Car production is constantly increasing. In 1900, the worldwide annual production of vehicles totaled 9500 units. In 1950, more than 10 million vehicles were produced for the first time, more than a thousand times as many as in 1900. Nearly 95 million vehicles were produced worldwide last year, an increase of 4.5% from the previous year.
The current figures make it clear that the automotive industry is one of the most important industrial sectors in many developed countries today. It includes many different sub-sectors and corresponding specialized manufacturers. From brakes to air conditioning, seats and airbags to entire modules, the production of cars in some cases depends on the timely delivery of various suppliers. Among other things, the vehicle fronts, so-called front-end modules, are often produced externally. They have to meet many technical requirements and a number of safety-related functions. In any case, it is a complex assembly unit. HBPO is a manufacturer specializing in the design, development, assembly and logistics of precisely these modules. In addition to its headquarters in Lippstadt, Germany, where research and development as well as central project management takes place, the company maintains 30 further locations worldwide in the immediate vicinity of the production facilities of customers from the automotive industry.
And the company is the only supplier of integrated front-end modules worldwide that handles the entire process chain from development through design and assembly to logistics. As value is added, a large amount of data is therefore generated across many departments. However, a standardized information basis is necessary, in order to implement a strategic market analysis and business planning, as well as reporting. A suitable business intelligence solution should meet the same high demands as the products of HBPO GmbH: functionality, accurate fit and high-quality design.
The basis for a good BI solution: functionality
In order to be able to identify possible opportunities and risks for the company in a timely manner, it was particularly important to HBPO to be able to jointly evaluate internal project data as well as external market data in business intelligence software. In addition, the manufacturer wanted to create a cross-departmental reporting platform. As for functionality, it was also necessary to be able to connect additional data sources - especially SAP - without any problems. The ability to easily maintain the solution internally, as well as being able to easily and intuitively use it, were further requirements for the introduction of a new data analysis tool.
The decisive factor: accuracy of fit
The merged data should also be able to be written back to the SQL server database from which the initial project data originated. Therefore, the requirement was the ability to edit and write back data in the new BI solution. That was one of the main points, why HBPO finally chose the INFORM | BI solution. The expansion of the data science experts with the desired write-back function met the company's requirements perfectly. With the help of this extension, various input options such as free text fields or dropdown boxes can be used for direct processing in the business intelligence software.
In addition, a company-specific rights model has been designed for HBPO. This ensures that every employee can only see projects from their area of responsibility and maintain them according to their authorization.
The design rounds off the functionality and accuracy of fit
High functionality and an alignment tailored to the needs of the company are important requirements for a successful business intelligence solution. The core task of business intelligence is visualization. Dashboards with relevant key figures serve as a basis for targeted decisions within the company. However, not every reporting system provides a comprehensive basis for decision-making. As with its products, it was still very important to HBPO that the new system also had a convincing design. In terms of structure, uniformity, simplification, conceptual design and visual perception, the data dashboards were therefore presented in an understandable and meaningful way by experts from INFORM. Today, the front-end module specialist can quickly review all important key figures and make decisions based on data.
Many areas of the automotive industry produce very specific and complex parts with very high demands on functionality, accuracy of fit and design. Why should the business intelligence solutions used in companies be different? The main challenges of the supplier HBPO were the ability to write back data, the rights model of the solution and the data model. The company was able to optimize its data visualization with INFORM’s business intelligence solution, as data analysis and visualization could be adapted to the company's specific requirements, thanks to industry know-how and specific extensions of the solution. In a short period of time, the specialist for front-end modules was able to create company-wide information transparency and increase data quality.
Would you like to find out more about the business intelligence project at HBPO? Then click here for the complete Success Story.