Case Study: CF Industries – SAP BI Implementation

Company Profile

CF Industries is the second largest nitrogen producer in the world, and a global leader in fertilizer manufacturing and distribution. Founded 68 years ago, the company went public in 2005 and in 2010 acquired Terra Industries Inc. (Terra) to expand its manufacturing capabilities. In 2012 CF Industries was listed as a Top 500 company according to the annual Barron’s 500: Top Corporate Performers Survey.



Globonix was instrumental in the SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Implementation project initiation as well as established centralized reporting and data quality standards at CF Industries (CF). By building a user portal, Globonix consulted with the CF to create almost 24,000 hours of additional capacity through a full transition to a singular ERP entity and centralization of data. CF also realized efficiencies through automated visibility into business performance with enhanced business analytics approaches throughout the firm.


Customer Need

As its business began to expand, and with the assimilation its Terra acquisition, CF realized it needed a packaged ERP suite to scale with the expansion of its business and accurately hold all of its data. CF had three major pain points. First, it needed to address data quality issues that arose from having disparate repositories housing the same information. Second, it needed better insight into its business and operations functions. Third, it needed to free up the time of business users who manually collected and presented information throughout the organization that could have been automated. CF needed to move its data from its legacy suite of disparate ERP applications to a single, scalable ERP to manage their Sales, Logistics and Inventory management in the SAP Business Warehouse (BW) and additional SAP solutions. CF Industries needed integration expertise to implement several required functions and controls as related to data in SAP’s Business Warehouse and presented through Business Intelligence software. They needed existing key reports to develop additional critical reports in finance and logistics on an aggressive time line. Another key requirement was to automatically verify all of the data that was stored in the retiring ERP applications was accurately transitioned to the SAP systems.



After proper analysis, the decision was made to implement SAP resource planning and business intelligence to provide CF with a single source of all the data and the additional benefit of utilizing descriptive analytics to gain insight into the firms operations, financials, and sales functions. Globonix optimized CF’s reporting environment in the SAP BW to interface with CF’s logistics applications (SQL Server backend and Crystal Reports) such that they leveraged existing attributes to create reports that users were already accustomed to viewing minimized the amount of change needed by CF’s business user community. Furthermore, Globonix created and delivered a scheduling tool through an Active Batch Scheduling entity to automate the data validation and management activities that up to that point had been manual. CF Industries could now use this to monitor and run all scheduled jobs from SAP’s BW, Reporting, and business applications. The Globonix team was able to work within the customers aggressive time constraints to build a strong analytics foundation that leveraged technology already in place and seamlessly integrated its new SAP Business Objects product suite to enhance analytical capability.



The time and money saved on total implementation costs for this endeavor was cut in half due to the involvement of Globonix. Furthermore, the improvement to productivity in the reduction of manual effort and increase in automation was estimated to have freed an additional 24,000 hours of capacity that could now be allocated toward additional business planning efforts. Furthermore, Senior Executives now obtained automated reports of business performance; this helped the CF business teams concentrate on sales rather than gathering information manually and specifically for this purpose. Most importantly, CF now had a vehicle where it could validate amounts generated in reports and now knew that those figures would be consistent and accurate across all reports and to all users. Globonix had enabled a single source of truth to exist for the customer so that redundant and inaccurate financial information would no longer exist. Today there is an increased confidence in the analytics and business reporting at CF.