Locksmith Supply Company (LSC) is a thriving 93-year-old security hardware distributor for the locksmith industry. To manage the 20,000 lines of stock and serve customers well, the owners made a strategic decision to harness business data and turn it into useful information. Data engineer, Gordon Howell explains “having those higher facts to back up what we're doing and being agile to use the on-hand data does help us make proper decisions.”
Accessibility of data
Gordon Howell, the data engineer ‘owns’ all the data within the company. A big part of his work is ensuring the quality of the data is good and that the data is used effectively. He wants to make data accessible to everyone in the company and he thinks that Phocas is a great tool to help everyone find the answers that they need.
“No matter what department we're working with, everyone has something to do with Phocas. The sales have hourly updates, HR has people metrics, purchasing has purchases, inventory control has snapshots throughout the month and the finance team has the entire financial statements module including our AR collections and AP,” says Howell.
A number of data sources are feed into Phocas including data extracts from the Epicor ERP, information from a sequel database and the payroll ADP which all sync overnight and provide consolidated data.
“The level of transparency and the accessibility that all of our staff can get from Phocas is business critical. Our account managers, who are on the road and who need data at their fingertips can quickly look at their dashboard and get the information that they need. They can drill in on a particular customer, through various date ranges and it is all there,” says Howell.
One administrator for Phocas but dashboards for all
Howell administers Phocas so that he takes ownership of the solution and also ensures everyone in the business gets want they need from the data.
“Essentially everyone gets their own dashboard tailored to exactly what they need. They then use it for their day-to-day operations.
A typical dashboard for a sales representative allows them to look at their current sales for the month compared to what the budget might be. They've also got access to how they're doing over the financial year which they can break down by quarter. They can also compare all of this information against the previous quarter or financial year.
The sales people love the dashboards to hone in on customers who might be in decline and those who are on the up. The dashboards let them know how well they’re doing – they are motivating,” says Howell.
The rise of the data-centric economy
“The biggest challenge for LSC in the next few years and distribution businesses in general is to manage customer expectations and provide them with a great experience. We are moving towards a data-centric economy so having Phocas help us stay competitive and make good decisions.”explains Howell.
To learn more about how suppliers to the construction industry are using data to win supply contracts download the eBook, 4 ways to use data to improve performance.