Over the last decade, many industries have adopted business intelligence to help them lower costs, improve efficiency, spot trends, and take advantage of new opportunities. Companies who use business intelligence have found that they are better equipped to stay ahead of the competition. Without all the data, companies make critical choices based on intuition or whim. Whereas, business intelligence insights enable manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers to form strategic decisions using accurate, timely and complete information.
Manufacturers use business intelligence
Manufacturing companies, for instance, can leverage the power of their data to streamline production processes. Dashboards can be customized to show production performance in real-time, enabling companies to identify potential issues before they become a problem, and to find incremental improvements. By correctly allocating time and resources, companies can minimize waste and eliminate process roadblocks.
Jurox, an animal health products manufacturer, implemented Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) powered by Phocas because of its simple integration with its Epicor ERP and self-service reporting capabilities.
Prior to implementation, the company had to manage a massive amount of data from multiple sources. The data had to be manually input into reports for the two different segments of the business—livestock and companion animal products.
The reports were not solving problems but sparking more questions, and to answer these ongoing queries, the company’s business analyst had to go back to the source data and find the information or detail that the sales managers or product managers were interested in.
“EDA enables Jurox to sync data from different sources into the same platform so everyone can work from a single source of truth. This also ensures that creating useful, accurate reports is now a simple process. End users can safely use the data and explore areas of focus.” explains Dorota Bragg, Jurox business analyst.
Wholesale distributors use business intelligence
Wholesale and distribution industries are quickly changing. As manufacturers demand more efficiency, and retailers expect more responsiveness, it’s essential that wholesalers continue to adapt supply chains. Using business intelligence software to effectively manage inventory has empowered companies to find ways to lower costs and improve margins, while still keeping prices in check. This is because companies who use business intelligence software can view margins by customer, individual products, and product lines to identify gaps and stop customers in decline. Additionally, companies can determine the best product mixes, bundles and pricing to increase order size and consistency. Wholesalers can also avoid “out of stock”, “dead stock” situations, and identify “slow-moving” stock before it becomes a problem. Dynamic or real-time dashboards show manufacturers exactly what’s going on with stock, customers and sales as it happens.
Loeb Electric, a 100-year-old, family-owned business, manages more than 10,000 SKUs and ships more than 100,000 SKUs every year to national and global customers. After evaluating a variety of solutions, Loeb choose Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) powered by Phocas and found 'aha' moments for the sales team.
Adrian Sparks, the strategic pricing manager, says “Reporting is great, but you have to use business intelligence to see the benefits, and I am trying to get more sales people to use the solution so they can...increase their opportunities with current customers.”
Both the internal sales support staff and external sales team use business intelligence every day to see how they are performing and to monitor transactional trends. Sparks uses historical data to ask questions about specific sales transactions and to monitor trends among products, customers, and sales reps.
Retailers use business intelligence
As the retail industry continues its rapid transformation from brick-and-mortar to eCommerce, the need for companies to leverage data becomes imperative if they are to remain competitive. Retailers worldwide are applying business intelligence to all stages of the retail process. From monitoring its omnichannel sales strategy to forecasting, retailers are able to identify customer buying behaviour and optimize sales.
Such customer insights are essential to increasing revenue. When retailers have the ability to see customer buying trends, they are better prepared to meet the shifting seasonal, demographic, and economic patterns as they occur. Full visibility into the sales funnel, from suppliers to the point of purchase, ensures retailers can run a warehouse that meets demand, reduces errors and inventory shrinkage.
Hairhouse is an Australian based beauty salon and retail chain that offers hair-dressing services and hair and beauty products across 140 salons in Australia.
Hairhouse uses business intelligence to maximise the data from its Netsuite ERP system. The ability to review information across different variables helps ICT manger, Terry Fagan make effective decisions about promotions and purchasing.
Phocas allows Fagan to review Hairhouse's sales information by product classes, by region, by service so Hairhouse can see what stores are selling more salon services or retail products. Fagan uses this data to inform Hairhouse's marketing campaigns. For instance, the sale of Redken’s product line might fall below target. Hairhouse can run a promotional campaign for Redken products and track its sales history afterward.
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