Agile Reporting Thanks to Jedox and Qlik
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the Gruner Group has set standards of quality in construction services for over 150 years. Its competence, specialist knowledge, and long experience with complex construction projects all over the world have made the Swiss engineering provider an international success, with over 30 subsidiaries worldwide.
Specific Requirements for Planning Software
Gruner manages many well-known large-scale projects, such as the Gotthard Base Tunnel. In addition to its construction projects with seven-figure-budgets, however, the Group also coordinates projects which take no more than a few hours. This wide variety of different specifications requires a highly flexible reporting infrastructure throughout the Group – which is why since 2011 Gruner has relied on a Qlik BI solution.
So far, planning for projects and budgets had been conducted with hundreds of Excel spreadsheets, making the process time-consuming and error-prone due to the large amount of manual inputting. The Gruner Group was ready to replace its old Excel planning process with a modern Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution, automating the distributed planning processes throughout the Group.
Impressive Planning Functionality: The Jedox Advantage
To do this, Gruner needed a powerful, flexible CPM solution to implement its own planning environment. The application also needed to fit seamlessly into Gruner’s existing BI architecture, integrating both Qlik and the ERP system ABACUS. In comparison with other products, Jedox not only fulfilled these needs, but also offered sophisticated planning functionality, such as easy online data entry with builtin database writeback; clear definitions for differentiated access rights; customizable workflows for de-centralized planning processes; and a strong ETL-component capable of integrating any data source or external system. But the final argument in favor of Jedox came when a five-day proof-of-concept workshop yielded a working prototype of the general project planning process.
Unified BI Architecture for Consistent Planning and Reporting
Jedox representatives and IT consultancy HighCoordination, which has been partnering with Gruner since the Group‘s adoption of Qlik, worked together on site to implement the new planning and reporting environment. The sophisticated solution was operational in just two months and was quickly given a test roll-out in locations in Germany and Switzerland. Worldwide implementation is planned in a future step.
Automated Data Streams
The existing Qlik application, which ensured high-quality data and well-formed reporting structures, made implementation additionally speedy: required data could simply be imported from Qlik to Jedox via seamless digital interface. Current accounting cycles make use of the same process. The ERP system ABACUS functions as a data source for Qlik reporting, which then communicates accurate, up-to-date data into the Jedox planning environment instantaneously. After the planning process, plan data are then exported directly into ABACUS, where they are available to the Qlik system in turn.
Jedox’ customizable planning templates were also able to implement all requirements of Gruner’s expert. For the Gruner Group, planning involves approximately 6,000 concurrent projects, which ca. 400 project managers must evaluate once a month as to technical specifications, costs, revenue, required materials, etc. After coordinating and signing off on each assessment, project managers distribute management reports with aggregate key performance indicators to senior management, department and regional heads.
Effcient Planning and Prompt Invoicing
Gruner’s planning process has been significantly accelerated by automating certain workflows. For smaller projects with fixed costs and revenues, project managers receive an automated pre-assessment with suggested values, saving time and effort. Relevant parties are also automatically informed as soon as invoices can be sent out.
Up-to-Date and Accurate Information Improves Governance
The increased effciency thanks to Jedox and Qlik means that today, Gruner is able to plan monthly, not quarterly, enabling management to more closely and reliably monitor the moment-to-moment developments of its many projects. Additionally, the visual presentation of data, including for example color-coded project status, instantaneously communicates which projects currently require attention.
“The integration of Jedox and Qlik allowed us to implement our ideal reporting environment for self-service data visualization, analysis, reporting, and planning – and this solution is flexible enough to accommodate change and growth in requirements.” – Michael Städtler, Business Intelligence Manager, Gruner AG
- Approx. 400 users
- Custom planning environment, implemented in just 2 months
- Accelerated planning processes allow monthly instead or quarterly planning
- Precise overviews of over 6,000 concurrent projects
- Powerful planning capabilities
- Seamless integration with Qlik & ABACUS ERP
- Custom-tailoring to specific planning requirements
- User-friendly interface harnesses Excel expertise
- Fast time-to-launch, high scaleability