Tempel’s 24-person IS department is responsible for the company’s technology infrastructure and communications that serve 1,800 employees at six manufacturing sites worldwide. In late 2005, the IS department began the process of replacing an outdated ERP system, including a SQL-based data warehouse, with four new systems: Oracle E-Business Suite, a profitability and cost management system, a human resources system, and a manufacturing tool management system.
Prior to the ERP implementation, Tempel‘s business intelligence reporting had consisted of a collection of 200 reports that had been customized to fit the company’s focus on shop floor efficiencies. These reports also provided information on customer orders, company operations, production efficiency, and utilization. After the company went live with Oracle E-Business Suite, those reports were lost. Then, IS faced a common challenge: how would they access their critical data from Oracle E-Business Suite?
Tempel’s IS department first used Oracle Discoverer, but the team quickly learned that Discoverer was much too technical and cumbersome for the company’s end users and management. However, IS did not want to take on the job of creating reports for users on an ongoing basis either. “We really wanted to put reporting directly into the hands of our end users,” said Michael Morell, IT Report Analyst. “There was so much data available, especially with the multiple new ERP systems in place, but it was ridiculously complex trying to get to it. So we needed an easy-to-use reporting tool that we could place into the hands of our users and management so they could access their own information.”
Morell had attended an industry trade show at which an Oracle salesman suggested he take a look at Noetix for easier reporting from Oracle E-Business Suite. Once they learned more, Tempel’s IS team immediately purchased Noetix, especially liking the ability to easily customize the views. They integrated the product into their ERP implementations so that a majority of the company’s standard reports were written and available when their ERP implementations went live.
The final step was for IS to build a data warehouse around Oracle E-Business Suite in order to consolidate data from all four ERP systems into one repository. Once this data warehouse was complete, Tempel turned again to Noetix for more reporting solutions and purchased Noetix Platform (Noetix QueryServer and Noetix WebQuery), as well as Noetix Search.
“Ultimately, we were trying to put a practical reporting tool in our users’ hands,” said Morell. “One of the things that we really liked about the Noetix Platform, versus the tools that came with Oracle, was the fact that Noetix gave us an easy place to start with (minimal learning curve), as opposed to having to create something from scratch.”
Before Noetix, Tempel’s IS department would create reports for users by integrating the legacy custom SQL reports into the new Oracle system – a time consuming and laborious process. With Noetix, users now have the ability to search the business views for their own information and then create their own reports.
The roll-out of Noetix Platform began with a two-day training session. “The Noetix Search tool is so easy to use, and the end users had no problem finding the information they were looking for,” said Morell.
One of the features that most appealed to Tempel’s end users was the ability to create a report in Noetix WebQuery, and then copy a link that they could email to other end users within the company. The person who receives the link does not have to sign into a tool to access the information. “When you keep it easy and simple, people get a lot of value out of it,” said Morell.
Morell estimates that approximately 200 end users will be utilizing Noetix on a daily basis to create their own reports. “Six months ago our users were very frustrated,” said Morell. “Our users told us – ‘we have all this great data, but we can’t get access to it.’ Have we improved? Yes.”
With easy access to global information and not having to come to IS for each report, users can now analyze and create their own reports using the Noetix views and data warehouse views all in one easy tool. Going forward, this will allow the sales department to analyze the profit margins for different market segments and determine how that differs by geography. Access to this information also helps Tempel position itself as a more viable alternative to the competition.
IT Report Analyst
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