NEOT wanted the company’s fuel supply to become more data driven. By importing data from various sources onto a cloud-native data platform, Solita developed an efficient tool to help NEOT steer and develop operations in their entire supply chain.
NEOT is a significant fuel supply company in the Baltic Sea region specialising in oil and bioproducts wholesale. In the Nordic countries, the company supplies annually roughly 7 billion litres of oil products to large service station chains St1, ABC and Shell, as well as fuel for seagoing vessels and the aviation industry.
In line with the company’s vision to become the most innovative and cost-efficient fuel solutions supply company, NEOT’s management team set their sights on improving the company’s data capabilities and changing the way they steer and develop operations.
NEOT turned to Solita’s experts, who delivered a cloud-based data warehouse complete with dashboards of operations, accessible to both NEOT and its stakeholders.
”With data spread out all over the organisation in different systems, we weren’t able to fully take advantage of our data. Solita’s cloud-based solution has enabled this,” says NEOT’s Logistics Manager Heikki Hiiros.
Scattered data that didn’t deliver
NEOT’s old solution consisted of an on-premise data warehouse which used their custom ERP system (also developed by Solita) as data source. Reporting was done with Cognos.
As priorities had shifted to other business-critical initiatives, the warehouse got less attention. Eventually, resourceful employees had built Excel-based workarounds to combine ERP and logistics data from various sources, squeezing that into hand-made reports to support the teams in their daily work. This meant a lot of manual work, which was both time consuming and prone to errors.
Everyone at NEOT agreed: Their data needed to be easily and widely accessible and to add real value to decision making. In 2018, NEOT turned to their trusted partner Solita.
Cloud-native platform turns NEOT’s data into actionable insights
After uncovering business requirements, Solita team designed and configured a solution to collect data from different sources (ERP, logistics, etc.) onto one cloud-based warehouse. The final step was to transform the data into a powerful decision-making tool with interactive reports according to business needs.
Since NEOT was using Microsoft technologies, the data warehouse was built on Microsoft Azure infrastructure, with serverless Data Factory used to run data extraction and loading. For the database, Solita recommended Snowflake for its scalability and smooth performance.
The data comes to life in interactive reports done with Microsoft Power BI, accessible to NEOT and its diverse group of stakeholders. Transport companies, for example, can tap into their own custom views.
“Solita also maintains the platform, so it doesn’t require any effort from our side,” says NEOT’s CIO Miika Leskinen, highlighting how everything runs seamlessly in the background. “At our end, it’s simple: Data trickles down from different operational systems into interactive reports that we and our stakeholders can access and use for decision making.”
Cost-wise, the solution has required only a small investment into the Power BI Pro license from NEOT’s stakeholders.
A new way of steering and developing operations
In addition to eliminating repetitive manual tasks, bringing spread-out ERP and logistics data onto one place has enabled NEOT to track complex cause-and-effect relationships. And with financial data in the same pool, actioning on minor deviations translate into savings. What’s more, well-optimised transports have a lower environmental impact.
Logistics Manager Heikki Hiiros has witnessed the benefits throughout the partner network. “Communication with our customers is easier and faster. We can check invoice and shipping details in real time, helping us keep our service promise. Assessing orders, we can identify possible gaps and get more logistics muscle. With service stations, we can observe fuel levels in real time – in liters and in euros. Solita’s solution has essentially helped us become more proactive in our operations,” he sums.
“Many of our stakeholders, too, are excited about seeing how data can help them develop their operations. And Solita has been imperative in driving this change,” adds CIO Miika Leskinen, noting an important aspect about the collaboration: “It’s fun. With no arbitrary project management layer in between, Solita’s specialists are working directly with our subject matter experts. They’re self-organised – and they get things done.”