Lehigh Hanson is global market leader in aggregates and one of the largest cement producers in the world. The company is part of the Heidelberg Cement Group with 2013 revenues of USD $18.8 billion. In this interview, Internal Auditor, Nina del Castillo explains how IDEA® Server allows Lehigh Hanson’s audit team spread across the globe to collabore on data analysis projects.
As a data analyst I support our team of auditors and our director. Our company has three different ERPs and a lot of other disparate systems. My role is to work with IT to become familiar with all the systems and pull as much data as possible to ensure its accuracy.
15 years ago we had a project that just couldn't get off the ground. The Vice President of one of the departments wanted to analyze some of the information and he kind of gave up on it. At the time, I had only been with the company a year and a half, when he asked the question he seemed frustrated that he wasn't able to get the answers that he was looking for. I was able to dive in with IDEA and get them the answers that they wanted to questions they've been asking for 15 years. Secondly, they know they can ask anything related to their department, and we can pull together an analysis for them very quickly and effectively. Then we can take that analysis and put that into practice for reoccurring audits.
When we were looking at the different automated auditing packages that were available, one of the things that stood out about IDEA® was that it was very user-friendly. This was helpful as we wanted to make things as easy as possible for our auditors to access the system.
Another reason we chose IDEA® was the pre-prepared tests available in SmartAnalyzer that really helped us to get started and as we became more familiar with scripting and applying it to our business we began to create more customized scripts.
Also, one of the reasons we love IDEA® is the import function that allows us to import data from multiple data sources. Once you develop the import definition, it is easily usable and accessible by others when necessary.
We work with 3 systems, all in different formats, with different header names, so with import definitions, we can build in a consistent field name and run a standard macro on reports, without creating a separate macro for each system.
One of the advantages of using IDEA® Server is that it allows us to easily collaborate across the pond with our European and Asian counterparts. It allows us to share our scripts, projects, as well as learn from each other’s past experiences.