Numerous Excel files hide information
One of the main challenges in daily business was the absence of a centralized data repository. This increased the time needed to prepare reports and reduced their accuracy. As a result, the process of making business decisions was slowed down and no single version of the truth was available to decision makers. The company needed a comprehensive and modern solution to consolidate all the various sources into unified analyses and create the foundation that would ensure business decisions are based on accurate and correct data.
Pilot project – Seeing is believing
The project was the joint result of the work carried out by key users of Elixir Group and BE-terna consultants. The first stage of project implementation was a pilot project (SIB – seeing is believing) and a limited scope was defined.
The main issues were the ability to track the realization of manufacturing and procurement plans, but the major challenge was the tracking of key raw materials, their current and expected levels of stocks over the next three months based on the current stock level and manufacturing and purchasing plans.
This business challenge was successfully solved using the Qlik Sense analytics platform. The pilot project was deployed at the client’s location over 7 working days. Afterwards, the system was used during the trial period, and finally, the decision to realize the full scope of the project was made.
Establishing a centralized database
Because of the absence of a centralised system, the main project challenge was to establish a database that would store the data that will be used for analysis and reports.
Excel was the main data source at the time because changes to the existing ERP were not an option. Over 75 different Excel templates were created for inputting data. The designers created all available controls supported by Excel that would ensure data quality.
After the structure of data sources was defined, BE-terna and Elixir Group began operational work on building the applications for various business areas. During the first stage, the master planning analytics was built. The second stage was the implementation of reports and analytics for manufacturing, procurement and inventory management. In the last stage, analytics for sales was implemented. The project took 7 months, although the first fully functional reports were delivered after just 6 weeks after development started.
Key benefit – accurate information about the current and expected inventory levels of raw materials
Implementation of Qlik Sense brought many benefits to Elixir Group. One of the key benefits is that at any given point of time, the information about the current and expected inventory levels of raw materials is available. This is especially important for planning manufacturing and procurement. The system can provide early warnings if key raw materials will not be available in the desired quantity for future production. In addition, the solution makes it possible to simulate different scenarios based on different versions of manufacturing plans.
A comprehensive view of all KPIs
From the controlling point of view, full cost price calculation of every manufacturing batch is now carried out directly through Qlik. This includes all direct and indirect costs and distribution keys. Analysing the cost, price and revenues together provides the information about the current and expected profitability and delivers a baseline for optimising the product mix.
Procurement now has access to an application that provides a comprehensive view of all procurement processes and KPIs. One of the main benefits is the ability to view raw materials in transit on a virtual map with information about where the material is located at any given moment.
Single version of the truth in automatized reporting
These benefits are just some of the examples how the Qlik platform improved analytics and decision-making processes in Elixir Group. All users now have access to a single version of the truth and all data is available with just one click. The process of preparing reports has been automatized and data is available when needed, without preparation.
Considering the characteristics of our industry, it is crucial to react quickly to changes in the business environment. Qlik has really changed the way of making business decisions inside Elixir Group. Compared to before, all data is now available with just a few clicks, without having to wait for it to be prepared, which often took days.
The implementation of Qlik has really changed the way we perform controlling and reporting. Instead of wasting time on preparing reports, we can now fully focus on analysing data and improving our business and performance.
Vladimir Petković, Director of strategy and controlling, Elixir Group
Next step – Qlik Nprinting
Future plans include the implementation of Qlik Npriting. This solution will enable the distribution of reports by email to a large number of users within Elixir Group so the analytics is shared across the entire company and all users that need data to make decisions have it available every day without having to wait for someone to prepare it for them. This way, the analytical culture will continue to develop and grow within the company and the company will become increasingly data-driven.
Also, future expansion plans include expanding Qlik Sense to all business areas of Elixir Group, and further development of reports and applications. The ultimate goal is that all reports and analytics should be done in Qlik.
About Elixir Group
was established in 1998. Today, the group has five member companies and
over 1.500 employees. This company is a regional leader in the chemical
industry, the production of complex mineral fertilizers and other
segments of agribusiness. The company’s vision is to drive the
development of powerful and profitable agriculture and become one of the
largest mineral fertilizer producers on the European and global market.