One of Europe’s oldest Manufacturers, Improved Efficiency and Eliminated Costs with Write-back enabled Sales Planning in Power BI
Founded in 1879, Lechler is Europe’s leading spray technology manufacturer. The company engineers high-quality, precision nozzles and nozzle systems used by companies worldwide. They maintain offices on 5 continents that serve agricultural, environmental, and manufacturing demands in over 50 countries. It insists on superior engineering and performance in its operations to deliver the highest quality experience to customers.
A thought leader in their own industry, Lechler sought to bring their high engineering and production standards to internal Sales Forecasting. As with other long-lived enterprises, their legacy planning system was built and expanded in Excel. It depended on data manually tabulated from more than 50 spreadsheets, many of which contained complex formulas and macros that performed inconsistently as rows were inserted or links inadvertently broken. The annual sales forecasting process required more than two dedicated head office FTE just over four weeks to collect, cross-check, and consolidate the data and validation files. Because of the manual Excel-based challenges Sales Forecasting was undertaken only once a year.
Executives and Sales Managers needed more timely insight into what happened and anticipate what needed to happen in order to achieve changing targets of the modern global economy and to support the changing needs of their customers.
- 50+ spreadsheets w/ links, v-lookups…
- Innumerable complex macros, formulas
- 4 weeks manual data collection, consolidation, cross-check, validation
- Sales Planning only 1x / year → took 3+ months
Lechler envisioned a solution which could integrate with the organization’s recent investment in and choice for company-wide Business Intelligence: Microsoft’s Power BI. A quick “Google” for “planning and forecasting in Power BI” led them to Power ON BI’s Visual Planner. With planning and write-back within Power BI, the demo looked promising, and within days a working prototype proved to be successful.
Within weeks a new and fully operational Sales and Order Intake Forecast was launched across the Sales organization, using Visual Planner from Power ON. Employees and managers immediately accepted the new solution. Staff training took only one hour. The new process allowed front line managers to contribute to the process without compromising security or adding workload and eliminated the manual data preparation and spreadsheet distribution process, clearly demonstrating that how Lechler uses Power ON could have dramatic impacts on sales planning productivity.
Power ON helped our team convert data into value.
With connected planning within Power BI everyone, from the salesperson to division and regional executives, can review and input data which is immediately visible to all stakeholders using just their web browser. They also appreciate the opportunity to both contribute more value to the process, while simultaneously freeing up more time for higher value work.
With Visual Planner, the company now sees opportunity to be more accurate in scheduling notices sent to customers. How Lechler uses Power ON includes gradually expanding the usage of Visual Planner for Power BI for other Enterprise Performance disciplines like Cost Controlling, Strategy Planning and Profitability Planning.
In a world predominated by uncertainty, being able to deliver advanced insight, and accuracy, is highly valued by all stakeholders: customers, employees, investors, and executives alike.
- FEWER: 50+ spreadsheets replaced by real-time data input and write-back in Power BI
- AUTOMATED: Reduced staff hours spent on manual data collection and validation
- COLLABORATIVE: Involved entire sales org; frontline, regional, country, corporate
- PROACTIVE: Quickly respond to market changes by Sales Planning 3x / yr (vs 1x / yr before)
- EFFICIENT: Adding Capacity + Investment Planning via Power BI; deliver more value to customers
The Power ON roll-out was smooth and quick. The training session took less than 1 hour to complete! What used to take 4 weeks to prepare now requires only 1 week.