Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan
2Sep/110

arcplan Customer BI Best Practices: Spotlight on DFS

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We have so many best practice customers to spotlight that it’s hard to keep up! This time I’d like to introduce you to Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS), an air traffic control corporation with 5,600 employees in charge of the safe navigation of about three million flights across German airspace. In addition to managing the control towers of 16 international airports in Germany, DFS is also a global provider of consultancy and training services, and develops, markets, and implements air traffic control, tracking, and navigation systems. It’s for this purpose that DFS implemented arcplan in mid-2009 as a decision-support system for the prioritization of sales projects.

What is DFS doing with arcplan Enterprise that makes their solution one to emulate?

1) Their BI solution answers questions.

It may seem simplistic, but really, isn’t business intelligence, first and foremost, about getting your questions answered? In the case of DFS, their primary question was “How do we proactively and systematically develop the market, rather than wait for potential customers to come to us?” This led to a Market & Competitive Intelligence System (MCIS), created with arcplan Enterprise, where all sales and marketing information is stored. DFS employees can now get the answers to any conceivable question, from “What are the planned investments at this particular airport?” to “How many competitors have installations at this airport?” The answers to these questions help staff to prioritize projects so that the ones with the highest probability of closing are at the top of the list.

2) Their BI comes to them.

You may have heard someone say “sure, your BI does take-out, but does it deliver?” Any BI system can crunch numbers and wait for you to come along and get them (take-out). But not all BI is created equal when it comes to data delivery. DFS’ arcplan solution (in fact, any arcplan solution) allows users to schedule the delivery of reports and dashboards, removing the need to run the application or pull up a URL on your browser. Employees on the go – especially road-warrior sales people – need their BI delivered to them at a certain time. You may want a particular report emailed to you every other day at noon – that’s possible with arcplan, and DFS takes advantage of it.

3) The right KPIs improve decision-making.

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15Aug/110

arcplan Customer BI Best Practices: Spotlight on Hailo-Werk

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It’s time to introduce you to another one of our customers’ best practice BI solutions, created of course with arcplan software. Today we’re putting the spotlight on Hailo-Werk, a leading manufacturer or ladders, safety equipment and waste bins that are sold in more than 60 countries around the world to DIY enthusiasts and trade professionals.

What is Hailo doing with arcplan Enterprise that makes their solution one to emulate?

1) Employees have access to company data through a web browser – making it widely available without the need to have specific software installed.

Hailo’s employees in virtually every department, including management, controlling, sales and marketing, have access to the data that helps them make better decisions. Deploying their arcplan solution in a web browser makes it possible for the team to have unprecedented access to information whenever they need it. And it allows the company to easily deploy their arcplan applications on mobile devices in the future.

2) Ad-hoc reporting is easy enough for employees at all levels to do without IT.

Software that’s easy to use is likely to be more widely adopted than software that’s cumbersome to learn and operate. Hailo’s users need to be able to segment their data from Oracle Essbase and IBM DB2 without heavy programming. arcplan’s Web Pivoting (“ad-hoc reporting in a browser”) is fully drag-and-drop enabled, which makes it appropriate for regular business users who need to create reports on the fly – without help from IT. One popular request from Hailo’s users is how well a particular product is selling in a specific region at any point in time; another is what color product sells best to a specific target group. The answers are easy to find with just a few clicks in arcplan, which pulls together financial and sales information on one screen.

3) Employees use their BI system to auto-generate estimates, saving them time and ensuring price accuracy.

Have you ever met a sales person who enjoys putting together estimates? Hailo employees use arcplan Enterprise to do the heavy lifting for them. The system calculates price suggestions based on customer and product codes. If the user decides to accept the suggested price, the system generates an offer letter with the appropriate pictures in MS Word. This fully automated process brings huge time savings and is a non-traditional use of a BI system, but incredibly valuable to Hailo. The use of their arcplan-enabled estimates has also brought an unexpected benefit – it’s now easy to track planned prices vs. actual costs, ensuring that the company is charging enough to make a profit.

For a more in-depth look at why we think Hailo is a best practice customer, check out this case study [PDF] – no registration required.