The Adastra Group’s financial controlling and reporting was based on using a data warehouse combined with information obtained directly from primary systems. The main controlling tool was a BI application connected to OLAP. Management reports drew some of their data from the data warehouse (accounting information) and the rest straight from the primary systems (employee data, time sheets). The lack of standardization in the information flow (ERP-DWH-OLAP-Reporting) resulted in the need to impose additional verifications on the reported data. The whole system and its related business processes were complicated, not completely standardized. Every change in the reports, including the addition of new divisions/companies, was extremely problematic, as the system had morphed over the years to comprise many exceptions and adjustments in what appeared to be the only way to meet the management’s requirements.
The data warehouse and the links to other financial and personnel reporting systems were maintained and administered by a single specialist. Working with accounting, financial and HR data ceased to be effective or efficient. Uniform business and financial terminology, master data management, was lacking. It was necessary to consolidate the source data (including local currencies, organizational structures, the allocation of indirect costs) and streamline financial processes across the Group. Dependence on the capabilities and availability of a single specialist proved to be a major problem for system administration and development. Data were uploaded to the data warehouse for about 5 hours overnight, and intraday increments took up to 2 hours.
The Adastra Group’s growth over the past 3 years rendered the previous system for financial management support insufficient, especially in terms of its capacity to take business requirements into account and ensure effective system administration. The Group acquired several start-ups specializing in specific fields of the IT industry, and experienced immediate increases in multiple areas – in the number of suppliers and customers, the number of branches around the world and the number of employees working in them.