Metso is a listed process industry corporation based in Finland. Its clients are companies operating in the mining, aggregate, oil and gas industries. Metso employs some 16,000 people in more than 50 countries. Some of its services involve industrial valves and controls, and the related solutions in the pulp and paper industries.
In a company as large as Metso, various valves and their parts are continuously bought and added to the product range. Solutions and the related parts and components are regularly developed and changed. The company was in need of a nimble solution that would enrich the basic data on these products and enable the data’s addition to the ERP system. This would also require the manual work of several people and the retrieval of information from various systems. Metso therefore began seeking a solution that would enrich basic product data and standardise maintenance processes. Such a system should also provide users with a shared view and enable them to manage basic information on the items displayed on the user interface.
Enfo Rongo offered Metso an operative master data management solution which leverages the company’s existing Microsoft technology investment, the Master Data Service (MDS) system. The system was previously used to maintain and manage analytical master data for the company’s BI systems. Enfo Rongo built a customised and productised, higher-level API interface on top of the MDS system. This made it easier to integrate the MDS with external systems and enabled the creation of a smooth integration process linking the MDS to Metso’s ERP system. A method of enriching basic product data was also added to the MDS system. This method enabled the part-automation of the data enrichment process, thus reducing the amount of manual work.
The solution is used by purchasers and product designers within various plants, based on around 100 global users. The project was launched in late 2014 and the first version of the solution, covering just part of the overall need, was completed in 2015. Further development is under way and the next stage will involve moving from purchased valve items to components manufactured by Metso. End-users have found that the new system makes their work easier and reduces their manual work, thanks to the overall view it provides. The solution has reduced order turnaround times and delivery times in plants, while speeding up the invoicing process.
Enfo Rongo has been Metso’s partner in developing solutions for information management and utilisation since 2010. We carried out an extensive comparison of master data management solutions before making a decision ultimately based on ability to manage data in both Excel and our ERP. In addition, Metso had already invested in and was happy with Microsoft technologies, since the company’s global data storage is built on the Microsoft SQL Server software and most of the related data integration was performed using Microsoft Integration Services products. The project ran for more than a year, with both parties feeling that it was a smooth and pleasant journey. The project sponsor, Heikki Öhman, who is Head of Master Data Management at Metso’s valve operations, extends his thanks to Enfo Rongo for flexible and transparent cooperation. The project ran smoothly, generating value step-by-step and enabling end-users to give input early on, forming the basis of the solution’s iteration, in way that suited their needs, from the very beginning.