Helping the John Lewis Partnership on their Business Intelligence journey

The John Lewis Partnership set up a shared services division in 2009 to centralise Personnel, Finance and Procurement services, which was to provide quality reporting for the new division Oracle Procurement & Spend, Human Capital Management. in addition Finance and Service Analytic Applications were purchased with data sourced from Oracle eBusiness Suite and Oracle CRM.

What was the role of Peak Indicators over the programme lifecycle?

Peak Indicators undertook the installation and development of all analytic applications purchased and have been continually engaged by the John Lewis Partnership since February 201 2, working alongside JLP employees (Partners) in a collaborative relationship that we believe has benefited both parties.

What were the major HCM challenges that Peak Indicators were asked to provide solutions for?

The source of HCM requirements was a large transformation project, part of which was rolling out self service to Partners who could have multiple application security profiles. This programme was replanned on a number of occasions resulting in changes to the priorities of the reports and dashboards.

What was the difficulty being faced for Cross Functional Reporting?

JLP have an instance of eBusiness Suite for Personnel & CRM and a separate instance for Finance. As the underlying business structures are different on each instance cross functional reporting was difficult. Considerable time was being spent manually collating and manipulating data from the two different sources with resultant differences of understanding between Personnal and Finance for key productivity measures like FTE and Headcount.

What needed to be addressed in the implementation of Finance Analytics?

The existing main reporting tool for financial close was a real time spreadsheet "add on" running against operational tables. To ensure traceability it was important to make sure financial reports were sourced directly from the application and not via spreadsheets. As users had become accustomed to real time data it was important that data was refreshed at least hourly.

What was the highest priority for Service Management?

Real-time reporting for CRM was deemed to be essential from day 1 of the new Oracle CRM system to allow intraday workflow management of the contact centre. While long term trend reporting was also required the operational requirements were a higher priority.

What did Procurement need?

The newly centralised Procurement function only had infrequently updated spreadsheet extracts to manage a one billion pound per annum spend on Goods Not For Resale (GNFR). While they had already made substantial savings further savings required better insight into the data.

How were the HCM requirements met?

Peak Indicators iterative development approach meant we were able to accommodate late changes to HCM priorities. High profile reports were deliver on time and to quality over several phases:

  • Phase One was the vanilla implementation of the HCM analytics application with extensions to include all the EITs, SITs and DFFs from eBusiness Suite. Custom reports and dashboards were delivered including those to support a change in business process for annual appraisals. 
  • Phase Two took data from Oracle Payroll and Oracle Time & Attendance (unsupported at the time by the HCM Analytic Application) to provide managers with better productivity measures. Phase Three designed reports and dashboards for theTalent and Learning Management teams using data from the newly implemented Oracle Learning Management.

How was the requirement for cross functional reporting addressed?

Peak Indicators worked with Partners to build mapping tables between the HCM and Finance instances of eBusiness Suite which allowed for easier cross functional reporting, especially of efficiency measures such as hours worked against the rows on the income statement. New measures were also built to provide FTE and Headcount figures that could be agreed between Personnel and Finance.

How was the hourly refresh for Finance addressed?

Micro-ETLs were configured for Financial Analytics enabling refreshed data every 1 5 minutes, exceeding the expectation of hourly refreshed data.

What was delivered for Procurement?

Vanilla Procurement & Spend Analytics and Oracle Spend Classification were both installed and configured by Peak Indicators. Procurement Category Managers now have faster and better information allowing for a more strategic approach to negotiations with suppliers.  The return on investment for this part of the programme proves the value of vanilla Procurement and Spend Analytics and the maturity of this product.

And the contact centre report and dashboards?

Peak Indicators worked with the Oracle CRM development team to agree views on which real time reports were built in line with business expectations that they would be there from day 1 of the Oracle CRM implementation. In addition data was extracted overnight to populate reports on call volumes from the Cisco telephony system.

Were there any unusual technical issues?

Without the full Oracle Identity Management suite, which was not available on this site, the need to change data security within a single session resulted in complex integration of dashboards and BI Publisher reports with Oracle’s Webcenter portal but this was achieved. Additionally Peak Indicators worked with JLP and Oracle to agree what technical architecture was needed to support two instances of eBusiness Suite with a single instance of OBIEE.

What did the Peak Indicators Team look like?

Due to the scale of this multiphased project Peak Indicators had 1-3 teams of 5 people working both on and offsite and often in parallel. Our teams worked closely with functional and technical Partners to clarify requirements and develop what was required. Development cycles were typically 4 to 8 weeks, with 3 to 6 month releases.  In addition our Architects were able to advise on difficult technical issues when these arose.

What was the overall outcome of the engagement?

The John Lewis Partnership still has Peak Indicators consultants on site and we continue to look for opportunities for our two businesses to work together. As a result of the quality of the delivery the John Lewis Partnership is looking at replacing its Business Objects implementation with OBIEE.

Contact us for more information