Holding companies

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Every company sets itself tasks such as optimizing its activities, acquiring new customers, increasing revenue and profit, and ultimately increasing its competitive advantage. However, as a company is growing it becomes clear that data collection, analysis, review and planning for future activities requires increasing time and effort from the management. A need arises to transition from solving daily operational problems to concentrate instead on strategic management, increase efficiency and manage risk. These issues are especially important for a consolidated group of companies – an association of legally independent enterprises linked by a corporate management and combined capital.

During the process of developing and operating a group of companies the following management complications arise:

  • Diverse business lines with their own operating and management peculiarities.
  • Absence of corporate formal regulations (procedures) for business processes and of corporate report layouts.
  • Geographic distribution of the companies, location in different time zones.
  • Complicated IT landscape with many mixed information sources making managerial decisions more difficult.

Below are some examples where the use of solutions for business analytics, such as SAP’s BusinessObjects BI, may offer considerable advantages to a company:

  • Absence of a single source of the reliable information.

Often at a meeting the employees from different departments argue whose report has the correct data and it is not possible to deduce who has the right data.

  • Difficulty of carrying out detailed and comprehensive analysis.

A company has information on the sales volume in each its stores. However, the management find it nearly impossible to get information on how the profitability of sales of a certain group of goods would change if the procurement price changes by 10%, or how a marketing campaign would affect the sales volume.

  • Challenge of producing “on the fly” reports using current data

A company uses an enterprise management system and a report package has been developed as a part of it. However, the system capabilities do not allow making reports “upon request” and adjusting the results to the required format. As a result the users are not satisfied with the system and start using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

  • Staff turnover and the lack of a centralized system for historical data records.

One of the sales department’s many responsibilities is to make reports on sales in comparison to the previous quarters or years. However, the employee that was responsible for the data maintenance on sales quit their job and no one knows where to find the information for the previous quarters and years.

  • Limited flexibility for making accounting reports.

Constantly changing conditions demand that the company respond to many various tasks. For instance, today there is a need to define the top 10 clients by sale volumes and tomorrow to summarize the sales figures by product and geographic region. The amount of time and manpower invested for collecting this kind of information and altering the accounting reports can be very large.

Therefore, a business analytics solution can answer many questions including:

  • What is the revenue and profit for every product or service for each of the companies in the group?
  • What is the most profitable product or service in the company, what is the sales volume per day, per month, per year?
  • What is the production cost price and what is the cost of sales in each line of business and in each sales channel?
  • Is there enough inventory to fulfill the demand this quarter and the sales plan for the next 6 months?
  • Which lines of business have low turnover and what are the reasons?
  • To what extent do the departments actual budgets deviate from the planned values? For all sales and accounting departments in the entire group? For only one company in the group or all departments in the entir e group?
  • Does the company have enough cash flow to make payments within the next 24 hours, next week, or next month?

A decision about implementing a business analytics solution does not mean bearing all the expenses in the very first project stage. For a more efficient implementation one can adhere to the following MODULAR approach:

  • Define objectives and tasks that the company wants to settle now and then choose the tools that will meet those requirements.
  • Define which business processes and technical tools will secure the information quality (including synchronization and harmonization of the main data) which is entered into the analytical system.
  • Deploy and implement future individual tools as the company and the business requirements develop.

In summary, when using the SAP Business Objects BI solutions set you get the following advantages:

  • A consolidated solution, integrated into other applications, that will manage all the business analytics tasks: from building up a Data Warehouse to Strategic Management to even Predictive Analytics.
  • System scalability which will allow for an ever increasing data volume in the company.
  • Availability of tailor-made solutions specific to the company and its industry.
  • Controlled access to commercially confidential information.
  • A comprehensive solution independent from any technological platform.
  • Integration with Microsoft Office products and mobile access.
  • Increase in business flexibility and acquiring competitive advantages.
  • Immediate benefits in speed and increased value of comprehensive information.