Blastrac, a self-proclaimed global leader in portable surface preparation technologies and equipment (e.g., shot blasting, grinding, polishing,
Blastrac, a self-proclaimed global leader in portable surface preparation technologies and equipment (e.g., shot blasting, grinding, polishing, scarifying, scraping, milling, and cutting equipment), depended on the creation and distribution of reports across the organization to make business decisions. However, the company did not have a consistent reporting method in place and, consequently, preparation of reports for the company’s various needs (sales data, working capital, inventory, purchase analysis, etc.) was tedious. Blastrac’s analysts each spent nearly one whole day per week (a total of 20 to 30 hours) extracting data from the multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, loading it into several Excel spreadsheets, creating filtering capabilities and establishing predefined pivot tables. Not only were these massive spreadsheets often inaccurate and consistently hard to understand, but also they were virtually useless for the sales team, which couldn’t work with the complex format. In addition, each consumer of the reports had different needs. Blastrac Vice President and CIO Dan Murray began looking for a solution to the company’s reporting troubles. He quickly ruled out the rollout of a single ERP system, a multimillion-dollar proposition. He also eliminated the possibility of an enterprise wide business intelligence (BI) platform deployment because of cost—quotes from five different vendors ranged from $130,000 to over $500,000. What Murray needed was a solution that was affordable, could deploy quickly without disrupting current systems, and was able to represent data consistently regardless of the multiple currencies Blastrac operates in.
Questions for Discussion
1. How did Blastrac achieve significant cost saving in reporting and information sharing?
2. What were the challenge, the proposed solution, and the obtained results?
Step by Step Answer: