With Phocas Software, Medical Supply Company can run queries and produce reports better and faster, maximizing the value of their data.
Medical Supply Company (MSC) was established in 1971, and today is one of Ireland’s largest distributors of reagents, equipment and IT solutions for clinical diagnostics, life sciences and hospital labs.
Limited visibility into business data
MSC has a small team of 32 people that manage more than 80 suppliers. Staying on top of sales figures, from what products are selling to what are not, and whether the company is making or losing money is critical to the company’s success. MSC uses SAP Business One, and unfortunately, has experienced numerous challenges trying to do in-depth analysis of sales data. The ERP comes with a limited set of reports, and creating canned reports was cumbersome, which meant users did not have the needed visibility into their business data.
“We relied on the skill sets dedicated to report writing, as well as an external reporting tool that required the additional skill set of a Crystal report writer. Unfortunately, those reports often took more than 15 minutes to run.“ Marie-Louise Flannery, head of sales for MSC.
"We even explored using SAP queries, but only two or three people in our building have knowledge of SAP tables. These limitations made it difficult and time consuming to construct our queries and get access to the data we needed.”
“As a sales person, the more time you have to wait to run analytics, the less time we are selling,” added Flannery.
Easy to implement, easy to use
MSC needed a solution that would improve the visibility into the business data, and one that could run queries and produce reports better and faster. Flannery began the process of evaluating business intelligence products on the market. After several demos, MSC selected Phocas.
“Phocas simply checked all the boxes for us,” said Flannery. “It was easy to implement, and easy to use. Our sales team became self-sufficient quickly, and we no longer need to rely on anyone else writing the reports for us.”
Since implementing Phocas, the MSC sales team has started training other users. The team has developed personalized dashboards that are used in sales meetings to review customer accounts, opportunities and challenges. In the past, members of the sales team downloaded all of their data into spreadsheets and then manipulated the data so they could create charts. Phocas eliminates the need for Excel.
Flannery stated, “Our Phocas dashboards have interactive charts and graphics that with one click will show us transactional level data. No more waiting for 15 minutes for reports because in Phocas, every click produces a report with actionable data.”
Proactive analysis of business data
Flannery’s team is using Phocas to proactively identify and prioritize at-risk accounts. They now have the ability to slice and dice data instantly without running multiple reports, giving users the ability to follow their train of thought, ask questions of the data and find new sales opportunities and ways to improve customer loyalty.
Behind the dashboard is the Phocas grid, which makes it easy for the sales team to identify customers that haven’t purchased recently or that have changed their purchasing habits. Users can change dimensions such as timeframe, compare data across variances, find complementary products to offer customers and sort data by suppliers, customers and territories. Sales managers can also schedule regular emails with relevant data for each salesperson, and post information to shared sales dashboards. MSC’s customers are also recognizing the value of the sales data.
“Many of our customers are requesting monthly sales and usage reports because of how effectively we use our own data,” said Flannery. “Among other things, they want to know how much money they have spent over the last months and by product code, so we are now sending customers automated monthly emails with links to their data.”
Optimized for users of all skill levels
Phocas is fully integrated into SAP Business One, which means users never have to leave the SAP environment to maximize the value of their data.
Flannery concluded, “Out of the box Phocas is already optimized for users of all skill levels to get the most out of business intelligence. The secret sauce of Phocas is the speed, which means we’ll never have to wait for reports ever again.”
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