Sanden Manufacturing Poland is a part of a Japanese holding group SANDEN HOLDINGS CORPORATION, the world’s leading manufacturer of compressors for automotive air conditioning. Sanden Manufacturing The company’s products are used by the greatest players in the automotive industry, such as Volkswagen, GM, Volvo, Jaguar, and Ford.
Japanese reliability goes hand in hand with the need to ensure smooth processes at every level, especially those on which key business decisions are based – budgeting and reporting. These tasks Sanden employees perform using the Business Intelligence module in NAVIGATOR.
The challenge, or customer needs
The starting point is best quantified: everyday budgeting at Sanden includes the managers of 41 departments creating their budget documents in several versions (in some cases, the number of possible scenarios reaches up to 11), with a single kind within the year up to 450 budget sheets. Sanden analysts track the execution of designed budget plans using nearly 400 reports, based on data from more than 60 Excel sources and data powered by SAP.
Manual processing of such a vast amount of data was time-consuming. It also complicated the processes due to a lack of standardization and flexibility in designing plans with several scenarios. Moreover, rigid generic result reports did not meet the analysts’ requirements and preparing subsequent versions meant engaging human resources.
The implementation of a suitable budgeting tool was aimed at work automation and, as a result, its simplification by enabling efficient reporting and data comparison from different periods and providing analysts with the ability to focus on data post-processing rather than simple processing.
The solution, or Archman’s offer
One of Sanden’s primary software requirements was to have a tool for budgeting process automation. While many vendors offered data warehouses alone, Archman proposed both solutions in a single NAVIGATOR system. The budgeting and reporting modules are based on OLAP cube technology. Each cube is responsible for a particular data area, i.e., sales, costs, and investments.
Before NAVIGATOR implementation, the client’s budgeting and reporting processes were handled within Excel files. By introducing one platform for all activities, we managed to systematize not merely the process of creating new budget plans and reports but also their distribution. Today every manager can log into NAVIGATOR at any time and check pending actual tasks or analysis.
We also consider the employees’ habits, who felt most comfortable in the MS Excel environment. Now, when a manager needs to create a new document or edit an existing one, they open the appropriate module in NAVIGATOR, go to the specific budget, and after clicking on the edit option, they can work on the current version of the particular plan in the Excel environment. After saving the changes, the data automatically updates in NAVIGATOR. It also applies to reports, where data from the edited document are transferred.
Since Sanden is an international company and conducts business communication in English, it was also important to provide the system interface translation. By default, NAVIGATOR is available in 4 languages: Polish, English, German and Latvian. However, the platform flexibility also allows for smooth implementation of other ones, if needed.
The implementation, or employees’ feedback on a new work tool
Karolina Lipińska-Skiba, Corporate Planning Manager in Sanden, says that after implementing NAVIGATOR, the employees notice positive effects. They manage to improve the budgeting process with several versions within one reporting period.
Was it difficult for them to get used to it? Undoubtedly, the system integration with the intensively used MS Excel was a favorable factor. Moreover, the NAVIGATOR interface itself is very intuitive, so getting to know the system did not require many hours of training. A few meetings with Sanden’s controlling department employees were enough, so they could comfortably pass on the knowledge to their colleagues.
‘What we appreciate most about working with Archman is the individual customer approach. The company emphasizes building an almost ‘family’ relationship with the customer and cares about its satisfaction, not merely at the sales stage, as it happens in large corporations. We rely on free, collaborative, and open communication, which accelerates the achievement of common goals. It is also worth mentioning that we can always count on a great sense of understanding for our changing concepts’, – says Karolina Lipińska-Skiba while summarizing the cooperation so far.
We work with Sanden since 2018. After the system implementation, we systematically develop it as part of maintenance efforts. Improvement works include adding new areas, new OLAP cubes, or implementing new dimensions and attributes to existing ones.