Milcobel Empowers Finance with Profitability Insights

Milcobel is Belgium’s largest dairy cooperative. The company collects, processes and commercializes 1.8BLN liters of milk from 2,400 dairy farms. Their customers can choose from a wide array of dairy products, like cheese, milk powder, butter, ice cream, and whey.

As the company grows, so does the volume of data it collects. Milcobel needed a platform which can integrate and replicate data from various data sources and provide real-time insights to make better business decisions. After evaluating several vendors, they decided to implement SAP S/4HANA for resource planning, as well as SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud, two Unified Data & Analytics solutions powering SAP’s Business Technology Platform. The project began with modernizing the landscape at one of their six factories.

97.55% space savings after compression
265GB data loaded to DWC by end of 2021
115 analytics environment users by end of 2021

Our systems needed to be modernized so that we could be more data driven, have better analytics, and make better and quicker business decisions. With Unified Data & Analytics solutions within SAP Business Technology Platform, we were able to leverage these cloud applications to get started with our journey.

Tim Van Overstraeten, Business Intelligence Analyst at Milcobel

Data Problem

Milcobel’s data landscape consisted of two data sources, 3rd party legacy ERP system and flat files with SAP Business Objects acting as a visualization tool. Each of the company’s six factories had their own setup preventing the company from having a single source of truth. As a result, the finance department and top management had an obstructed view into their whole business. Data management and modeling were done through SQL scripting seriously limiting what less technical business users could do with the data. With increasing volume of data, the manual process was too time-consuming. Additionally, the finance department was requesting access to live data to have a better overview of product margins and profitability of each of its plants.

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In the first phase of the implementation, Milcobel modernized the setup at one of the factories, migrating the ERP system to SAP S/4HANA while historical data remains in the legacy systems. The company joined the Early Adopter Care program for SAP Data Warehouse Cloud to jump start their project with SAP support. Milcobel can now combine all their data sources in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud for a single point of access and a single source of truth for the entire business.

Powered by SAP HANA Cloud, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud helps increase Milcobel’s speed of business as large data volumes can be significantly compressed. One of the most impressive features for the company is the Data Integration Monitor that monitors replication of data from other data sources and frequency of data refresh. It helps Milcobel to visualize data synchronously with real-time refresh frequency and scheduling data replication. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is user-friendly with graphical modeling capabilities that empower users with no SQL skills.

On the reporting side, Milcobel extended their analytics to the cloud with SAP Analytics Cloud. The company’s finance business users can now consume data models in one single source of truth using SAP Analytics Cloud while continuing to use the trusted on-prem functionalities of SAP Business Objects. The implementation of self-service cloud analytics allows users to create powerful and interactive visualizations while simultaneously encouraging cross-organization collaboration. Furthermore, leaders can trust they’re making confident decisions based on up-to-date data, with real-time data connectivity options available through SAP Analytics Cloud.

By using SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud together in a Unified Data & Analytics Strategy, Milcobel benefits from the Data Value Formula: an end-to-end strategy that combines data volume, quality, and usage to create data value for organizations. With SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, Milcobel has control and flexibility over their data quality, and with SAP Analytics Cloud, all users have access to real-time data. By implementing both solutions in harmony, Milcobel is getting the most value possible out of its data.

Next Steps

Milcobel will migrate the rest of their factories to SAP S/4HANA systems in the coming months to continue the modernization of their landscape. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud will work as the integration layer, and live connection to SAP Analytics Cloud will help them gain a better understanding into the profitability of each of its business units.

With the new set up, SAP is helping us break down organizational silos and collaborate better. With the openness and flexibility provided by SAP Business Technology Platform we can drive future innovations to be more data-driven.

Tim Van Overstraeten, Business Intelligence Analyst at Milcobel.

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