(The article was first published in the Israeli IT publication “People & Computers“. Link to original article: http://www.pc.co.il/featured/254039/)

Netafim is the global leader in smart irrigation solutions for a sustainable future. Since introducing the world‘s first drip irrigation solutions in 1965, Netafim has led the way by developing products that help their customers optimize results.

Together with Actiview, a member of the Yael group, Netafim implemented a Jedox-based solution for global sales planning. The implementation of the new system commenced in February 2017, and the project’s first stage will be completed by the end of 2017. The financial scope of the project has not been disclosed, however, market players have estimated it at hundreds of thousands of shekels.

During the first stage of the project, the system will be implemented and shall operate in Netafim’s major international subsidiaries in the USA, Australia, China, Spain, Holland, and Turkey. The sales planning system will serve 125 employees of Netafim.

The new system will focus on all the business processes performed by Netafim’s sales units worldwide – with emphasis on planning, gathering and processing the data required for generating management reports for sales execution and forecasting. The Jedox system reduces the sales planning cycles, and it supports the creation of a closer interface between the organization’s sales units and its manufacturing and supply units.

The system integrates with a statistical model, enabling forecasting the sales outlook, based on analysis of past data and external factors – such as the weather in the various territories. The new system is adapted to operate on various mobile devices, including iPads in use by the Netafim sales managers.

The Jedox solution has replaced manual planning and sales reporting processes that were based on electronic spreadsheets (Excel), and which included different planning and reporting processes in the various subsidiaries.

Maintaining flexibility and localization of each sales unit

One of the challenges set for the new system was creating an infrastructure and methodology for unified planning and reporting, while retaining flexibility and localization of each Netafim sales unit. Thus, for example, in addition to being standard and uniform, the Jedox-based system enables specialized characterization and modification to the requirements of sales units in the various territories. This, owing to built-in capabilities for multi-national integration and for extending applications to support complex planning processes.

Jedox is a German software company, specializing in financial BI systems and budget management solutions. The company’s flagship project in Israel was the implementation of the Jedox system for managing the national budget framework at the Ministry of Finance.

Omer Gerson, the BI systems and planning manager at Netafim, says that “Netafim’s challenge was to locate a platform for a sales planning process, one that would enable global alignment between various countries on the one hand, and give each country the flexibility to give expression to its local attributes, on the other hand.

We can see that in countries where the system has already been implemented, there has been a leap forward in the level of integration and data-sharing between the different functional units in the organization: sales, operations, and finance”.

Eylon Pelled, VP Financial Solutions at Actiview, added that
“Jedox planning systems originally served mainly CFO bodies – finance and economics – with an emphasis on budget planning and control. However, the complexity of large organizations’ activities, and of international organizations in particular, means that specialized tools are now required for additional critical process planning within organizations, such as sales planning, IT budget planning, manufacturing planning, human resource planning, and more. Jedox has this versatile capability of undergoing customization and adaptation to meet the specific requirements of each organization, and the planning requirements of each business unit within the organization”.