The Royal Canadian Mint was completing its implementation of a new ERP system and wanted to upgrade its business intelligence (BI) solution. The choice was to upgrade its current expansive Cognos BI reports or to select a new best of breed solution.
To address all of the reporting, analytics and performance management needs, the Mint, in partnership with CRGroup used Microsoft technology to develop an end-to-end BI solution that is comprised of a number of components, including:
1. A data hub for BI
2. Analysis services OLAP cubes
3. Reports and advanced analytics
4. Key performance indicators (KPIs), scorecards and dashboards
5. A corporate BI portal The end-to-end BI system provides all decision makers at the Mint the fact-based empirical information they require to help them make better and superior decisions faster
Users now access real-time strategic, tactical and operational information, such as:
- Corporate, business line, product and customer profitability
- End-to-end order-to-cash reporting, analytics and dashboarding
- Complete reporting, analytics and dashboarding on key business metrics
- Trend analytics, slice and dice, advanced visualizations.
- Centralized corporate information portal where BI content is accessed by decision makers
The Mint, a for-profit Crown Corporation with a mandate to produce circulation and non-circulation coins (for Canada and other countries), manages the Canadian domestic coinage system and provides advice to the Minister of Finance on all matters related to coinage.
The Mint implemented Lean Enterprise and a new ERP system in order to remain nimble while delivering optimal customer value and promoting quality and innovation. To support its strategic objective of being an information-rich organization and to help make information pervasively available to all decision makers (i.e. strategic, tactical and operational decision makers), the Mint required a new BI solution that provided accurate, real-time information at a cost effective point.
The BI solution had to integrate with the new ERP system and address the reporting needs as well as anticipated future BI needs. They required timely access to key information on all business lines including Canadian Circulation, Numismatics, Bullion, and Foreign Circulation, as well as operational information on Manufacturing, Maintenance, Finance, HR — among others.
The Mint selected Corporate Renaissance Group (CRGroup) to develop a robust solution based on the Microsoft BI platform, which uses the SQL Server and SharePoint family of products.
The one-stop BI solution provides users with a secure site for accessing consolidated data from a number of systems including:
- Microsoft Dynamics AX – an enterprise resource planning system
- Coin Pool – a system for managing the national coin supply
- Other–several other business and transactional systems provide data for the BI solution
The reporting data hub replicates data from the ERP system every few minutes and also regularly refreshes data from the other systems to ensure that the most accurate information is available for analysis.
CRGroup helped migrate the reports, Impromptu Query Definitions, DecisionStream models and logic from the Cognos BI environment to the Microsoft BI environment. In order to complete the required analysis in the Microsoft BI environment, analysis services OLAP cubes and Reporting Services reports were developed.
Finally, PerformancePoint Services KPIs, Scorecards, Dashboards and Advanced Analytic capabilities were built and delivered through a SharePoint portal where decision makers go to quickly access the required information. A few of the capabilities enabled by the BI solution include:
- Sales Operations Planning reports and analytics
- Daily production and inventory by warehouse
- Sales and sales trends by business line, channel, product, province, etc.
- Labour analytics including pay, attendance, injury, succession planning, etc.
- Multidimensional analysis of Canadian coinage including inventory, safety stock levels, forecasts, delinquencies, etc. – which can be analyzed by financial institution, denomination, region, armored carrier, etc.
The Microsoft BI environment provided the Mint with more functionality than their previous Cognos solution, at a fraction of the cost, in terms of capital and operations.
Easy Access to Information
The information is accessible online at the central SharePoint portal to users, anytime. Decision makers at the Mint rely on the BI solution to get accurate and up to date information to help them make better strategic, tactical and operational decisions for the company.
One Version of the Truth – Consolidated data
With a best-of-breed BI solution that cleanses and makes data consistent, the Mint has an information platform that provides one version of the truth. Consolidated information from multiple business systems give them the ability to fully understand activities such as sales, production, warehousing, and distribution and support value-added decision making. The confidence in the quality of information from the BI system is reflected in the name of the corporate intranet, which is appropriately called Veritas (or truth).
Accessing the reports, KPIs, scorecards, dashboards and other information housed in the BI solution is extremely fast and simple for employees and management. All the information, from all data sources, is available for analysis all the time. The data throughout the BI environment is automatically refreshed.
Cost Savings – Freeing up IT
The BI solution on the Microsoft platform provides more functionality and costs only a fraction of the previous Cognos BI solution. Users are now able to create their own reports, freeing up IT to focus on other strategic priorities.
“The end-to-end business intelligence solution provides a broad cross section of employees the information they need to make better business decisions faster — and at a fraction of the cost of our previous solution.”
Greg Smith, Chief Information Officer – The Royal Canadian Mint