A leading distributor implements an intelligent reporting system that allows employees to focus on value-added tasks

The distribution company Antalis Poland encountered growing problems in the area of managing the process of reporting. The IT department employees were responsible for data aggregation, reporting and management of report distribution. This work was performed mostly manually. Furthermore, the reports came from different IT systems. This resulted in the emergence of bottlenecks, and the reporting system was inflexible. Making changes in the system was associated with a large amount of work. It was also impossible for users to access reports in real time. The situation has changed as a result of co-operation between Antalis and Fild.NET, when an integrated reporting system was implemented in the company. It has automated reporting processes previously done manually and has allowed employees to access information via a web browser. The new system not only has increased productivity and reduced the workload of IT personnel, but also has helped all employees to make smart business decisions based on the information provided.

About the company

Antalis Poland is part of the Antalis Group – one of Europe’s leading distributors of products such as paper, envelopes, supplies, packaging, promotional items and visual products (materials for the production of advertising) for over 180 thousand customers in 37 countries in Europe. Among the customers of Antalis Poland are print shops, advertising agencies, large companies and dealers. They are serviced by 180 employees of Antalis Poland.

The challenge

Antalis previously used a reporting system consisting of a set of properly prepared spreadsheets in Microsoft® Excel format, generated using Microsoft SQL Server™ 2000 and Microsoft Access. Data processed by the reporting system was correct and well-structured – the system seemed to be effective. However, its management became more difficult with the dynamic development of the company. The IT department employees had to meet the requirements for new sets of reports, define rules for their distribution and access to them, while doing the work on strategic projects. In addition, employees who needed to use operational, financial and sales reporting, have limited access to business information in real time. They used disparate systems that did not allow for efficient sharing of information. The assignment of IT staff – already burdened with other tasks – to define reports meant that reporting was too slow and it was laborious. Employees did not have the opportunity to focus on key business indicators facilitating the achievement of business objectives, assess risk and respond to business opportunities. – “Aggregating and analyzing business data was a multi-step, time-consuming manual process. Before analyzing, the data should be downloaded from various applications. Employees were focused more on technology than on tasks that generated real value analysis”- said Tomasz Gorecki, IT Director for Central and Eastern Europe at Antalis Poland.

The solution

Antalis had reliable business data and had the idea of the reporting process. It needed a system to create business reports, which would allow maximum use of their data. The wanted system was supposed, above all, to share customized reports in real time in order to provide employees with access to business information and customer data. As a result, workers could make accurate business decisions quickly.

Antalis has teamed up with Fild.NET – an experienced provider of IT solutions that increase productivity, minimize risk and maximize return on investment. The cooperation of both companies has resulted in the implementation of an integrated reporting system that uses analytics, supporting 100 users across the enterprise. The choice of Fild.NET has been decided by Antalis not only due to Fild.NET’s experience in the field of Microsoft technology and providing reporting systems that take advantage of previously used applications such as SQL Server, Access and Excel, but also because of Fild.NET’s adaptive, collaborative approach to projects.

“We used strategically integrated tools and built a multi-dimensional analytical models for relational structures. These tools helped greatly to accelerate the development of advanced environment of reporting “- explained Andrzej Biesiekirski, President of Fild.NET.
The basis of the integrated reporting system implemented in Antalis is Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server and the database system Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and Reporting Services, providing quick access to the data warehouse and managed implementation of reports. As part of the reporting solution Antalis uses Microsoft Office Professional 2003. This software has an intuitive interface, perform queries and generate reports.
“Intelligent reporting system requires several components: a consistent classification of data by the department to dispose of a deep knowledge of business and a partner equipped with the appropriate technology. We had all these elements “- said Tomasz Gorecki.

Business Benefits

The implementation of the reliable and scalable platform and providing the company with wide real-time access to critical business information and management of report distribution meant that the employees of Antalis have the information needed to make accurate business decisions. The system allows for rapid response to customer needs and use of business opportunities in the market, making it easier to operate.

Increasing the competitiveness

The reporting system that uses analytics enables Antalis to use existing resources and collected data to make decisions quickly and to reduce costs simultaneously. It allows Antalis for providing real-time information across the enterprise, from any data source accessible through Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office System. The use of Microsoft technology to implement the reporting system has brought Antalis greater value from existing IT investments. In addition, employees can use the reports and analysis using software tools and applications they use every day.
Employees of Antalis have also facilitated the task of downloading raw data, determining the various calculations and analysis variants. – “Having access to such information, we can exploit the commercial potential and uncover new sales opportunities” – explained Tomasz Gorecki. Antalis uses its information resources to make accurate and useful in practice decisions quickly. This in turn increases the company’s competitiveness.

Reducing the burden on IT staff

With the implementation of the reporting system the Antalis’ IT department staff spend less time on meeting the current needs for reporting, modifying fixed sets of reports, and distributing them.
SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services provides a managed reporting environment with a defined level of protection, caching, distributing, accessing and usage reporting. An integrated set of tools enables the IT department staff to centrally manage the creation and delivery of reports.
As employees can create their own reports or subscribe to reports based on events and deliver them via e-mail or via Web sites, IT department employees no longer need to perform these tasks and can focus on strategic projects that generate added value.
The analysis and reporting system implemented in Antalis is scalable – it can be expanded with the growth of the company. There will be therefore no need for Antalis to re-exchange technology in the future.
“By implementing a system based on Microsoft technologies – SQL Server and Office 2003, and not based on packaged applications, we have reporting capabilities that meet our needs today and will meet them tomorrow” – said Jaroslaw Faltynowski, Project Manager at Antalis.

Increasing employee productivity

Previously, Antalis aggregated and analyzed business data for reporting purposes manually. SQL Server Reporting Services and Analysis Services have enabled Antalis to automate and significantly shorten this time-consuming process. Instead of wasting time to retrieve data from various sources, employees can now create reports and analyze those reports to which they have access in the repository. Eliminating manual tasks associated with data management allows Antalis to make more reliable analysis, and increases employee productivity. – “Currently, our employees can focus on strategic work, rather than on collecting and processing data” – said Tomasz Gorecki.
All employees have access to the information they need anytime and anywhere through a web browser. The information is always up to date, quickly delivered and easily accessible. These aspects are essential in enabling workers to quickly identify trends and make decisions appropriate to emerging occasions.

For more information about the products and services of Fild.NET, please call: +48 (22) 639 2580 or visit: http://www.fild.net/pl/

For more information about products and services of Antalis Poland, please call: +48 (22) 543 1000 or visit: http://www.antalis.pl/