ViaCon Polska is part of the ViaCon Group, founded in 1986 in Sweden and Norway. It is the largest provider of corrugated steel pipes and structural elements in Europe. The company has been operating on the domestic market since 1997.
The organization conducts advanced production analyses in each of its subsidiaries in different countries. Reporting was carried out using Excel sheets, which fulfilled their function, but were burdened with a high risk of error, and modifications required a lot of work.
- ViaCon plans goals for a given year: it determines what volume of productions it plans to achieve in each month by product, type, and the departments in which the products are produced.
- Product values are reported separately in several units according to their characteristics and specifications, so there are a large number of different data sources that need to be analyzed.
- Production managers from each country updated their Excel files every month, entering a production value that was compared with the assumed budget allocation.
- Each country had its own file, which collectively contained information on the implementation of monthly budget plans, the current value of production, the level of inventory, as well as information on the staff implementing projects.
- To make it easier for the board and management to analyze the production performance of each product against the background of the entire group, additional, aggregated Excel files were created that aggregated data from all files.
- When a new product appeared, another table, similar to the others, was added in the appropriate sheet, which would allow the data to be saved. The tables and their construction over the years changed as more variables came and went.
- Although the data in the Excel tables seemed similar, maintaining data consistency and updating content was a hassle, due to the differences in the layout of the underlying worksheets. Scaling data was problematic and required modernization.
- The company wanted to improve the international reporting environment and was looking for an appropriate tool in the area of Business Intelligence.
- The organization had a Microsoft 365 ecosystem, so we advised the choice of Power BI, which turned out to be the most complimentary to the company's existing tools.
- We analyzed the data models operating at the customer's site and proposed a new way of recording, as well as modifying the current schemes, optimal for Power BI in terms of functionality.
- We have converted the existing data to a new, consistent schema. This both allows the existing data to be used while also enabling easy expansion with new attributes. The data is also more universal and can be applied to other needs or systems through migration.
- During this process, we also eliminated the need for creating and storing files for each reporting year. Now, each country had only one file for their entire production history.
- We have prepared one common Power BI data model from scratch, based on new source data structures.
- We designed a set of analyses that expanded the existing approach to data. The new reports adjusted their shape to the range of displayed data according to selected criteria, such as branches, products or time.
- We have created permission groups that ensure that users who view the report can only access the data they are authorized for.
- We implemented all components into the Power BI service, advising on operation and configuration, and conducted training on the developed elements for representatives of the target user group. The scope of training and support materials for the company were developed individually in consultation.
- Under the new system, each country works on 1 file – a Single Source of Truth – where data is collected from.
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