SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group | Case Study

November 16, 2021

The SIJ Group had already used Oracle Business Intelligence as a Business Intelligence solution. As the tool did not meet all the requirements with regard to data management and maintenance and mobility, the company was looking for a flexible platform with comprehensive mobile functionalities. 

This case study is about The SIJ Group , which consists of 25 companies. It is the largest Slovenian steel producer and one of the largest producers of stainless and special steel in Europe. The company has more than 3,800 employees and is one of the largest Slovenian employers. It is a pillar of the steel industry in the country. The SIJ Group is among the leading Slovenian exporters, generating about 85 percent of their revenues in foreign markets.

As the largest Slovenian vertically integrated metallurgical group with high value-added products, they now hold the leading market positions in European and global niche steel markets. They managed to so, with products such as stainless steel, toolbar steel, special steel quarto plates, and alloy tool steels. They saw success by upgrading the program of steel semi-finished products with the finishing and production of finished metal products. Now ranking among the ten largest manufacturers of industrial knives in the world. The SIJ Group also produces rollers, welding materials, and is very active in the field of mechanical engineering.

Challenge: Eliminating bottlenecks and facilitating management and maintenance processes

The SIJ Group had already used Oracle Business Intelligence as a Business Intelligence solution. The tool didn’t meet all their requirements, so they were looking for a more flexible platform with comprehensive mobile functionalities.  “We were looking for a solution to offer our users flexible self-service analytics on their mobile devices as well”, recalls Emir Mustafić, Senior Development Engineer and Coordinator of the BI Team at SIJ Group. The group was evaluating alternative solutions to improve the quality of work for employees and administrators,  including the MicroStrategy platform. “With the complete re-organization of the Business Intelligence environment of the SIJ Group, we wanted to implement a platform to simplify and unify management, be responsive, and infrastructure-independent. In addition to the required capabilities, we also wanted the best connectivity with back-end systems, rich functionality, and mobile BI capability”, said Mustafić, summarizing the requirements for the new BI environment.

Solution: Detailed insight into customers and business operations

The SIJ Group did not want to purchase an unproven solution, so they evaluated several best practices from various industries. “Although we came across the MicroStrategy solution only by chance, we looked at it in more detail as the provider is working with an official partner for sales and support in Slovenia. We were more than pleasantly surprised by it, so we used it in the complete re-organization of our BI environment”, explains Mustafić.

Working with Slovenian MicroStrategy partner CRMT d.o.o., the SIJ Group implemented the MicroStrategy platform. The implementation was done as an internal IT project. Around 180 existing dashboards which were located on the former BI platform were transferred to the new MicroStrategy platform. It only took six months from the start of the project to its general deployment with SIJ’s business users.

In addition to the facilitated administration and deeper insight into business data there are other benefits as well. Users and employees appreciate the possibility of using BI tools on modern mobile devices, making work much easier and faster.

The cost of maintenance have reduced by 73 percent.

Emir Mustafić

They greatly raised their field of analytics, with its open architecture and connectivity with external systems and associated data sources. “Today, we know our own business, trends, needs and requirements of customers and the market much better. And we respond to them accordingly”, explains Mustafić.

Results: Using MicroStrategy for all analytical tasks

CRMT had thoroughly redesigned and upgraded the analytical environment of the SIJ Group. Now using MicroStrategy solutions throughout the new BI environment.

The SIJ Group uses the MicroStrategy as a single platform for all analytical tasks and purposes. Employees are now working significantly more efficiently and faster. At the same time, the number of BI and Analytics users has expanded by as much as 42 percent. Both administrators (IT department) and owners welcomed the new, centralized analytics platform with open arms, since the cost of maintenance have reduced by 73 percent. Among the bigger benefits is also a significantly lower amount of support and help tickets from business users.

The IT department is now less busy with maintaining the BI and Analytics environment, therefore we shifted more focus on its development. We have reduced the tasks related to the development cycle of business intelligence by around 33 percent.

Emir Mustafić

Conclusion: Expanding the deployment and adding interactivity

The new analytical environment is certainly ready for future challenges in the field of data preparation and processing. Adding a new data source, or even migrating to a new platform if such a business need arises, is greatly simplified.

We also want to take advantage of all features of the new platform, so we are already working on the implementation of interactivity, to enable advanced communication and visualisation of reports for business users.

Emir Mustafić

In the future, the SIJ Group plans to make the implemented reports from the BI environment available to users of non-BI solutions, especially on the internal portal based on the Microsoft SharePoint solution. “We also want to take advantage of all features of the new platform, so we are already working on the implementation of interactivity, to enable advanced communication and visualization of reports for business users. We want to perform queries by voice or using Amazon Alexa’s digital assistant. We want to create an analytical environment that will be fully tailored to the group and its users”, Mustafić revealed some of the development plans.

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