Modern Reporting and information cockpit for the decision-makers at Migros
"BOARD can do anything …"
Migros is the largest grocery chain in Switzerland. The company is represented in all cantons, Liechtenstein and in the French Departments Ain and Haute-Savoie.
The BOARD solution is used by the Digital Trading Department in the Migros co-operative association in Zurich, which acts as a project-related partner in the Migros Group, mainly for the Trading Department. Since 2008 the Trading Department has combined twelve independently developing companies.
The core skills of the Digital Trading Department lie in the areas of strategy, online cross channel and CRM.
From Big Data to Small Data
Various system landscapes are used at Migros but SAP is the most prevalent. This also applies to the 12 companies in the strategic trading business field. To date there have not been any structured reporting channels in the Trading Department; financial data has traditionally only been supplied to the Finance Department every two months via the SAP BW module.
The Digital Trading Department consists of a team of eleven staff, of which one person is responsible for all Controlling and Finance.
The small team size influenced the requirements of the BOARD project, which were to:
- Provide a reliable database for the Trading Department
- Support the evaluation of the figures through a system that a single person could design and manage
- Offer easy evaluation functions that all staff in the Trading Department could use
The implementation of the project was planned in two phases.
Phase 1 would provide the following results:
- Weekly and monthly sales notifications
- Monthly accounts
- Monthly KPIs
Phase 2 would build upon the initial functionality to provide:
- An integrated financial planning process
- Financial integration across the companies within the group (reporting and analysis)
BOARD took care of Migros's requirements and quickly supplied a Proof of Concept (PoC). A two-day workshop demonstrated how data can be transferred from the existing Excel files to the open BOARD database. The open database architecture was of great interest to Migros; the question arose as to whether the solution was suitable for the requirements of specific divisions in an otherwise SAP-dominated environment. But even during the workshop, the first data cubes with many design and evaluation options showed that BOARD was able to overcome the company’s data challenges with ease.
The pricing of the solution was within budget and Migros’s team would be able to have input into the implementation process, reducing the costs of the project further. BOARD’s Toolkit approach, allowing for easy, non-coded development of system functionality, meant future development work could take place at a later date
Subsequently the project was implemented jointly by BOARD specialists and technical experts at Migros's Digital Trading Department. While the BOARD consultants were setting up the first functionality and the user interface, the experts on the Migros side were taking care of data quality. The first phase of the project was completed successfully within 6 months. During the implementation of the two planned phases the experiences from the current activity were analysed and the next procedure adapted. In this way a strongly strategy-driven implementation of the project was achieved, resulting in an efficient, simple use of the system in operational practice.
The ultimate aim of the project was to integrate the required data from all twelve companies of the Trading Department into the BOARD solution for analysis. The foundation work for this required transferring the relevant data into the system easily. The subsequent preparation of the data by BOARD was tailored specifically to the processes and the information requirement of Migros Digital Trading and the companies in the Trading Department. Staff are now able to configure and represent required KPIs easily, as well as illustrating key financial figures. Building on this, forecasts can be calculated quickly and planned values issued. Future plans include extending the system by adding planning functionality.
In the prevailing SAP environment BOARD represents an agile solution that enables rapid, easy analyses and makes reporting significantly faster. The staff who use the BOARD system and administer it in self-service mode can adapt the functions very easily to their requirements without needing in-depth IT knowledge, and configure the evaluation functions of importance to them. As the system is easy to work with, user acceptance is high and new processes can be mapped easily so that system functions are always suitable for the users' requirements. This not only saves an enormous amount of time but also guarantees uniform quality and the highest accuracy because all data comes from a common source within the BOARD platform.
BOARD thus creates the information cockpit for this business area, making it considerably easier for managers to make their decisions based on the data.
Or, as Migros's project manager, Raphael Lisser, says:
“Based on the complete picture, BOARD can do anything.”