Customer Success Story: Lechler

by | Apr 21, 2024 | Customer success story

Customer Success Story: Lechler Image 1
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Challenge

A global leader in industrial manufacturing, Lechler wanted to modernize Planning and Data enrichment to align with their high engineering and innovation standards. Over 140 years as they grew, they faced an all too well-known challenge: how to efficiently collect, consolidate, analyse, and plan data across multiple regions, sources, people, and systems.

Planning, as with any long-lived enterprise, was mainly done in Excel. Now 50+ spreadsheets, the data collection and consolidation process across 12 countries, multiple business units, currencies, regulations, and plan contributors had become overly cumbersome, error-prone, and time-consuming.

Executives and Sales Managers org-wide needed faster insight into ‘what happened’ and be able to adjust what ‘needed to happen’ in the future simultaneously in order to support the world’s and customers’ changing needs. There had to be a better way than the current 4-5 week, 1-time per year Sales Planning process that Excel allowed them.

Ultimately Lechler wanted to align data, both operational and financial, with strategic goals and KPIs and to ensure that data and decisions were consistent and reliable across the organization. They envisioned a modern and innovative approach to planning, both Process and Technology; the challenge…where to start?

About

Founded in 1879, Lechler is Europe’s leading spray technology manufacturer, engineering 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.

Lechler before and after
Lechler: Andreas Macht'q quote

Solution

Lechler wanted, if possible, to leverage their investment in Microsoft Power BI. Googling “Planning in Power BI” they quickly found Power ON, a Power BI-based planning and write-back solution, and Centida, a certified Power ON and Power BI consulting partner.

Within 3-4 days Centida delivered Lechler a working-prototype for Sales Planning in Power BI! Having previously invested 3 months with a leading global consulting enterprise that ended in a disappointing, non-working POC, Lechler recognized the difference that Centida brought to table!

3 months later Lechler launched its Sales and Order Intake Forecast, across 12 Business Units, involving 80+ individuals. They were now able to incorporate data from various sources including SAP, Salesforce, internal operational databases, and others, not possible in the previous manual Excel process, meaning a more complete picture was being planned. The impact was immediately felt. A comprehensive Sales Planning process was complete in 4 – 5 days (unlike the old 4-5 weeks)!

The Sales team quickly capitalized on their newfound Planning efficiency, adding Quarterly Sales Forecasting. Instead of ‘Once Yearly’ Sales Planning that former spreadsheet planning allowed, they could now do Sales Forecasting 4-times a year. More frequent forecasting meant more accurate Sales Forecasts, improving Sales Goal achievement, and trickling positive impacts across purchasing, inventory, customer satisfaction, and more. Their BI transformation journey was on the right track.

Partner & Approach

New to Modern BI, Lechler had the aptitude, but was looking to gain experience. To implement Planning in Power BI they wanted an advisor and partner who understood Business, Process, and Technology, and who would enable and guide them equally. They found and chose to partner with Centida, a firm specializing in efficiencies in Planning and Data Management, as well as Power BI.

Lechler leveraged Centida’s expertise to design, develop, and deploy Planning in Power BI, as well as train and support its users, initially within the Business Intelligence and Sales teams, and eventually expanding across Controlling, Operations, and others (more on that to come).

Lechler’s initial focus, as described above, was Sales Planning in Power BI, across 12 business units. With the Planning process, technology and data management revamped, along with personnel trained, Lechler and Centida layered on Sales Reporting leveraging the same Power BI environment. Being able to deliver the right information to the right team members based on their role, with no additional effort, saw Sales productivity and results soar.

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In 2022 the Controlling group modernized Cost Planning and Reporting in Power BI. Revamping P&L Planning and Reporting in Power BI immediately thereafter. In 2023 the Operations team began Planning in Power BI transformation, with integrated Reporting in the mix.

Word soon spread and more groups across Lechler, including Logistics and Purchasing asked for their own ‘fast and easy planning and reporting in Power BI’. Lechler’s Business Intelligence Project Leader Andreas Macht and Centida, knew they were on to something transformational!

Modernizing Planning, Reporting, and Data Management across Sales, Controlling, and Operations, leveraging Lechler’s existing investment in Microsoft Power BI has led to significant benefits, including.

Results

Modernizing Planning, Reporting, and Data Management across Sales, Controlling, and Operations, leveraging Lechler’s existing investment in Microsoft Power BI has led to significant benefits, including.

– Better planning experience: Faster, easier, and more insightful (4-5 days vs 4-5 weeks).

– Improved data quality and accuracy: avoiding manual errors and inconsistencies.

– Increased efficiency and productivity: reducing time and effort required to collect, consolidate, analyze, and plan data (real-time updates vs days or weeks).

– Enhanced decision making and performance: providing timely, relevant insights to all stakeholders.

– Greater flexibility and scalability: enabling Lechler to adapt to changing business needs and scenarios.

Being able to respond quickly to unforeseen changes in today’s hyper-pace, volatile world, from changes in demand, to supply chain impacts on costs, and others, has empowered Lechler to modify plans on the fly, keep their KPIs in line with goals, and ultimately allowed them to better serve customers and stakeholders alike.

What’s next?

With Operations, Logistics, and Purchasing teams queued up to streamline efficiencies via the same Planning in Power BI solution proven out in Sales and Controlling, Lechler continues to partner with Centida across process and technology enhancements, maintenance, and expertise as the world of Modern BI continues to evolve.

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