WISCO Tailored Blanks (WISCO TB) is a leading manufacturer of innovative, tailored steel solutions for the automobile industry. The former ThyssenKrupp subsidiary has made major contributions to auto body and vehicle engineering over the past 30 years with the production of laser-welded steel components including side panels, rails, and doors. With nine locations in Europe and Asia, WISCO TB has established itself internationally as an automotive supplier for all major brands. The company, which has been a member of Wuhan Iron & Steel Corp. (WISCO) since 2013, today belongs to the world’s second largest steel company, China Baowu Steel Group Corp. Ltd., following the merger of WISCO with its competitor Baosteel at the end of 2016.
From data logistics to value-added analysis
Manufacturing tailored components for individual customers means complex production processes. To provide a complete overview of the value chain from procurement to production to sales, the controllers are responsible for ensuring valid data, providing current reports, and recommending actions to drive the business ahead. In the past, the bulk of this data was exported from the upstream SAP system, processed in Excel, and consolidated – all as separate, manual steps. Needless to say, analyzing these masses of legacy data was complex and time-consuming. The controllers were soon spending more time on logistical tasks than performing value-added analysis. Although there was a high level of implied knowledge within the company from working with the SAP CO, FI, and SD modules for controlling, finance, and sales, the skills for processing this data were limited to a handful of employees. This created a high risk for short-term disruptions to the information supply – one that could be avoided through a professional software solution.
Fast decision, rapid results
Adrian Pinkawa, Senior Controller at WISCO Tailored Blanks, got the ball rolling to modernize the unwieldy, time-consuming processes, which encompassed reporting, analysis, and planning.
His department was in the midst of a dynamic development phase – an ideal time to begin optimizations and implement a BI solution. Jedox impressed the project manager Pinkawa, the team of Head Controller Alexander Paraschkevov, and the department during a 30-day, free software trial period.
“I felt very comfortable working with Jedox from the start, and even business users who aren’t IT-savvy easily found their way in the new solution,”
Pinkawa explained. Due in part to the streamlined decision-making process, Jedox was quickly selected as the software of choice and the implementation could began.
Restructuring the system architecture
In the first step of the restructuring process, the project team defined the analysis views. Connecting the information from the previously used SAP modules ran smoothly with Jedox SAP Connector and Integrator. Building the multidimensional cube and consolidating Excel and SAP data in the in-memory database of Jedox followed in the next steps. WISCO TB also set up granular user rights with Jedox to securely provide individual permissions to reports and planning input screens. The new solution simplified and accelerated the reporting processes in a very short time.
Aside from financial controlling, sales was also impressed by the solution’s advantages in the first phase of the project. Business users could quickly run analyses on revenues, offers, and customers in Jedox Web. Jedox also drastically simplified and sped up the reporting processes in investment control by eliminating redundancies and automating steps in the process. “A wide range of current reports are available on demand or can be made quickly, thereby enabling us to steer our company with agility in a dynamic market environment,” Paraschkevov added.
Jedox delivers automatic, daily updates on revenues, cost centers, and gross margin along with investment controls. The central data storage in Jedox Server eliminates potential error sources and redundant data. Using the write-back capabilities of Jedox, WISCO TB added planning to the new solution in the second phase of the project. Cost center managers now enter their planning data through Jedox Web directly in the database and kick off the approval process in a defined workflow. The Jedox application enables flexible top-down adjustments and dramatically reduces the time needed for working out the details. Detailed plans are now directly integrated in the complete planning process. This eliminates silos for 360-degree views of the data.
Scalable Jedox platform
The solution from Jedox was quickly integrated in the enterprise processes at WISCO TB and has optimized and modernized the multifaceted, complex financial controlling processes with regard to cost centers, investments, and revenue planning.
Due to the positive experiences with the new system, the company also plans to use Jedox for capacity planning in the near future and even roll out the solution to its international offices at a later date.
“Thanks to Jedox, the intelligence in financial controlling is finally being used to analyze data and derive clever recommendations for action – instead of being blocked by tedious data collection processes.” – Adrian Pinkawa, Senior Controller, WISCO Tailored Blanks