"As the users started working with the software, their appetite increased, and we received more and more new suggestions and requests from all over the world."
Manager of Global Sales Controlling
- Sales management
- Data analysis
Four continents – one software solution
Corporate Planner at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics
At Hellmann Worldwide Logistics sales management, large amounts of data from offices situated all around the world converge in Hamburg. For the planning, analysis and reporting of these values, Hellmann‘s worldwide corporate performance management staff use the flexible CP-Software Corporate Planner.
Hellmann Worldwide Logistics GmbH & Co. KG, with headquarters in Osnabruck, Lower Saxony, runs 245 offices in more than 50 countries, and has been doing so for over 140 years. Around 12,000 employees work for the logistics company worldwide, forwarding approximately 18,447 million shipments every year, which equals approx. 73,000 shipments per working day. For three years, Hellmann has been relying on the corporate performance management solution Corporate Planner in its sales management. The Global Sales Controlling team led by Daniela Dunker organises the worldwide deployment of the CP-Software from the Hamburg office, supported by the CP-Solution Partner Xtern-Controlling.
In order even to be considered for Hellmann‘s corporate performance management, the software had to meet various requirements. The most important was that the software should be capable of processing large data sets, making it possible to depict the data from the existing data set in one structure. With this, an optimum top-down and bottom-up plan can be produced. Moreover, it was crucial for all the planning staff to have access to the tool from around the world.
Together with Michael Geskes, Managing Director of Xtern-Controlling, Daniela Dunker began by setting up one database per country. In order to have all customers clearly depicted in one of the typical CP tree structures, all the customers with low shipping volumes were merged into one. The additive partial keys function helped to put the data into the right order. With the master tree function, the master structure was added to each customer so that the different freight types, e.g. airfreight, sea freight etc., could be displayed.
The summary tree, in which the sales data for all countries and customers are combined, made a top-down plan possible on every hierarchy level. Here, it was irrelevant whether a planner carried out a top-down plan from the level of the customer, the industry solution or the cost centre. The layout of the data in the tree structure ensured that the values were correctly distributed across all the subsidiary hierarchy levels. Even seasonal fluctuations in line with the actual and historical values were retained.
Different points of view
“As the users started working with the software, their appetite increased, and we received more and more new suggestions and requests from all over the world,” Daniela Dunker sums up her colleagues‘ response. In addition to the customer-based view of the data, the users asked for three more structures so that they could also plan by sales representative or cost centre. Furthermore, the customers with low shipping volumes which might be holding a lot of potential should be depicted in detail and planned individually.
This made it necessary to replace the existing data import method using the additive partial keys option with a different form of structure build. Four tree structures in one data source now provide different views of the same data. The tree structures were to be connected with one another by cross-references, so the data would remain consistent and coherent.
Michael Geskes knew straight away how he would implement his client‘s request. The solution was to select the ‘build with strict hierarchy’ option when defining the data import key. This allowed the tree structure to contain fewer hierarchies while still using all the key components. Since all the branches in the tree end with the same key, it was easy to link them with the data source link manager. No redundant data are stored, and all the tree structures show the same result.
This was the answer to the requirement of being able to plan from different points of view. The larger data set which arose from the individual records of all customers meant that the display of all data in one tree structure had now become rather confusing.
Hellmann‘s Global Sales Controlling Team agreed to the solution of splitting the countries into different databases. Through data source links, the databases for each country are now linked together in one main model. With the automatic data source link function, instead of assigning data source links to individual fields one by one, entire trees in multiple databases can be joined together.
From Dubai to New Zealand
In sales management, unlike financial management, a month is too long to wait for updates. Up-to-date figures are expected every week. This calls for a sophisticated update process. Here, the different time zones are the main determining factor. When Dubai closes for the weekend on a Thursday evening, the update process gets underway and continues until sometime on Sunday, when New Zealand returns to work. In this time slot, data imports run automatically, new customers are added to the tree structure, and data backups are created. Hellmann benefits from having the various Corporate Planner commands lined up and the entire update process completed with VBScript.
Four continents – one software solution
Meanwhile, over 120 Hellmann employees on four continents now work with Corporate Planner, the one software solution for their sales controlling. “Thanks to the weekly updates of the values, the tool has been accepted well and is being used intensively,” Daniela Dunker emphasises.
With Hellmann‘s characteristic efficiency, which is symbolised by the wild geese in the logistics company‘s logo, the corporate performance management staff are already working steadily towards enhancing their solution by reducing their database volume further.