Major Integrated Energy Company

This solution created a consolidated view of procurement spend by pulling together disparate systems including the Arriba procurement mart, J.D. Edwards and other ERP systems.  This allows the client to use the high touch Arriba system for key activities like accounts payable while using standard ERP solutions to track procurement activities in less detail.   

Client Challenges

Company growth increasingly overtaxed an already easily overloaded procurement system, resulting in increasingly unacceptable delays in getting procurement data into the procurement system’s data mart for reporting and analysis.

Ill-equipped to handle large reporting requests, the system was liable to fail. The procurement departments’ workaround was inefficient and time-consuming: users were forced to run multiple small data dumps, each time downloading batches of data and merging them into Excel spreadsheets. Next, staff performed labor-intensive data manipulations in those spreadsheets to generated needed results.

Obtaining a comprehensive picture of procurement spending was especially difficult and labor-intensive. The Arriba procurement system accounted for 70 to 80 percent of procurement spending. Remaining procurement expenditures were stored in more than twenty distinct source systems in the company’s SAP and Oracle JDE Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. To obtain a complete and accurate report on procurement spending required manually compiling data from all of these source systems.

The procurement department was forced to spend a significant amount of time on manually generating reports instead of on data analysis.

Finally, the company decided it had no choice but to implement the latest version of its third-party procurement system.

Senturus Solution

The client originally thought it would need to address its requirements by choosing between two options: building a homegrown data mart and running it alongside the existing transaction system or continuing to use the existing data mart but using a new end user tool. Senturus proposed a third option that was a pragmatic and cost-effective hybrid of those two options, one that offered the greatest flexibility and power and leveraged existing software investment. Senturus designed and implemented a new custom data mart that pulls data from the Arriba procurement system’s existing built-in data mart and utilizes an enterprise-class business intelligence platform to manage data and generate reports. The Senturus solution offers the client greater functionality, better performance and independence from their inherent limitations, while leveraging the client’s investment in its existing systems,

Benefits include:
  • Enhanced user self-sufficiency. A self-service, enterprise-class business intelligence tool enables power users to drag and drop the attributes they require to easily create customized reports. Users can quickly access data such as purchase orders, service entries, purchase requests, contracts, and catalogs in the new data mart. Previously, generating such reports was a time-consuming and manual process that relied on multiple data pulls from the procurement system’s built-in data mart followed by heavy data manipulations within Excel spreadsheets.
  • Increased productivity. The productivity gains resulting from self-serve report generation capability are significant. Ad hoc reports account for approximately 80 percent of the 12,000 reports run in a month by more than 750 report users.
  • Improved analysis capabilities. The multidimensional cube and drag-and-drop ad hoc tool offer enhanced performance, usability, accessibility and self-service capabilities. The ability to access data and generate a report in a fraction of the time previously required has led to increased user adoption and utilization. Analysts can now dedicate more time to high-value data analysis instead of repetitive manual data acquisition.
  • Access to data aggregated from multiple sources. The new data mart utilizes a web-based enterprise-class business intelligence tool for exploring, analyzing and comparing dimensional data to create a level of abstraction that enable the client to bring data in from multiple source systems. As a result of this Senturus innovation, the client can now merge all historical data from the original procurement system with data from the new version of their procurement system. Without this innovative approach, a single view of all the client’s historical and current procurement data would not be available for analysis.

Senturus developed a roadmap for implementing the client’s procurement solution that included three prioritized releases as a way to reduce both risk and time-to-value.

Release one: Combined purchase orders and service orders subject areas into one fact table with 27 dimensions for enhanced combined spend reporting and analysis.

Release two: Added catalog, contract, credit card, supplier qualification, and approvals subject areas with related dimension tables. The user base was expanded by hundreds of users to include analysts from each subject area.

Release three: Added charge, expense, event, user, system performance and other subject areas and merged data across new and existing subject areas from the latest version of the procurement transaction system. For the first time, the client’s complete history of procurement data is now available within the same subject area and fact table.

A fourth release is planned for consolidating the data from the procurement system with the data from the twenty other source systems that contain the remaining procurement transaction data.

About this Client

This Senturus client is one of the world’s largest integrated energy companies, and is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry including exploration, production, refining, transportation, marketing and distribution of crude oil, natural gas, petrochemical products, power and geothermal energy. Headquartered in California, the client is a global leader with worldwide operations, and is engaged in research and development of energy-efficient solutions, including advanced biofuels. The company employs a diverse and highly skilled global workforce of more than 50,000 employees.

A new data mart designed and implemented by Senturus consolidates procurement data from multiple sources to provide a complete accounting of expenditures. Self-service report generation capabilities enable users to easily and quickly generate ad hoc reports and queries, leading to enhanced productivity and analysis.

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