Allegro Funds, an Australian private equity firm, acquired Number One Shoes and Hannah’s retailers in 2017. With a network of 110 bricks and mortar stores across New Zealand and a combined market share of 30 per cent – the business is the perfect fit for Allegro, which specialises in investing in mid-market companies with transformation potential. In 2018, Phocas, a business intelligence (BI) solution, was deployed in the business to give front line staff, managers and leaders better visibility and insights into how the stores are performing – at store level, regionally and nationally.
BI solution that is fast and has local support
Menno Veeneklaas is a General Operating Partner at Allegro funds in Sydney. Number One Shoes and Hannah’s were the first acquisition in the private equity firm’s third fund, which $400 million pool it raised a few years back.
In 2018 Veeneklaas worked with the leadership team at the shoes retail business in New Zealand on several transformation initiatives. One of these involved identifying a fit-for-purpose BI tool. He helped them to select Phocas, knowing it is a simple tool that can visualise performance using intuitive graphics.
“I was looking for a BI tool that was fast and easy to deploy. It had to offer better value for money than some of the other big brand name BI solutions. I was also specifically looking for a tool that had a local support team in market”, explains Veeneklaas.
Connection was straightforward as Number One shoes’ POS system has direct API integration into the SQL database which extracts the necessary data to analyse and display KPIs in Phocas.
BI solution with user-friendly dashboards
To improve performance transparency and develop a continuous improvement culture across the store network, the executive team of Number One Shoes and Hannah’s retail wanted to adopt a data-driven strategy. The first feature of the Phocas BI solution that has been rolled out across the stores is the fit-for-purpose KPI dashboards.
“Phocas helps Number One Shoes to visualise performance on a user-friendly KPI dashboard. The core purpose of the tool was to give each store manager and their team really good visibility of performance throughout the day. We were keen for them to be able to see an update every 10 to 15 minutes on how many sales they had completed upto that point during the day, the average value per transaction, how many items are in that sale and whether it included an up-sell item such as shoe polish.
The KPI dashboards provide clear visual charts including speedo gauges. This makes them intuitive as the vast majority of adults know how to drive a car so can relate to them.” explains Veeneklaas.
According to Veeneklaas, what is great about Phocas, is that it provides frontline team members, supervisors and middle managers ownership of their performance. In his experience, when front line employees understand their individual and team results, it helps to empower them. It can also create some healthy competition between teams that work in different stores and regions.
For more insight into the many uses of a BI solution you can download the mid-market executive KPIs and metrics to measure in this free ebook, Top 7KPIs and metrics for mid-market executives.