H.B. Fuller Integrates Data to Gain Supply Chain Visibility

Specialty chemicals company gains single view of data using Ascential solution to tap disparate inventory, customer information sources

Specialty chemicals company gains single view of data using Ascential solution to tap disparate inventory, customer information sources

Westboro, MA — November 23, 2004 — Specialty chemicals and industrial adhesives manufacturer H.B. Fuller Company has standardized on a data transformation solution from Ascential Software for enterprise data integration to gain a single view of its business and enhance supply chain visibility.

Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., H.B. Fuller Company is a worldwide manufacturer of adhesives, sealants, coatings, paints and other specialty chemical products, with fiscal 2003 sales of $1.3 billion. H.B. Fuller employs 4,500 people.

The manufacturer is using Ascential DataStage to power data warehousing projects across the enterprise, providing H.B. Fuller with the information the company needs to help improve supply chain management, including the demand-driven manufacturing process.

H.B. Fuller is using Ascential DataStage to access, transform and load data from disparate inventory and customer information sources into its enterprise data warehouse. Executives use the information for sales status, raw material forecasting, budget consolidation and anticipation of price changes and inventory requirements to suppliers.

By integrating both internal and third-party data to develop a single view of supplier and product data, the company is able to lower operational costs, maximize profitability and gain a competitive advantage, Ascential said. In addition, the solution gives H.B. Fuller a basis for certainty in making business decisions, according to the solution provider.

H.B. Fuller has also utilized the data integration solution for its internal Lean Six Sigma program that focuses on process improvement. Lean Six Sigma is a rigorous and disciplined methodology that uses data and statistical analysis to measure and improve a company's operational performance by identifying and eliminating inefficient or non-value-added processes.

"As we continue to expand our operations globally, the need for a unified view of data becomes critical for our supply chain- and customer service-oriented processes," said Brian Sjoquist, director of enterprise data management and customer solutions with H.B. Fuller. "With Ascential DataStage, we have been able to overcome the challenges and complexity of working with multiple data formats and standardize on data in an efficient way."

Sjoquist added that, with the Ascential Software solution, the company has been able to identify trends, such as the top 20 customers, the top sales personnel and areas where sales needs to become more aggressive. "Prior to using Ascential DataStage, we needed to access 20 separate databases to compile these statistics," he said.

For more information on the challenges of enterprise performance management in the age of real-time data, read "The Reality of Real-time Performance Management," the Net Best Thing column in the October/November 2003 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.