"Thanks to QlikView, we have quick access to all key figures relevant to us and are able to analyze data flexibly - from the bird's eye view down to the detail level."
Michael Weisshaupt, Head of IT, KGM Kugelfabrik GmbH & Co.KG
One of the most famous manufacturers of precision balls (e.g. engines, speedometers and bicycle chains) is KGM Kugelfabrik. Already since 1913, the traditional company has produced balls made of various materials. More than 2,500 national and international companies from a wide variety of industries, such as the automotive supply industry or the furniture industry, are among the company's clients. The fact that the business with the balls runs smoothly is demonstrated by the annual turnover: The 200 employees of the company generate about 20 million euros.
Two essential components of KGM's success are quality and precision. And these are exactly the requirements that the company needs to be met by a Business Intelligence system. So far, the ERP system Microsoft Dynamics AX has been used for standard reporting. However, the possibilities of this system were too static. Evaluations could only take place over two periods and the required basic data came from different source systems (Excel, Access, SQL database). The time required for such analyses was meant to be significantly reduced so that employees have more time for their actual core tasks. The business intelligence tool was also supposed to meet specific quality management requirements regarding the key figures so that standards for the supply to the automotive industry could be fulfilled.
KGM became aware of QlikView through media reports. According to IT manager Michael Weisshaupt, the main factor was the memory-based architecture. "We can analyze the entire data volume at the main database of the ERP system, that is to say 35 GB - without a pre-aggregation down to the transaction level," says Mr. Weisshaupt. "With QlikView we can make our evaluations significantly faster and more flexible. In sales alone, we only need 35 percent of the time that was previously needed for the requested analyses." A further advantage are the graphic functions. If data had to be prepared first in Excel and from there implemented in a graphic representation, this now occurs automatically with QlikView. Today, one of the most important applications for KGM is the QlikView dashboard for a customer satisfaction analysis according to DIN EN ISO 9001, ISO TS 16949 and DIN EN ISO 14001 that also uses the results of the regularly conducted customer surveys as an input. Using QlikView, it is now possible to retrieve analysis results across the entire customer base via a dashboard with different tabs – which was explicitly highlighted as positive in the most recent audit report.
Another big plus was the possibility of a dynamic evaluation. "Today, for example, we can take a bird's eye view of data from a previous month and then go down to the details of a job on a case-by-case basis," explains the IT manager. "The support of the specialists for evaluations as well as the up-to-date status of the information about the entire dataset were important criteria for decision-making." Mr. Weisshaupt was also delighted about the short project duration. Already four weeks after the kick-off, COSMO CONSULT had implemented QlikView with the first dashboard. With the meanwhile around 20 employees who have actively used QlikView, the response to the BI tool has been consistently positive. Significantly faster evaluations due to the low loading times and the ability to call up comparisons with any number of previous periods at any time are among the most frequently mentioned advantages.
For the future, KGM plans to employ QlikView for analyses in the field of job control and purchasing as well.