Ausnutria focuses on BI with SAP Datasphere

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Written by SAP in News , Cloud , Analytics , SAP S/4HANA


With SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Datasphere, Ausnutria gains insight into the cost price of a product or the quality of raw materials. In collaboration with SAP partner Expertum, the company is taking steps in the field of business intelligence with these solutions.

Ausnutria is a manufacturer of baby and infant food and a world market leader in the development, production, and sale of baby and infant food based on goat milk. What started in 1897 with the 'De Vechtstreek' dairy factory in Ommen has grown into a multinational with nine production locations, six sales offices worldwide, and almost four thousand employees.

Harmonize processes

Ausnutria's five factories in the Netherlands mainly produce for the Chinese market. In recent years, the company has standardized on SAP in the Netherlands to better support its rapid growth. This standardization was supposed to lead to harmonization of processes across all locations, better logistics integration, and greatly improved integrated data exchange.

“The rollout of SAP across all production locations in the Netherlands is as good as completed,” says Wouter Engbers, ICT director at Ausnutria. “We now have an SAP system with good-quality data. Then you see that the demand for information also increases. Users know that the data is there, and they want to use it for reporting.”

Standardized and validated

The next step after the rollout of SAP is to better organize the information provision for business reporting and decision-making. “We have two goals,” Engbers explains. “First and foremost, reports must be standardized and validated. The reports we offer users must be one hundred per cent correct.”

“We also want a tool that allows users to retrieve data from SAP and perform their own analyses,” continues the IT director. “This self-service is for a limited group of users who want to delve even deeper into the data and also know how to handle the data.”


SAP Datasphere

Ausnutria uses SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) for the analyses. However, the company soon discovered that connecting Analytics Cloud directly to the SAP HANA database caused performance issues. “You still have to put a data warehouse in there,” says Engbers. “And
preferably a tool that can handle the data coming from SAP and immediately takes the correct authorizations with it. This way, you avoid complexity, and you develop a report not in two months but in two weeks.”

That tool became SAP Datasphere, an integrated solution for data integration, data cataloguing, semantic modelling, data warehousing, data federation, and data virtualization. It allows users to access data in a federated manner, whether it is SAP data or non-SAP data. The data remains stored in the relevant source.

“We started with a 'free tier' instance that you can try for ninety days at no cost and without any obligations,” says Rogier Schipper, project manager and analytics expert at SAP partner Expertum. “It quickly became apparent that SAP Datasphere offers the
desired performance and detailed insight into the data. After the trial period, we were able to easily upgrade to a full license via the SAP Business Technology Platform.”

Exploratory phase

“We are now in the exploratory phase with SAP Datasphere,” Engbers outlines. Ausnutria has already built several reports based on business cases, including a trend analysis report for raw materials. “Quality is by far our number one priority. We continuously analyze quality samples of our raw materials. Previously, it took a technologist two to three days to convert the analysis data for one raw material into a report. Now we have an up-to-date daily report for all raw materials with full trend analysis. This allows us to immediately see whether a raw material remains within specifications.”

The exploratory phase also produced financial reports that provide better insight into the total cost price of a product, including the cost price per processed ingredient. In addition, Ausnutria is working on shelf-life reports for products and raw materials that are in stock. Schipper: “By making the data well structured, we can reuse it for different reports. This allows us to create various views based on the same underlying model, which ensures consistency and efficiency in the reports.”

Respond quickly to requests from the business

“The big advantage of this solution is that we can respond quickly to requests from the business,” concludes Engbers. “As soon as data is available in SAP, we can process it in reports. However, it is crucial to stay focused. If we try to build too many reports at the same time, we lose overview and control.”

After the exploratory phase, Ausnutria determines in the 'definitive phase' what the data model will look like, which logical components are present in the data and what the governance model is. “In this phase, we want to ensure that all reporting runs via SAP Datasphere. This means that we also have to transfer all existing reports to this platform,” Engbers concludes. “We are taking these steps together with our partner Expertum, who has a lot of expertise in this area and understands our business well.”

This article was written and published by SAP The Netherlands.

Many thanks to: Patricia Bueters (SAP The Netherlands), Wouter Hoefnagel (Writer), Wouter Engberts (Ausnutria) and Rogier Schipper (Expertum)

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