Arvato SCM and Exasol

Seamless supply chain management that maximizes customer satisfaction

For logistics and transport companies, delivery is everything. Delivering goods safely and on time is paramount to business. But as modern-day distribution has become more advanced, consumers have become accustomed to receiving products whenever, wherever – and at an affordable price. To make such efficient logistics possible, goods must flow seamlessly through the supplier’s production networks to the customer, unhindered by physical, organizational or other barriers. The global supply chain management expert Arvato SCM Solutions relies on its global network, powerful business intelligence systems and in-depth industry knowledge to guarantee quick and safe delivery of products to their destination.


Lack of a universal BI standard flexible analytics cost valuable revenue and increased costs.


Cluster system consisting of 2+1 test servers and 8+1 development servers averaging 10 TB of data volume.


Queries run more than 20 times faster than before.

Jan Bolz

Innovative concepts such as agile vault modeling and controlling metadata result in new business opportunities. The database allows us to manage the heterogeneous aspects of our diverse business units much more efficiently.

Dr. Jan Bolz Director IT Business Intelligence – Arvato SCM Solutions





BI strategy

0 x

faster queries


Arvato SCM Solutions transports millions of tangible goods and services, but also intangible virtual “knowledge goods”, for its customers every day. The innovative supply chain and e-commerce service provider employs state-of-the-art technology to make this happen. Arvato SCM, a full subsidiary of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, employs over 140,000 people in over 65 countries. It is split into six business units, each of which is focused on one specific industry, guaranteeing that customers can always connect with experts in precisely the area they need. Arvato Systems builds intelligent links between all business processes, making data accessible, creating transparency and supporting detailed workflow control.

  • Industry Services
  • Application BI Acceleration
  • Database Exasol
  • BI Tool SAP BusinessObjects
  • ETL Tool Microsoft SSIS with ADO. NET
Case study background details

The journey

You can use our analytics database with our private cloud, any public cloud, on premises – or as part of a hybrid deployment.

The challenge

Integrating the legacy BI-solution into a new standard platform

Arvato SCM’s customers come from a wide array of industries, including automotive, banking, insurance, technology and entertainment, as well as consumer products, telecommunications, publishing and healthcare. To ensure maximum quality for its customers, it was crucial that each unit had access to a custom BI-reporting tool tailored to its particular industry. However, as Jan Bolz, Director of Business Intelligence at Arvato SCM explains: “In early 2014, we lacked a universal BI standard and our analytics weren’t flexible enough. This cost us valuable revenue and increased costs because teams were decentralized and potential synergies weren’t taken advantage of.”

Thus, the goal was to unify all legacy BI solutions and migrate into them into one standard platform and at the same time ensure that the BI solution could scale to accommodate the different business units’ requirements.

The legacy system previously in use consisted of several siloed solutions. As a result, it was rapidly approaching query speed and scalability limits.

The solution

In 2015, Arvato decided to test Exasol as a proof of concept (PoC). Following the successful PoC, Jan Bolz explains why Arvato chose the database Exasol: “It was very important to us that migrating our existing BI tools over to the new platform would be as simple as possible”. Using Exasol, all existing data models from Oracle and MS SQL Server could be carried over. “Maintenance also played a decisive role. With Exasol, we no longer need to fine tune the database, this allows our developers to focus on programming instead of maintaining the database. The solution’s linear scalability and its fast response times and query speeds were also compelling reasons.”

The benefits for Arvato SCM

Exasol enables new analytic possibilities that revolutionize Arvato’s BI landscape Arvato SCM currently deploys the Exasol Loading...analytic database for all reporting duties. By the end of 2016, Bolz and his team plan to dive into analytics, too. Compared to the legacy solution, which narrowed the scope of analytics projects, Exasol’s flexibility enables Arvato SCM to focus solely on deriving maximum value from its data. Table joins are executed in real time with Exasol, even on large data volumes. Transformation processes are now run in a virtual analytics layer instead of persisting the transformation in an ETL process. Additionally, the data modelling method was changed to an agile one. Furthermore, the database was specifically designed to allow for easy, pain-free adjustments.

Jan Bolz concludes that: “Choosing to switch to one standard BI strategy with state-of-the-art technology was an essential step for Arvato SCM. Additionally, innovative concepts such as agile vault modeling and controlling metadata result in new business opportunities.

The database allows us to manage the heterogeneous aspects of our diverse business units much more efficiently.“

Currently, Arvato deploys a cluster system consisting of 2+1 test servers and 8+1 development servers averaging 10 TB of data volume. Datasets are extracted with Microsoft SSIS with ADO. NET. SAP Business Objects is used as the BI front-end. Query speed has been accelerated dramatically, indeed certain queries run more than 20 times faster than before.

As a result, Arvato customers profit by avoiding situations where there is too much or too little stock and by increasing the flexibility of their business processes. With its optimized delivery cycles, just-in-time production and scalable infrastructure, Arvato is able to optimize supply chain processes in a way that results in satisfied customers.

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