" We required a solution that would allow us to produce consolidated financial report packs from all divisions across the enterprise. " Financial Manger, Koos Liebenberg
Armscor Defence Institute (Pty) Ltd has deployed a Business Intelligence solution that streamlines, automates and consolidates financial and BEE information across all the business units within the parastatal.
"Every division within the parastatal currently runs its own ERP database and other third party business applications," says the financial manager, Koos Liebenberg. "We required a solution that would allow us to produce consolidated financial report packs from all divisions across the enterprise. These packs include balance sheets, income statements up to trial balance.
"Another requirement was to bring BEE information residing outside the ERP system into the various divisions' vendor reports for BEE and BBBEE calculations. Powered by Microsoft Office 2010, Excel 2010 with Power Pivot and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, AccTech deployed a self-service BI solution to facilitate all these requirements.
"Our vendor's BEE information was spread across the organisation in various data formats and hard-copies, and to get all this information current and into one repository was key to making sense of any BEE reports. The data for the reports had to be cleansed before we could store it in a database for reporting and AccTech deployed the advanced features of Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services for this task."
"This disparate structure made it extremely difficult to consolidate all the information into one accurate view in order to produce
an overall picture of the group's total financial standing," commented Andre Cloete, director of Business Intelligence solutions at AccTech Systems. "Added to which, not all the financial structures within the group are the same and procurement processes differ from division to division, complicating the consolidation of information into one accurate view of the group's financials."
The other requirement was to bring BEE information residing outside the ERP system into the vendor reports for BEE and BBBEE calculations and scoring reports. The BEE information was spread across the organisation in various data formats and hard copies. To get all this information current and into one repository was key tomake sense of any BEE reports in conjunction with financial analysis. Added to which the data for the BEE reports needed to be cleansed before finally being stored in a database for reporting.
A data warehouse was developed for the financial and BEE information and data from third party ERP solutions. SQL Server Integration Services was used to clean the BEE information.
For future phases Microsoft SharePoint 2010 will be considered as the collaboration platform - it is already installed and configured with Power Pivot, Analysis Services and Reporting Services Integration in a test environment and ready for roll-out in the next phase.
In addition to the solution provided, there is a true self-service business intelligence reporting tool whereby users can create reports and slice-and-dice pivot tables and charts. Power Pivot also enables the users to work with large amount of data without compromising on processing time and speed. Due to the fact that Power Pivot is an Excel add-in and most functionalities work more or less the same as Excel, it is very easy for a user to adapt to it.
SQL integration packages were created to clean and commit the data from the financial system to enable users with self-service reporting and ensure the integrity of the data. More SQL views, stored procedures and integration packs were created to cover BEE and BBBEE information.
The third party asset management system contains all the capital expenditure information on detail level in eleven SQL databases. Acquisition and depreciation forecasting was possible after pulling this data into the SQL warehouse and using measures and calculated fields within the reporting solution to present current and useful forecasting details to support business decisions on capital expenditure and other requirements.
The Business Intelligence solution deployed by AccTech allows the streamlining and automation of consolidated financial and BEE information across all business units within the parastatal. The value of any BI project is that the consolidated data view opens up a new vision in an organisation's business and this project was no different. As an additional functionality provided during the project, AccTech empowered the parastatal with accurate, streamlined forecasting data allowing for precise capital expenditure and depreciation planning. After pulling the asset data into a Microsoft SQL Warehouse, Armscor Defence Institute is now presented with current forecasting information, allowing accurate business decisions regarding capital expenditure and IFRS requirements.
"We have set our vision, mission and value system to guide us through the difficult process of maintaining and retaining strategic capabilities and facilities on behalf of the Department of Defence," concluded Koos Liebenberg.
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