With operations all over the globe, Knauf has numerous divisions and lines of business. Reconciling finances and planning for a global operation isn’t easy.
Until 2008, the company had relied on spreadsheets for financial planning, but that method no longer met its needs. Knauf wanted an easier, faster way to consolidate the budget information for its worldwide operations.
After the financial crisis in 2008, Knauf decided to take a more rigorous and proactive approach to financial planning. The business needed more transparency in its planning and also wanted to reduce the amount of time needed for planning. It ultimately chose IBM® Planning Analytics software to support its efforts. “We use Planning Analytics for reporting purposes, planning, and determining transfer prices,” says Dietrich Betz, Head of Corporate Controlling Services at Knauf.
User adoption increased to 500 users
Application performance significantly faster with the upgrade
Years later, as the business continued to rely on the Planning Analytics solution for its planning efforts, it decided to upgrade to the latest version to take advantage of improvements in performance and other features. Working with IBM Business Partner avantum consult GmbH, Knauf implemented avantum’s APOLLO solution, which is built on the latest versions of Planning Analytics.
In just eight weeks, avantum helped Knauf upgrade the system and create functions for balance sheets and profit and loss (P&L) statements. Knauf can also use the new version to gather the P&L statements from all of the worldwide subsidiaries into a consolidated database and run outcome planning and forecasting for the entire organization. The APOLLO solution integrates with Knauf’s SAP Business Warehouse (BW) software.
Approximately 500 users at Knauf are now using the Planning Analytics solution. Betz reports that users have found the software easy to learn and use, which has improved user adoption at Knauf.
Plus, after the migration, the updated solution has significantly improved performance. “We have experienced a boost of performance now that we’re using Planning Analytics,” says Betz. “It’s not just some minor improvement—you can actually feel the difference between how it was before and how fast it is now.”
Knauf now relies on the solution for integrated corporate planning and reporting. The company has automated the transfer of its data to and from SAP BW software, so it has a more integrated view into its operations, along with greater transparency.
Knauf plans to continue to expand the use of the solution, moving its transfer pricing application to the new platform. “Because of the improved performance in Planning Analytics, we’re really looking forward to having that with the transfer pricing application,” says Betz.
Founded in 1932, Knauf (link resides outside of ibm.com) is a group of companies that form one of the world’s leading manufacturers of building materials including plasterboards, plasters, modern insulation materials and accessories, and construction equipment and tools. The company has more than 250 production facilities and sales organizations in over 90 countries and approximately 40,000 employees worldwide. Its headquarters are in Iphofen, Germany.
IBM Business Partner avantum consult (link resides outside of ibm.com) is a business analytics specialist operating in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It supports more than 225 companies of multiple industries across the entire data value chain with concepts, technologies and agile leadership for better insights and results. Customers profit from modular solutions in the areas of data management, reporting, planning and advanced analytics.
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