As chemicals producer Polypeptide expanded into a global company, it felt a growing need for a unified BI solution and a more efficient budget process. The solutions chosen are based primarily on tools from Xencian, Advectas’s own program suite.
Polyepeptide Group manufactures therapeutic peptides – molecules based on amino-acids – that form the active substance in various pharmaceuticals as well as in various veterinary and cosmetic applications. The company was founded in 1996 in conjunction with the acquisition of Peptech, which has been producing peptides in Malmö since 1952. Today about 800 people work in the Group, which has facilities at sites the world over. In addition to the head office in Malmö, there are sites in Belgium, France, India and two locations in the USA.
In order to efficiently control such a geographically widespread operation, Polypeptide’s top management decided that all available data should be collected and analysed at one single location. Responsibility for this operation was placed in the hands of the company’s Global Business Information Manager, Jesper Bayer.
“Just over two years ago we started standardising our systems in order to gain a global overview of the company, and we chose to switch to the Microsoft Dynamics AX business system at all our sites,” relates Jesper Bayer.
In order to tie together all data sources (in addition to the business system also the CRM and laboratory systems) Polypeptide decided to build a data warehouse. The choice was between building from the ground up, and using software which automates the process, employing something known as a Data Warehouse Automation tool. The benefits of a DWA tool include importing of metadata from the source systems, which in turn speeds up configuration of the data warehouse.
“Building from scratch would have taken an eternity, and we had decided to get started quickly. That’s why we chose to work with the Xencian Data Warehouse Automation tool, which also has readymade analysis models for Dynamics AX. As a result, we could have the data warehouse up and running and delivering reports for Sales and Finance the very month we implemented the business system.
“Xencian DWA is a really simple yet good tool that meets all our requirements. What’s more, it is very competitively priced, so the choice was really very simple,” says Jesper Bayer.
The next challenge for the Polypeptide BI department was to streamline the budget process. In the past Excel files were used, one per profit centre, and these were distributed to all managers with responsibility for financial results. Once they had filled in their information, the files were returned to the Finance department for consolidation. It was a slow, heavy process that was difficult to control, not least because each Excel file – and there were more than 30 of them – featured a range of different formulae that also needed to be maintained.
For this task too Polypeptide selected a product from the Xencian suite.
“Xencian Planning is a simple yet effective tool, where everything is done online via a Web interface. We were assisted by Advectas consultants in creating the various accessibility levels, which made it easy for us to manage user access rights. We now have far better control of the budget process, and we also gain an immediate overview since all incoming data is fed directly into the income statement and balance sheet.
“The entire budget process is now far simpler, quicker and above all more robust than before. There is far less risk of error. And just like Xencian DWA, the Planning tool is based on tried and tested Microsoft technology and is attractively priced,” comments a satisfied Jesper Bayer.
In addition to a review of the budget process, there is also a project under way to upgrade the data warehouse.
“We set it up two years ago and did so in a very short space of time. Now we are working on optimising the technology so that the data warehouse is faster and easier to maintain. This will give us even better master data and a better Governance process.
“Since we are very busy with our ongoing BI work, we rely on Advectas for optimisation of the data warehouse. We enjoy excellent cooperation with them and we’re very pleased both with our Advectas consultants and the Xencian products,” concludes Jesper Bayer.