Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, is one of the world’s leading makers of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals. Some of their household brands include Brawny®, Quilted Northern®, and Dixie®. They supply products to a number of industries, including healthcare, foodservice, facilities management and manufacturing. The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and employs over 35,000 people.
Georgia-Pacific is pursuing an aggressive corporate initiative to double its revenue every seven years. Much of this growth will occur through acquisitions. The ability to integrate the data and systems of acquired companies into the Georgia-Pacific data warehouse is vital in order to ensure accurate information and steady progress toward aggressive growth targets.
The company has long made use of data warehousing to address the issues associated with integrating, cleansing and standardizing the data of many disparate systems. However, the existing data warehouse was suffering from age and growing pains. Among other issues, it was experiencing poor performance, was difficult to use and was reliant on IT resources to maintain key reference data. Clearly, a replacement was required!
Georgia-Pacific engaged RDA to revamp the legacy data warehouse application with a new architecture built on the latest database software. The solution also delivered new capabilities including the ability to compare forecasts to actuals, analyze profit to cost ratio, and mange supply chain capacity and operations.
RDA centralized an ETL framework that extracts, transforms, and loads data from four different source systems and consolidated transactional data from two business units into a centralized data store. Additionally, two data marts were designed to meet the specific information requirements of each business unit and a conformed dimensional hub manages the consistency of the dimensional views across the separate data marts.
Three analysis services cubes were developed for two business units to support dash boarding and detailed data analysis for sales, finance, customer service, inventory, and supply chain operations. Instead of using decentralized data sources, close to 60 existing reports (in SSRS or Excel format) are migrated to use the new data marts or SSAS cubes as the data sources to provide business units with one holistic view of the data.
The entire solution was architected for performance, scalability and flexibility so that it will grow with evolving business needs.
The new data warehouse solution was designed specifically for the business users. This allows for faster integration of newly-acquired companies, in addition to providing expanded reporting and analytic capabilities. What used to take several months can now be accomplished in less than one month.
Cost savings have also been realized by sales and finance with the satisfaction of recurring reporting requirements. This eliminates a reliance of the business users on the IT department. Further benefits realized by Georgia-Pacific include significantly reduced long-term ownership costs for their Packaging and Particle Board business units by eliminating the need to maintain legacy systems. The new solution also provides business users the opportunity to successfully transfer and reserve critical institutional knowledge from original data architects and managers.
As Georgia-Pacific continues their aggressive acquisition strategy, the new data warehouse promises to bring business users faster and more accurate information from which they can make more informed decisions about which companies to acquire.