Inha Works has a history dating back 180 years, and in that time the company’s portfolio has included everything from horseshoes to hinges. The company has also been manufacturing Buster aluminium boats since the 1970s, and began focusing on boat manufacture as part of the Yamaha Group in 2016.
By the time an aluminium boat leaves Inha Works in Ähtäri, destined for its new owner, a great deal of data has been accumulated from the manufacturing and sales processes. Almost everyone in its organisation, from sales to finance and procurement, has different reporting needs and different uses for data.
Inha Works found itself in a situation in which its reporting system was becoming too old-fashioned for its data utilisation needs. Inha Works also wanted to increase self-service reporting within the organisation.
“We used to develop reporting in an IT-based manner: either we commissioned the required reports or then suggested which kind of reports various parties should follow. We wanted to increase people’s access to data in their own work without the need to use IT resources,” says Tomi Juhola, Director, After Sales, IT & System Development at Inha Works.
Another challenge presented by the former reporting system was that data was being stored and visualised within the same system.
“It wasn’t very easy to access raw data with the old solution, which made it difficult to identify and analyse any exceptions,” says Juhola.
Inha Works relies on familiar technology
Inha Works decided to both build a data warehouse and introduce a new reporting tool for visualising data. Microsoft was the chosen technology. The data warehouse was built on Inha Works’s existing Azure platform.
“It was clear that we were going to build our data warehouse on the Azure platform, as it came with a ready extranet service for retailers. Our analysis also revealed that the Microsoft Power BI reporting tool would also be the right solution for us in this situation,” says Juhola.
Inha Works also defined three separate reports that would cover as many different use cases as possible, and would therefore serve as examples on which to build the next report dashboards.
“The goal was to get the data warehouse and reporting pipeline working together to produce several ready-made reports that would genuinely benefit our business, while also helping to define the IT architecture for reporting as a whole.”
Number of data sources will increase in the future
The reporting system currently uses budget data and information from an Digia Enterprise ERP. In the future, the intention is to import data from other sources as well.
“The next steps will include integrating time tracking data and information from the retailers’ extranet service. This will enable us to monitor a single boat’s journey from the moment it is ordered all the way to its final delivery to the customer,” says Juhola.
In addition to creating new reports and combining data sources, there is also some internal training on the cards, to ensure that personnel throughout the organisation familiarise themselves with Power BI and are able to use it independently.
Juhola says that cooperation with Digia went very smoothly.
“Everything progressed as agreed and things moved forward. And if we ever get stuck with something, we can always turn to Digia's specialists for advice,” says Juhola.