EDEKA Southwest: Generating added value through efficient project portfolio management
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ABOUT EDEKA SÜDWEST

EDEKA Southwest is the second largest of seven regional companies in the EDEKA Group, one of the leading food retailers in Germany. The company has roughly 1,200 outlets, including local grocery stores, well-stocked supermarkets, and hypermarkets. It offers a wide range of high-quality products – from reasonably priced own brands to international specialties.

EDEKA Southwest has more than 44,000 employees and generates annual sales of more than €9 billion.

Location(s)
Industry
Added value for the entire company

Our new PPM solution means we are not only improving the way we manage our projects centrally. We can also keep track of significantly more projects and project categories, reduce project runtimes and costs, and generate added value for the entire company.

Martin Gabel
IT Project/Process Management
INITIATIVE OVERVIEW

EDEKA Southwest operates about 200 of its own supermarkets while additionally supplying close to 1,000 independently managed stores. It also has five logistics centers and six production facilities across five German federal states. Consequently, EDEKA Southwest is a leading force in food retail, sourcing regional products at the same time as maintaining customer proximity. On the other hand, this corporate structure places high demands on strategic planning and its operational implementation.

To consolidate and strengthen its leading market position, EDEKA Southwest runs more than 500 projects a year: customer projects, IT projects and construction, to name but a few. Given the number and complexity of these projects, an efficient and highly capable, centralized system for project portfolio management is required. The company was therefore looking for a contemporary solution to support and assist its project managers as well as to identify and exploit project synergies.

BUSINESS DRIVERS & REQUIREMENTS
SOLVING COMPLEX TASKS EFFICIENTLY

BBefore introducing Sciforma, EDEKA Southwest was managing projects with the aid of proprietary software and individually developed Excel spreadsheets. Due to ever-increasing demands, however, these tools were no longer fit for purpose. What was missing was the ability to reschedule a project in response to a change in conditions. It was therefore difficult to compare targets against achievements over the course of a project. Multiple projects or project portfolios could not be analyzed automatically, instead having to be handled manually. Parallel projects with similar or even contradictory goals were almost impossible to coordinate. This resulted in a significant amount of extra work, with timelines and budgets sometimes being overrun. All these factors combined led EDEKA Southwest to decide that a modern and efficient system for project portfolio management should be introduced.

The requirements were set out as follows:

  • Ability to document and control all projects across all business units
  • Ability to generate analyses and status reports either for individual projects or for project categories
  • Automatic warning of schedule deviations to facilitate a rapid response
  • Gradual implementation of the system with the available resources to avoid jeopardizing the high level of acceptance shown at the company from the outset
SECURING SUSTAINABLE BENEFITS

High demands were not only placed on the capabilities of the system. Maximum stability, comprehensive protection against data loss and against misuse or unauthorized access to personal information and, ultimately, the sustainability of the planned investment were further important selection criteria. EDEKA Southwest therefore wanted a scalable solution that could be hosted in its own data center and can be expanded, if necessary, to include new functionalities and modules.

MANAGING PROJECTS SUCCESSFULLY

In the light of these extensive specifications, any further development of the existing – and in part self-developed – project management tools proved too complex or even impossible. The decision was therefore made to replace it with a professionally developed, centralized system comprising all the necessary capabilities. To find the ideal solution, EDEKA Southwest considered several products from different providers.

As a highly responsible company, EDEKA Southwest examined every potential system with due care. The detailed comparison revealed that Sciforma would best fulfill the existing technical requirements, offered the best solution in terms of usability, and was available under reasonable conditions.

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SCIFORMA SOLUTION
SOFTWARE CRITICAL CAPABILITIES
  • Project planning and management
  • Project and portfolio reporting and dashboards
  • For the future: demand management
TECHNICAL CHOICES

EDEKA Southwest decided to operate Sciforma from its own data center, initially installing version 7.0 on Windows servers. This was upgraded in 2020 to version 7.1, likewise on-premise, on a virtual machine supplied by Sciforma (Sciforma Virtual Appliance – SVA).

The first step was to introduce the core modules of the system and make the transition as easy as possible for the users. In the medium term, the system can be expanded to include requirements and resource management capabilities.

Services
  • Training
  • Support with implementation and integration
Ideal combination of performance, flexibility, and usability

Sciforma offers the ideal combination of performance, flexibility, and usability. Using such technology, agile organizations with complex requirements can take a giant leap into the future.

Martin Gabel
IT Project/Process Management
EXPECTED/REALIZED BENEFITS AND NEXT STEPS
HIGH PERFORMANCE BRINGS GREATER CORPORATE SUCCESS

Shortly after its introduction, Sciforma proved to be an indispensable tool to EDEKA Southwest for project management and strategic business administration. Whereas the previous tools were only used by project managers, many other executives and a multi-project management board are now reaping the benefits of detailed project data.

Users can access up-to-date target versus achievement reports anytime and anywhere. Sciforma offers interfaces so that information can also be shared with controlling, accounting, and fixed asset accounting – automating processes which were previously managed manually.

Parallel projects are coordinated, resources deployed more effectively, and synergies identified and exploited. An app required by one business unit, for example, was developed from the outset to meet the needs of another unit. This eliminated the need for a second project with the attendant effort and costs.

With the aid of Sciforma, EDEKA Southwest now handles almost every project on time and within budget. If a plan is at risk of becoming derailed, the system automatically notifies project management. Prompt action can then be taken to get the project back on track.

FLEXIBLE CONFIGURATION FOR SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Projects involving multiple EDEKA Southwest business units frequently comprise numerous variants and variations. Since Sciforma is fully equipped to handle such diverse scenarios, it offers additional benefits – especially to companies with complex structures. The system’s flexibility means that it can also adapt to potential changes in the future, e.g., in the company’s organization or work processes.

MORE THAN JUST GOOD PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Overall, EDEKA Southwest achieved improvements that have been beneficial to the entire company.

Projects are now typically completed with greater speed, on time, and within budget.

Project data can be accessed not only by project managers, but other executives, a multi-project management board, and further stakeholders. Those responsible thus have reliable, up-to-date information as a basis for making fail-safe decisions. Analyses can now be performed for project groups or categories – not only for individual projects, as was the case previously. The cumulative reports deliver important insights, moreover, for planning new projects.

Real-time project data alerts users to imminent deviations from the plan and indicates where more resources are required and whether they can potentially be taken from other projects. Standardized processes produce comparable data for evaluating projects and guarantee that project management and documentation are of a high quality. Automated reports and processes make work easier and free up additional capacities for the operational activities of the project managers.

Sciforma offers maximum stability and effective data security and is compatible with the General Data Protection Regulation. The system is user-friendly and intuitive, thus increasing user acceptance and promoting its rapid and smooth implementation.

The software continuously undergoes further development and can be expanded to include additional features such as demand and resource management or project time tracking, thus ensuring that it is a future-proof, sustainable investment.

Overall, EDEKA Southwest has increased its productivity and savings thanks to the detailed, comprehensive data delivered by Sciforma.