Client Story

Zodiac Aerospace

Zodiac Aerospace uses Semarchy xDM as the foundation for building its core data models to enforce all data related policies - data quality, data consolidation, data integration and human workflows.

Zodiac Aerospace improves data quality with Semarchy.

Zodiac Aerospace Group

Zodiac Aerospace is a world leader in aeronautical equipment and systems for commercial, regional and business aircraft, as well as helicopters and space.

It develops and manufactures cutting-edge solutions to improve comfort and on-board facilities, as well as high-tech systems to improve aircraft performance and flight safety.

Zodiac Aerospace has 35,000 employees and generated € 5.1 billion revenue in 2016-2017.

The Issue - Implementation of the Services

Zodiac Aerospace includes several lines of business:

  •  Zodiac Aerosystems: High-tech equipment and systems ensuring the essential functions of aircraft and their safety in-flight and on the ground
  • Zodiac Seats: A complete and innovative range of seats
  • Zodiac Cabin: Overall design and creation of cabin layout, equipment solutions for on-board service and passenger comfort

The need for Master Data Management (MDM) appeared during the establishment of Zodiac Aerospace Services, which offers a global distribution network of spare components, maintenance of equipment manufactured by the group's other divisions, and tailor-made support services for air operators.

Éric Jacoupy, Business Technical Data Analyst, was in charge of consolidating data from fifteen databases from their different divisions.“We initially managed to capitalize on very few items, customers and suppliers. Each had their own rules, their own semantics, their own definitions and their own codification. Each had brought their own model of program, platform, cost center, etc. The aggregation of the OEM (manufacturing companies) databases was not running well. Communication had to improve. For example, we had a problem with units, for example named ‘Each’, ‘Unit’, ‘Part’, ‘One’ to describe the same thing. The values ​​that Zodiac Aerospace Services needed have been aligned,” explained Jacoupy.

“To consolidate a single point of entry for post-sales activities, everyone had to use the same semantics for data. The Data Hub unit was created following this observation. I was commissioned to stabilize the databases in a one-shot exercise, which was obviously not sustainable. So we started to write our data management and master data standards for articles, customers and suppliers,“ said Jacoupy.

“At the start, we used Excel to validate the feasibility and the added value. We have submitted our models for confirmation by our ‘sponsors’ - IT committees and the COMEX group, to ensure their alignment in terms of finance, reporting, etc. We then created census matrices of data and their definitions, to realign these data on a single definition and the same model.

Once these actions were completed, analyses with our business intelligence tool were initiated. We quickly encountered the inability to combine the rules, and the inadequacy of Excel, which is normal given our data volumes, namely several million records for articles, customers and suppliers from of our ERP,”continued Jacoupy.

The Intelligent Data Hub choice with Semarchy

"Zodiac Aerospace has therefore chosen an external partner (Business & Decision - B&D), who had experience to validate the models initiated, and above all, who was could assist us to select a tool," said Jacoupy.

“In relation to the vision of our Data Hub, and the evolution we wanted, one brick after the other - first quality, then RDM - B&D introduced several tools, including Semarchy. We quickly preferred Semarchy because it corresponded to our need to build our Data Hub one step at a time, and allowed us to scale gradually.

Some software vendors required us to start all over using their own model. Semarchy allowed us to integrate our existing content into the tool while keeping the work already done.”

An effective implementation

The project started with B&D in May 2015, and the first workshops were initiated in September 2015, focusing on data quality and integrity.

The work with the Semarchy platform began in 2016, and go-live of the first iteration, for Business Intelligence, took place in spring 2016, including customers, articles and suppliers data.

The second phase (RDM), an operational evolution of the first iteration, started in fall 2016 and went live in early 2017. At the end of this phase, the reference data were consolidated in a central location.

This reference data is destined to be used in the long term, for example as a foundation for the implementation of the workflow system (PEGA) at Group level.

The third iteration, in progress, aims to set up “master cards,” aggregating the data from the source systems, and distributed with all the references to the codes and records of the original systems.

“When BI wanted to capture and report all the information, for example, about a supplier, the data collection process was very complex and not very robust. Through the Data Hub and our ‘master cards,’ we now have references to all source systems. This makes it possible to obtain more reliable metrics, and this without necessarily correcting or modifying the sources - certain local specificities or divergences being sometimes justified," said Jacoupy.

An architect is now 100% dedicated to the project, taking over from a B&D architect. Zodiac Aerospace also uses resources from the system integrator on an ad hoc basis. “B&D took care of everything and was helped well, both from the modeling point of view and from the technical point of view. We progressed from the first phase of the project to the second and then to the third phase of the project faster than we had estimated, thanks to this partner who demonstrated solid skills on a powerful tool," said Jacoupy.

Measuring Success

Zodiac Aerospace associated KPIs to the delivered data in the early stages of the project, in order to measure data quality and integrity. But the greatest measure of project success is qualitative. “Our reporting module (SAP BFC - Business Object Financial Consolidation) already relies on the Data Hub for platforms, product lines, customer groups, markets and cost centers. The project is also a success because it does not only involve an IT tool: We have defined good practices on data, including roles and responsibilities,” said Jacoupy.

“Thanks to the data delivered by the data hub, we have also been able to set up a maturity grid with validation of the data quality measures by the business, as well as business processes to support quality improvement. The division managers come to the Data Hub to maintain the quality of their data. All of our divisions are involved to define the quality measures, which are managed by a full-time analyst, and to define action plans," Jacoupy explained.

"It is a success. Semarchy is now one of the key tools in our core model. We are positioning Semarchy as one of the central points of our data architecture. ”

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