Global manufacturer Kimberly-Clark needed to accelerate access to business intelligence (BI) based on data from numerous systems so that it could speed efficiency and reduce costs. At its Brazilian subsidiary in 2008, the company deployed a mission-critical BI solution on the Microsoft platform that consolidates disparate data and provides one set of BI tools. As a result, Kimberly-Clark simplified IT and cut its total cost of ownership by 30 percent. It also increased productivity by 30 percent, transaction processing by 50 percent, and sales by 8 percent.Business Needs
Founded in 1870, Fortune 500 company Kimberly-Clark provides products for personal care, health, and hygiene to billions of people in more than 150 countries. To support global demand for its offerings, the company operates facilities on six continents.
||By consolidating our BI on the Microsoft platform, we reduced our total cost of ownership by 30 percent. We also increased productivity by more than 30 percent.
In 2008, employees at the company’s four sites in Brazil needed faster access to corporate data to expedite business intelligence (BI). IT employees and business analysts spent about 30 percent of each day collecting information with numerous technologies, including SAP ERP applications, Slice Management from Power Decision, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise data management software. “Kimberly-Clark has operated in Brazil for 12 years, and during that time it has made several acquisitions,” explains Marina Nunes Leite, Business Consultant at Kimberly-Clark Brazil. “There were several different systems, and so it was very difficult to gather information.”
After an employee extracted data from mission-critical systems, he or she created static, one-dimensional reports about such operations as sales, expenses, and customer-support data. Business decision makers, who shared reports with email, imported the information into Microsoft Office Excel 2003 spreadsheet software to facilitate analysis. The manual processes slowed efficiency and restricted sales opportunities because employees could not rapidly access information about consumer trends, production operations, and corporate expenses. To address its challenges, Kimberly-Clark Brazil decided to replace its disparate BI tools with one solution that could simplify processes, interoperate with existing technologies, and reduce costs.Solution
After evaluating several options, Kimberly-Clark Brazil decided on the Microsoft platform because it is highly flexible and available. It is also easy to use and affordable because it takes advantage of technologies already implemented at the company, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. To help expedite the solution design and implementation, the company engaged Microsoft partner uCube. “With the use of Microsoft technologies, we can access information from many systems, integrate it, and centralize it in just one place,” explains Eder Berenguer, Director of Business and Marketing at uCube.
In June 2008, a team of engineers from Kimberly-Clark Brazil and uCube set up two virtual servers that run the Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition operating system. One server supports an employee portal based on Office SharePoint Server 2007; the other server hosts a data mart that runs on SQL Server 2008. To extract information from disparate systems and load it into the data mart, engineers used Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. Engineers also used SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services to create four online analytical processing (OLAP) cubes in the data mart to facilitate analysis. In addition, engineers set up static reports with SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services and Microsoft Excel 2010.
In February 2010, approximately 70 employees at Kimberly-Clark Brazil began to use the new solution. The company has continued to expand it so that by December 2011, it will include SharePoint Server 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2. With these new products, employees will gain the ability to create custom reports with Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel. IT personnel will also be able to use SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services to standardize, secure, and audit corporate data.Benefits
By deploying a BI solution on the Microsoft platform, Kimberly-Clark Brazil has cut ownership costs by 30 percent, accelerated productivity by 30 percent, sped transaction processing by 50 percent, boosted agility, and increased sales by 8 percent.Lowers Costs and Speeds Productivity by 30 Percent
By replacing applications such as Slice Management and extending its usage of Microsoft technologies, Kimberly-Clark Brazil reduces costs. For example, by using fewer third-party products, the company spends less on licensing. It also streamlines system administration, which saves money. In addition, the more unified solution helps speed the efficiency of business users. “By consolidating our BI on the Microsoft platform, we reduced our total cost of ownership by 30 percent,” explains Paulo Biamino, IT Manager at Kimberly-Clark Brazil. “We also increased productivity by more than 30 percent because the highly available Microsoft BI solution transforms how people access data, create BI, and collaborate.”
For example, in just seconds, employees can make decisions based on the same information—which includes comprehensive, two-dimensional reports with colorful graphs and charts—stored on the portal. “People used to spend 30 percent of their time collecting information,” Leite says. “Now they use this time to perform data analysis.”Accelerates Transactions by 50 Percent
With the new solution, instead of having to extract data from core operational systems manually, employees can access information obtained from disparate systems in the central data mart. This means applications have fewer requests to process, which boosts performance. Leite says, “We have sped transaction processing on our mission-critical systems by 50 percent by implementing our Microsoft BI solution.”Boosts Agility and Increases Sales by 8 Percent
The solution facilitates agility through enhanced data transparency, which gives employees the information required to rapidly identify and respond to industry trends, including changes in consumer demand and business requirements. This, in turn, helps the company to realize its ultimate goal: expanding revenue. “Today, business users can see what’s really going on with sales, production operations, and expenses so that we can compare our prices with other market players and make decisions faster,” says Biamino. “As a result, we have realized an 8 percent increase in sales.”This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.