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F&N Malaysia's outstanding business intelligence system wins CIO Asia award: interview

AvantiKumar | May 3, 2016
Fraser & Neave Malaysia's Project INTELLEGO is among the top five outstanding digital technology achievements recorded in the Honour Roll at CIO Asia's 15th annual awards edition.

Have you embarked on a digital transformation project that you're proud of and would like to share your success story with others? Nominate it here for a shot at winning the coveted CIO Awards 2017

 F&N CIO Asia award

Photo - (On left) June Ng, Group IT Head, Fraser & Neave Holdings Berhad receives the CIO Asia award from Executive Networks Media's Conference Director, Chris White (right), in Kuala Lumpur during the Computerworld Malaysia Security Summit, Intercontinental KL Hotel on 14th April 2016.


Malaysia-based Fraser & Neave Holdings Berhad is one of the top five outstanding companies on the Roll of Honour list of this year's CIO Asia awards for its enterprise business intelligence system. 

The CIO Asia awards, now in its 15th year, honours the top Asian companies that have used information and communications technology to realise the highest strategic value and significant returns for their key operations and businesses.

 Fraser & Neave Holdings Berhad (F&N) is one of the top five outstanding companies from the 'Roll of Honour' list that were also awarded the coveted CIO Asia Award, F&N received the CIO Asia award in the Performance category for Project INTELLEGO. Fraser & Neave Holdings Berhad, which is a Malaysia-based investment holding company, is engaged through its subsidiaries in the manufacture and sale of soft drinks, dairy products, property development activities and the provision of management services.

This enterprise business intelligence system, which was implemented as part of Project INTELLEGO, delivers business performance management dashboards, self-serve analytics and reporting automation. It has enabled F&N and its subsidiaries to build and retain business insights, as well as manage business performance.

The F&N team, which includes June Ng, Group IT Head at F& N Holdings, responsible for the project offer further details in the following Q&A interview.

What were the business strategy/objectives behind Project INTELLEGO and also how did you plan for the benefits arising from this solution?

Project INTELLEGO aspired to promote an information & value-based work culture, empowered to make informed & insightful business decisions that would shape desired business outcomes. This meant enabling visibility & transparency of up-to-date, meaningful & actionable information made easily available to senior stakeholders for driving business performance. 

The method that we have adopted were gathering input from our Management stakeholders and power users of what are critical for them in driving business performance and what are their key criteria in determining a suitable and fit-for-use solution. In order achieve this, F&N needed a KPI Management framework, at the same time, we engaged external consultants to facilitate this processes with best practices.

How did you formalise the KPIs you needed from this digital transformation initiative?

-    Project obtained sponsorship from top management, and has a formal Project Charter, where the first crucial key milestone is to standardise and formalise the organisation KPIs.
-    The project Steering Committee members were well established to provide strong leadership and buy-in for the project. We carefully identified the project stakeholders or process owners from each business function (e.g. Marketing, Sales, Logistic, Finance...etc.).  Process Owners across 3 subsidiaries collaborated to review and align current KPIs, identified new KPIs that were required. Ultimately, this form the basis of a harmonised KPI framework for F&N.
Could you talk through the steps in choosing your vendor partner to help deliver this enterprise business intelligence system?

-    The project developed an evaluation framework which predominantly covers the functional, technical, TCO and vendor's credential perspective.
-    The evaluation criteria were mainly Integration, Information Delivery & Analysis.
-    A group of 32 subject matter experts were invited to participate in the vendor partner evaluation process.
-    8 potential solutions were short-listed down to 2, they performed solution hands on demo & presentation according to a guided format. The subject matter experts filled up the online evaluation feedback form on Google Docs with scoring system. PMO office compiled the feedback data and recommended the shortlisted BI solution that meets the highest scores of the evaluation results.
-    More than 75 percent of the survey participants were in favour of QlikView over the other shortlisted BI tool for comparison purposes due two primary factors speed of performance & ease of use of the choice of BI tool to ensure that selected BI platform is scalable to meet user requirements & expectations on performing dashboarding & mining insights with analytics
-    In QlikView® the embedded in-memory technology has enabled significant speed of system performance as compared to slower speed by the traditional reporting tools.
-    Rich graphical & more interactive visualization features found in QlikView which means they are easier to be mastered by new BI users & these features are not only restricted to personal computers but through mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones for information access on-the-move.

Could you talk through the story of how you planned and then implemented the solution?

We took seven (7) months for project preparation and solution evaluation phase. As for the project implementation phase, it took a total of 6 months.

May 2013: KPI Management Framework using Deloitte's Enterprise Value Map
-    Designed the KPI Management Framework using Deloitte's Enterprise Value Map & defined KPIs that need to be in place to achieve our business objectives with key stakeholders from Beverages & Dairies business.
Jan 2014: KPI Standardisation
-    Organised KPI Standardisation Workshop with key stakeholders & concluded with the sixty two (62) KPIs being standardised in terms of KPI definition, logic calculation & visualisation in alignment with F&N strategic goals.
Feb 2014: KPI Management Dashboards Implementation
-    Implemented six (6) functional KPI Management Dashboards that spanned across Sales, Marketing, Procurement, Manufacturing, Logistics & Finance functions for Beverages & Dairies businesses in Malaysia & Thailand with the automation of the sixty two (62) standardised KPIs using QlikView
-    Conducted user training in gamification format called EQUIP- Educational QlikView User Interactions Programme.
-    June 2014: Official Launch of F&N KPI Management Dashboard on Qlikview

How did you manage the post implementation training and change in the organisation's workflow? How did you organise cultural/behavioural/workflow changes among staff so that they use the new solution and use it properly?

-    In any transformational project, technical and process issue are relatively straight forward, people elements require more delicate attention to manage to ensure smoother adoption and acceptance by the stakeholders and end users. As we are transforming from "Excel-comfort" culture to Management Dashboard work style, Change Management plays a crucial role to make Change more acceptable to people. To break the ice and achieve a smother change management process, the Project's Change Management team came up with an interactive program that is more encouraging & fun in nature to mitigate fear & resistance. This brings to the creation of EQUIP, an acronym stands for Educational QlikView User Interaction Programme.  The objective is to EQUIP & engage our users in learning how to use QlikView in an interactive, fun & exciting way! One of the highlights is that it incorporated gamification into the programme to increase overall participation level & also to simulate the practical usage of QlikView analytics amongst the training participants.
-    Continuous efforts by the Project team to engage with business functions (i.e. Brand Marketing, Logistics, Manufacturing etc.) to promote the usage of business KPIs dashboard & analytics capabilities amongst business users to encourage more data / information driven decision making culture. Through this engagement model, we managed to convert & transform 33 legacy BW reports into 13 business analytics & reports used by 102 users across the organisation, which represents 40% reports conversion efficiency gain achieved. This indeed a quick win in the KPI dashboards & analytics adoption by user group.

Please compare and contrast the workflow before and after beginning to use the new solution?

An example was F&N's manufacturing function whom needed a more structured and automated tool to achieve lean & efficient team-based supply chain best practices. The previous performance tracking was not automated where it is prone to human error. With Project INTELLEGO, The team could immediately adopt the new manufacturing KPI dashboard, which gives a quick access to performance areas in Quality, Speed, Cost, Safety & People anytime, anywhere they walk in the manufacturing shop floor on their smart devices.

Another example is this project delivered Profitability Analytics on Google Maps. This feature is very well received by our users because they can visualise the profitability trending on Google Maps by product and customer groups perspectives, which is high value to the business to ensure cost-to-serve is visible and prioritising our resources on "profitable business". 

How have all the stakeholder groups responded to this new platform and solution so far?

Changes are disruptive yet inevitable. In this context, people who benefited from the automation would embrace this solution much smoother. The disruptive part of this project is creating a new culture in managing performance. This is a journey of the organisation maturity phase that we are going through.

How is this implementation a significant move forward in the company's strategies for the future?

Moving towards performance based management with data driven culture, leveraging on the potential of our Enterprise data and information as the competitive tool for future business development (i.e. business insights and predictive analysis),  to strengthen F&N's footprint as the market leader.

What would your checklist be for organisations considering a similar move?

-    Strong project sponsorship
-    Clear Project Charter (objective and desired outcome)
-    Especially for organisation with multiple subsidiaries, need to prime/prepare the environment, where data structure, reporting pillar needs to be standardised
-    A standardise reporting manner/format
-    A standardise set of KPIs

What are the next steps along the road in this enterprise platform implementation and what is your overall goal?

Moving on, we still have a lot to do. First, we need to continue our efforts in transforming and consolidating F&N's reporting to the Enterprise BI platform, thus gradually retiring the legacy reports. Secondly, we need to continue to increase the focus on driving business values through data and information with our business. Third, we will continue to influence advancement of organisational skill sets (end users and IT) into advanced analytics (predictive & prescriptive) to create new business opportunities in market place.


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