Success Story

Refreshingly simple: Ottakringer is relying on self-service BI for SAP ERP with Power BI

Products Microsoft: Power Platform, Power BI
Sectors: Consumer goods / retail
Processes: Data Management, Finance & Controlling, Analytics
References: Ottakringer Getränke AG

By choosing Power BI as the front end and the Azure SQL database as the data warehouse (DWH), the Ottakringer Group is laying the foundation for modern, consistent, clearly visualized key figure reporting. Queries are made easily and conveniently in the form of self-service BI, evaluations of SAP data are available promptly, and decisions can be taken on the basis of current figures. During the implementation, there was great demand for ORBIS’s expertise and experience with BI projects in the Microsoft environment.

People need to drink, and not just when it’s hot. The family-run Ottakringer Getränke AG is also reaping the benefits of this, being listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange and selling more than three million hectoliters of beverages in 2020. The group of companies, which was created in 2009 through the merger of Ottakringer Brauerei AG and Vöslauer Mineralwasser AG, also comprises the beverage distributors Del Fabro Kolarik GmbH and the logistics service provider Trinkservice GmbH.

Ottakringer Getränke AG

Head office: Vienna
Sector: Consumer goods industry
Products: Beverages
Employees: 834

Strategy 2025 for steady growth

The Group, which operates as a holding company with independent subsidiaries, owes its economic success to its steady growth. As part of a ‘2025 Strategy’, it aims to continuously expand its market position. All the necessary conditions are already in place: consistently high product quality, first-class services, constant innovations in beverages, and a corporate culture focused on sustainability and diversity.

Efficient and transparent operating processes are just as important for economic success: from procurement to materials management, logistics, production and sales, right through to accounting. The group of companies integrates them in a central SAP ERP system.

Managing the business in a more targeted manner

In order to strengthen the market position as part of the long-term growth strategy, the main focus still lies on intelligent, future-oriented and targeted control systems for business activities. This is based on modern and efficient reporting that is clearly visualized and includes current key performance indicators (KPIs).

By introducing the Microsoft Power BI cloud analytics platform, the Azure SQL database as a data warehouse (DWH) and the Azure Data Factory data integration service, the Ottakringer Group has taken a big leap forward in this respect. The BI solution represents state-of-the-art technology and is continuously improved and further developed by Microsoft.

Quick queries with self-service BI

Power BI enables controllers in the corporate group, and above all BI users in the specialist departments, to perform their queries and analyses more easily, more quickly and more flexibly than ever – at any time and on any terminal device – via self-service. Primarily, this involves evaluating data from SAP ERP, but also from non-SAP applications, such as software for route planning, which is consolidated uniformly in the cloud DWH. These include sales figures, open items, Cost Centers and Profitability Analysis (CO-PA), inventories, purchase orders, goods receipts or the organization of tours.

Source Photo: © Ottakringer Getränke AG

Production hall Ottakringer Getränke AG

„Now that end users can pull the data they need for reporting from the cloud data warehouse themselves whenever they need it, new KPI reports are typically available within a day instead of a week, as was previously the case. This and the clear graphical visualization of analyses is a significant added value”, says Jörg Plundrak, Team Leader for Digital Platforms at Ottakringer Getränke AG.

In this way, management receives reports with up-to-date figures and thus obtains a valid basis for decision-making in order to manage the business even more efficiently and with greater foresight.

Relieving IT of data provisioning

There are advantages for the departments too: The BI specialist users call up the current operational key figures via self-service in order to gain an insight into the day-to-day business. This way, they recognize deviations promptly and can react at an early stage, for example by (re)ordering items when stock levels are too low. Route planning and truck loading can also be optimized in this way.

Queries based on the self-service concept also reduce the workload of IT employees.

“In our case, we no longer have the task of providing data to Controlling or the specialist departments for their analyses, lea ving us more time for core tasks, such as optimizing the SAP landscape, CIS systems and CIS processes”, clarifies Jörg Plundrak.

End users are satisfied

End users are also very satisfied with the new BI tool.

“Power BI provides us with a modern tool for analyzing and visualizing data, which enables particularly skilled Excel users to derive tangible benefits very quickly”, explains Alexander Hetper, Deputy Head of Controlling at Del Fabro Kolarik GmbH.

When deciding on Power BI, it was not only the fact that the BI tool offers state-of-the-art technology and is user-friendly that played an important role. Even out-of-the-box, it already offers a variety of connectors to integrate data from a wide range of source systems – both SAP and non-SAP – with little effort. The Delta Load of data from SAP ERP as part of the ETL process (Extract – Transform – Load) is also very straightforward.

Another deciding factor, according to Jörg Plundrak, was “the flexibility and cost advantages of Power BI in terms of user licenses”.

Alexander Hetper, Deputy Head of Controlling, Del Fabro Kolarik GmbH

Alexander Hetper, Del Fabro Kolarik GmbH

„With Power BI and the Azure SQL database as a cloud data warehouse, we are establishing a modern, powerful, future-proof and almost infinitely scalable platform, for the analysis and visualization of data from SAP and non-SAP systems. Self-services make queries much easier, more convenient and faster than ever before.“, says Jörg Plundrak, Team Leader for Digital Platforms at Ottakringer Getränke AG.

Jörg Plundrak, Team Leader for Digital Platforms, Ottakringer Getränke AG

Jörg Plundrak, Ottakringer Getränke AG

Introduction with expertise from ORBIS

The introduction of the BI tool was entrusted to the Saarbrücken-based company ORBIS AG, which was able to make an impression with its competent consulting services that were comprehensible to both the IT and business departments, as well as its expertise in the Microsoft and SAP environments. The cooperative partnership and open communication between all parties involved, along with the high level of inhouse expertise with regard to Power BI, made a significant contribution to the rapid implementation and its completion within the agreed time and budget. Alongside the BI implementation, Ottakringer contracted the Saarbrücken-based IT service provider to install Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement.

Jörg Plundrak summed up the situation positively: “With Power BI and the Azure SQL database as a cloud data warehouse, we are establishing a modern, powerful, future-proof and almost infinitely scalable  platform, for the analysis and visualization of data from SAP and non-SAP systems. Self-services make queries much easier, more convenient and faster than ever before.”

200 BI users in the final expansion stage

The Ottakringer Group of Companies has even more in the pipeline: In order to reduce the margin for interpretation to a minimum, key figures such as revenue are now gradually being defined in a uniform manner. Those responsible are also thinking about structuring all Power BI reports according to a uniform logic and designing their appearance congruently and in the corporate style of the respective subsidiary. Plans also envision even deeper integration between Power BI and Microsoft Dynamics 365. Through a special training concept, which also includes instructional videos, all end users at the Ottakringer group of companies – altogether around 200 in the final expansion stage – should gradually learn how to use the BI tool easily and quickly.

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