BACKGROUND: Novo Nordisk is the world's leader in insulin and diabetes care and the world's largest producer of industrial enzymes. With annual sales of $2.8 billion, Novo Nordisk employs nearly 15,000 people in 61 countries with manufacturing facilities in seven countries including Denmark, China and the U.S.

PLATFORMS: Novo Nordisk runs Pilot Balanced ScoreCard using Oracle on a Microsoft Windows NT server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: As worldwide demand for our innovative pharmaceuticals continued to grow, so too did our need for timely information and the documenting of strategic information on our quality and delivery processes. No one doubted that our products met or exceeded all of the necessary quality standards, but we had a hard time adjusting our level of documentation to reflect it. At the same time, deliveries and lead times for our company's insulin products were under pressure. Since our products are expensive to produce, we don't have a large margin for scrap or waste. In addition, we try to maintain minimal raw-material inventory; therefore, planning lead times is extremely important. We knew we needed quality information quickly, but our company's information wasn't considered strategic and there was no structured reporting. Many analysts would simply collect data from the production or run queries against our in-house system and rekey the results into spreadsheets for analysis. This was time-consuming, error-prone and created conflicting results.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The Pilot Balanced ScoreCard provides an at-a-glance snapshot of all the metrics and key performance indicators that matter most to the company. It presents each metric through a unique and customizable color-coded "meter" that lets users know instantly if the metric is on, above or below plan. It also provides sophisticated analysis tools for understanding trends, deviations and benchmarks. All relevant employees can be granted access to the system, and presently 10 percent of our employees in the sites using the system have access to the Pilot Balanced ScoreCard data.

SELECTION CRITERIA: After we created a data warehouse, we defined the metrics that we considered the key performance indicators (KPIs) for our company's future performance. These KPIs included lead time, productivity (measured by number of pieces produced per day per head), sick time/absenteeism, headcount, quality deviations, on-time order shipments, capacity usage, scrap percentages and budget performance. Our executives knew that the KPIs they were extracting from the operational systems and feeding to the data warehouse needed to be available to everyone in the company so they could see how their area was performing and understand what the company wanted to achieve.

STRENGTHS: Pilot Balanced ScoreCard enables our organization to track KPIs that are unique to our business which lets us measure progress against objectives. We have been able to develop and modify KPIs without programming to meet our ongoing needs. The user interface of Pilot Balanced ScoreCard is based on a visual gauge metaphor, where an indicator needle points to a color-coded dial. At a glance, our users can determine which KPIs are within tolerance and which are not. To further investigate any perspective or indicator, you drag a visual gauge to an analytic tool which then provides several additional layers of detail. Balanced ScoreCard includes several powerful analytics including trend, deviation and ad hoc analysis and benchmarking.

WEAKNESSES: As a beta customer, we did not originally have complete documentation. However, once the product became generally available, we received the full set.

DELIVERABLES: Broad access to a relevant and consistent set of indicators is having a dramatic impact on our part of the company's operations. Lead times are half what they were previously. The percentage of on-time orders has doubled. This system lets us focus on the KPIs so we can focus our efforts on improving those indicators. Our decisions are now based on facts, not opinions. We use the Pilot Balanced ScoreCard as the centerpiece for our bi-weekly management meetings and quarterly company meetings. It helps us guide our company, and we're very committed to the discipline it brings to us.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Support from Pilot's partner Visions International, has been excellent. To be a qualified supporter of balanced scorecard software demands an understanding of business and the details needed on each management level to secure a coherent set of goals and corrective actions. We found that at Vision International.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is now complete, and online help is very good and comprehensive.

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