Decision Inc., a local SAP Business Objects partner, has assisted the SA Mint Company in developing a data warehouse with analytics and reporting capabilities that integrates with its existing SAP environment to enhance the decision-making processes at the organisation.
The South African Mint Company (Pty) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank. As one of the foremost preservers of South Africa’s heritage, the mint is more than 120 years old. Producing iconic coins which have been recognised many times through various awards, SA Mint employs 500 people at its manufacturing plant in Centurion.
“The partnership with the SA Mint began a few years ago with ASYST, who is now a wholly-owned Decision Inc. company, when we completed a pilot project to meet its scrap reporting requirements,” says Nick Bell, CEO of Decision Inc.
According to Rosemary Wiesner, the System Manager at SA Mint, the relationship grew from there.
“They are a good group of people to work with. It is refreshing to deal with a company who has people who are passionate about a focus area and provide the product-specific assistance that Decision Inc. can, which you do not always find,” she says.
She says the SA Mint required SAP BusinessObjects to be installed as an add-on to its SAP ERP and CRM environment.
“In many respects this has been a true Business Intelligence project. Decision Inc. enabled us to take sales transactions from SAP and combine this with customer demographics from the customer relationship management system as well as sales target information from Excel.”
The enhanced system assists the SA Mint to answer questions such as “which previously top customers have reduced their spend?” and “which product lines are consistently good or poor performers across the years?” Previously, it was so laborious to prepare the data for this exercise that it was only done once or twice a year.
“SA Mint used master data product categories to identify trends over the various years. We helped them spot buying trends across related product sets as well as identify demographic patterns such as highlighting customers who are purchasing more,” says Bell.
Wiesner adds that Decision Inc., through ASYST, knew their environment well and understood the systems of the organisation so it made sense to continue the partnership with this project.
“From a sales perspective and product knowledge, it was great to work with Decision Inc. on this implementation. The project management went very smoothly and we have already reduced the hours spent consolidating sales information through the solution,” says Wiesner.
From a technical perspective, data was extracted from SAP ERP and CRM using the SAP Data Services ETL tool and loaded into a data mart built on Microsoft SQL Server. SAP BusinessObjects was then used to visualise the data in a format that the business user can modify whenever they wish. The solution was delivered on both desktop and mobile device, the latter being widely used by the SA Mint’s executive team. It was important that the solution allowed business users to build their own analytics from the data – a feature that SAP BusinessObjects is renowned for.
Decision Inc. is currently working with the SA Mint on a budget and planning solution.