, manufacturing, and production. The technologies used were Microsoft SQL-Server database, Microsoft SSIS-ETL, and the IBM Cognos Analytics 11.0 BA Suite.

    The focus was the combination of master data from various source systems (ERP PSIpenta von PSI AG, CRM SalesManager from ACBIS GmbH, the Innosoft solution for service technicians from Innosoft GmbH, Microsoft Excel) and their integration and consolidation in the data warehouse. Before this, the relevant data points in the source systems had to be identified.

    In addition, a metadata model for reporting was set up. Logic and algorithms had to be developed for correct preparation of the individual KPIs. In trainings and workshops, the employees received the necessary knowledge for further independent use of the program.

  3. Customer Benefit

    Thanks to the introduction of a uniform reporting and Business Analytics platform, Mosca was able to increase productivity on the machine by 20% and decrease production costs significantly.

    In the sales area, for example, the order situation, also as compared to previous years, orders on hand, and range in Euros and units, as well as delivered systems and machines are depicted as KPIs. Sales, sales volume extrapolation, and target-actual comparisons, sales forecasts, and non-invoiced sales are displayed. In addition, there are many other reports and KPIs that are sent to decision-makers via e-mail.

Interview

valantic: Mr. Karmowski, Mosca has been using IBM Cognos Business Analytics in nearly all areas of the company for more than two years. What initially inspired the adoption of this system?

Karmowski: The basic requirement was that we wanted to replace Excel and manual reporting with an automated solution. At that time, one person spent about an hour each day creating Excel reports. However, sometimes there were errors due to copy & paste, errors that were not always obvious right away.

valantic: And that’s changed?

Karmowski: Yes! When we conduct analyses from our ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning software), we have to ensure that the data is correct. If we make a mistake with the delivery date, that was something that we could correct quickly in Excel, but after that, there was no data cleansing. And that’s exactly what has forced us to adopt the new software. And this is absolutely critical so that the master data is correct.

valantic: Previously, you acquired a few IBM Cognos Analytics licenses. But the program was not yet correctly linked to your existing applications.

Karmowski: Yes. Our first IT partner couldn’t help us sufficiently with the implementation. We wanted to get the program up and running at last; that’s why we turned to valantic. Before, I couldn’t even have imagined how powerful this tool is. That we’d be able to conduct real-time analyses and provide multi-level reporting with IBM Cognos and that there would be a single KPI for the entire company – we didn’t know that at the time. That’s why I am very pleased in retrospect that Klaus Speierl of valantic assisted us so well.

valantic: valantic conducted three or four workshops at Mosca before the project start.

Karmowski: Precisely. In the process, we defined what we want, what we need, and how we can map this with the licenses.

valantic: Why did you allot so much time for this preparatory phase?

Karmowski: Our concern was not to specify some milestones for the introduction of the software as quickly as possible. We were not searching for a software supplier, but rather for a sparring partner. valantic showed us how we could use Cognos, not just as a better Excel, but what the strengths of this tool are with regard to reporting and analysis. In valantic, we found a partner who understands our business and our daily requirements and proved to be absolutely reliable.

valantic: Which of your departments are working with the new system?

Karmowski: Nearly all of them: sales, service, HR, controlling, warehouse, logistics, purchasing, manufacturing, and production. We create approximately 50 reports automatically and hand them off to colleagues. However, not every department needs to have the expertise to create reports with IBM Cognos Business Analytics itself. That’s why the core team is in controlling.

valantic: What were the most important insights gained from the program?

Karmowski: We took a careful look at the work of our 40 service technicians. How long are the travel times, how long are they at the customer’s, etc. And wow! We determined that technicians don’t spend that much time on the machine at the customer’s. The technician does far too many other things. Thanks to this analysis, we were able to increase our productivity on the machine by 20%. Now, our technicians spend far more than 60% of their time at the customer’s. And IBM Cognos Business Analytics also helps us in production: if particular threshold values are exceeded, the system lets us know that we should adjust manufacturing. If we can produce more ad hoc, it’s cheaper and our unit costs decrease significantly.

valantic: So the new tool has already paid for itself?

Karmowski: I can’t answer that question yet. However, I would say that a growing company cannot move in the right direction without such opportunities.

Sequence of the project

  1. Workshop to evaluate overall requirements
  2. Estimation of the anticipated implementation and licensing costs
  3. Definitions of the subprojects phase 1 and phase 2. Phase 1 includes the areas
    sales, service, and HR. Phase 2 includes the areas of warehouse/logistics, purchasing, and production/manufacturing.
  4. Workshops for the definition of the necessary data sources and reports for phase 1
  5. Provision of the required hardware infrastructure for a test and productive
    system by Mosca. Installation of the required software components by valantic
  6. Establishment of the data warehouse (data modeling, data management)
  7. Creation of the reports
  8. Workshops and training for Mosca key users for Cognos Analytics and MS SSIS
  9. Acceptance by Mosca
  10. Estimation of the costs for phase 2 and performance of the steps 4 to 9

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