Case Study

NTS Moulding

CLIENT

  • NTS Spa

SECTOR

  • Production and processing of plastic materials

PROBLEM

  • Slow dataset update and loading for reporting
  • Microsoft Access has reached its full data
    processing capacity
  • Frequent crashes due to a system comprised of non-uniform elements

TECHNOLOGY INVOLVED

  • SQL Server
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Data warehouse

OBJECTIVES

  • Data transfer from MS Access to an SQL server-based data warehouse
  • Creation of the necessary reports and datasets on the data warehouse
  • Building of interactive dashboards with Microsoft Power BI

SOLUTION ADOPTED

  • Data warehouses on SQL servers with interactive dashboards in Power BI

RESULTS

  • Elimination of system freezes
  • Review of real-time report data
  • Direct use of reports by management and marketing personnel

SITO WEB

Constantly up-to-date data for future growth

The Bergamo based company, founded in 1959, has taken a step forward in the use of its internal data. More speed, efficiency, and accurate forecasting with Power BI and AI.

Looking for data-driven management

Based in Bergamo, NTS Moulding produces molds and molding in thermoplastic and thermosetting materials. Founded in 1959 and with around 200 employees, it has developed several lines of business to date, particularly in the automotive and electrical industries, both heavy users of plastic materials.

Like many manufacturing companies, it has over time developed an IT system for data collection that can also generate production and sales reports. A data-driven approach, based on the ability to process data from two different systems:

  • The CRM Tustena based on SQL Server technology
  • The internal management database based on AS400 technology

The data was extracted from these two sources and processed in a database built with Microsoft Access. An ingenious system for unifying data and creating reports, but now, with an increase in the amount data collected and the company dimensions, there were serious problems:

  • Dataset is slow to update and load
  • Microsoft Access has reached its full data processing capacity
  • Frequent crashes due to a system comprised of non-uniform elements

The design of a new system and data migration

In the light of these limitations, the NTS IT Manager, Luca Correale, evaluated the redesign of the data processing system. While maintaining the basic software, Tustena and the management system, Pipeline was asked to provide new storage, processing and output tools.

From here, a project for migrating and integrating new reporting tools was born. After a first phase of infrastructure analysis, the work, coordinated by Antonio Grazioli, was carried out with three well-defined objectives:

  1. Data transfer from MS Access to a SQL server-based data warehouse
  2. The creation of the necessary reports and datasets on the data warehouse
  3. The building of interactive dashboards with Microsoft Power BI

The analysis, data loading and migration took a day's work, while the following days were dedicated to setting up the visualization dashboards.

The benefits of modern data management

The whole project was conceived and developed with great attention to the simplification of the infrastructure and the updating of the management tools. An approach that opened up new possibilities, leaving room for further updates to the underlying platforms.

With this new model, NTS has overcome the need for a comparison between estimated and actual budgets, enjoying access to final analyses thanks to the automatic loading of data. In fact, every day, two distinct processes begin:

  1. At 6.00 in the morning a job exports the data from Tustena and AS400 and loads it into the “mini” data warehouse created.
  2. At 7.00, Power BI (with a report published on the Cloud) then loads and processes the updated data.

In this way, people who start working at 8.30 can always expect an up-to-date picture, with no more problems, freezes and delays. A result that the company’s whole management team and marketing department welcomed with great interest.

In fact, while technicians are required to extract and process the data, Power BI in visualization mode is very intuitive. Now managers and marketing professionals can analyze data by clicking on the graphs and see results instantly.

NTS-foto-Marco-Manzoni

“In today’s competitive and interconnected markets, NTS must become ever more responsive to agile technological developments: responsiveness to change, connection with customers and speed and streamlining of processes with relative data monitoring and control (data analysis). That's why Power BI is a functional and increasingly essential tool for enabling us to respond promptly and with full awareness to the rapid changes in the markets we serve. This is the service”

Marco Manzoni
CEO of NTS

A success story, a data driven company

At the end of the project, Luca Correale, IT Manager at NTS, said:

“Our work with pipeline was very productive. We have taken an important technological step that opens up the possibility for management to make data-driven decisions in real time, without delays and traffic accidents.”

The first and most important dashboards have been built on Power BI, but the flexibility of the application offers scope for further developments featuring increasingly detailed panels and data relating to each functional area, with related parameters, costs and revenues.

With Pipeline consulting, NTS can also view future predictions based on historical data analysis with artificial intelligence tools. A valuable resource that can guarantee efficiency and competitive advantages even in the most challenging economic situations.