LG Chem wanted better reporting tools to evaluate the performance of thousands of products. To improve operations, the company implemented a data warehouse solution from Microsoft with managed self-service business intelligence (BI) tools. As
a result, LG Chem has cut its reporting time by 50 percent, gained better operational insight, enhanced workflow, and reduced its total cost of ownership.
LG Chem is a global manufacturer, supplier, and distributor of petrochemical products, industrial materials, and electronic goods. The company manages multiple product lines and worldwide operations from its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. To plan an
effective business strategy, the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) team needed better reporting tools to evaluate the performance of thousands of products.
||By taking advantage of SQL Server 2012, we’ve reduced the time it took to create complex reports from 15 to 7 days. As a result, managers have more time to drill down and analyze performance, from global operations to individual departments.
| Cheol Ki Park
It took IT staff at LG Chem 15 days to extract data from its SAP ERP system and create 200 queries for monthly reports. The labor-intensive process offered little opportunity for customization. “Each report had to be created by a developer,” says Cheol Ki Park,
Manager at LG Chem. “And when we needed a new report, all the queries had to be changed too.”
LG Chem wanted to give the ERP team faster access to information and more flexibility. Park says, “We wanted end users to be able to create reports without help from developers—in other words, we needed self-service BI capabilities.”
The company wanted an affordable data warehouse and reporting solution that would be easy to maintain. It also wanted BI tools that would work with office programs that employees were already familiar with, such as Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet software
and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
LG Chem decided to become an early adopter of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise data management software to take advantage of its affordability and built-in features for business intelligence. “There were two main reasons for choosing this solution,”
says Park. “First, SQL Server 2012 is the most powerful, cost-effective database product available. And second, it works well with Excel 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010.”
The company began implementing the solution in November 2011 and turned to local Microsoft partner Zalesia for help. Park says, “Zalesia has a lot of experience with Microsoft BI projects, and it brought both expertise and a deep knowledge of SQL Server
LG Chem and Zalesia deployed the solution on the Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise operating system and used SQL Server 2012 Integration Services to connect the data warehouse with its SAP ERP system. The company loaded a year’s worth of data into the new
warehouse, which currently stores 700 megabytes (MB). It expects the volume to grow by 800 MB annually.
LG Chem finished implementing the solution in January 2012 and anticipates that more than 200 end users will ultimately work with the new BI features. The company’s ERP managers currently work with Power View, an interactive data visualization tool in SQL
Server 2012 Reporting Services that they can launch from SharePoint Server 2010. They also use Excel 2010 to manipulate and present data imported from SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services cubes, or they use the spreadsheet software to work directly with large
data sets. For example, to forecast profits, the ERP team models data from more than 10 million table rows with Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010.
With its new Microsoft BI solution, LG Chem has cut its reporting time in half and gained better insight and flexibility. In addition, end users have improved their workflow, and the company is reducing its total cost of ownership.
Reduced Reporting Time by 50 Percent
Because LG Chem has cut its reporting time in half, it has more time to spend on improving operations. “With SQL Server 2012, we’ve reduced the time it took to create complex reports from 15 to 7 days,” says Park. “As a result, managers have more time to
drill down and analyze performance, from global operations to individual departments.”
Improved Reporting Flexibility
The company also has the flexibility it needs to develop custom reports that enhance business insight. “In the past, we could only produce standard or ‘fixed’ reports, and it was very difficult to make changes,” says Park. “Now, with SQL Server 2012, we
can expand existing presentations or quickly add a dimension to the data warehouse to make a new report. It’s much more flexible.”
Enhanced End-User Productivity with Self-Service Reporting
LG Chem is improving productivity by implementing a BI solution that works with familiar applications. Instead of asking the IT team for help, end users can create and share reports themselves. “With SQL Server 2012, it’s really easy to open a browser-based
report with SharePoint Server 2010 and then download it to Excel,” says Park. “By creating one report that can be shared through both a website and a spreadsheet, end users have cut their workload in half. This is a great self-service BI solution.”
Expects to Lower Total Cost of Ownership
LG Chem also expects to save money by implementing SQL Server 2012. Park says, “By cutting the time it takes to produce reports in half, we’re also reducing management costs.”
The company is currently considering companywide deployment. “As an early adopter of SQL Server 2012, we now know that the solution can handle the huge volumes of data that we work with as a corporation,” says Park. “We’re seeing opportunities to migrate
from Oracle to SQL Server 2012. By doing so, we can improve operational support and further decrease our total cost of ownership.”
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