As Loeb Electric grew and data inquiries increased, the company needed better technology. The company was ready to try a different approach to Excel and CRM for analysis and reporting. After evaluating a variety of solutions, Loeb choose Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) powered by Phocas which integrates with its Epicor Eclipse ERP system.

Loeb Electric is a 100-year-old, third-generation, family-owned business with 250 employees spread across four satellite locations and a distribution center in Columbus, Ohio. The company manages more than 10,000 SKUs and ships more than 100,000 SKUs every year to national and global customers.
 

Creating 'aha' moments for the sales team

Among the most active EDA users are the sales team members. The company has 50-75 people involved
in sales with reporting managed by the sales managers across local and national teams. On the national
side, much of the information is forecasted because of the high-volume of transactions—making it easier to manage, predict, and track trends.

Sales managers at Loeb’s local satellite locations use EDA to compare their performance against other
stores and the main hub. A local sales team uses EDA to identify potential gains with customers.
 
Adrian Sparks the strategic pricing manager says “Reporting is great, but you have to use EDA to see the benefits, and I am trying to get more sales people to use the solution so they can find more value
in the data. I am trying to create ‘Aha!’ moments that will get the sales team hooked on using information
to increase their opportunities with current customers.”
 
Overall, the company has seen great adaptability from both the inside sales support staff and outside sales team, which use EDA every day to see how they are performing and to monitor transactional trends.
 
One of the main benefits of analyzing growth and profit margins is the override feature, which helps management communicate with sales staff about why certain data points are replaced in the
system. Sparks uses EDA’s historical data to ask questions about specific sales transactions and to monitor override trends among products, customers, and sales reps.

Beyond sales

While sales may be the most active users, Loeb’s IT team has created its own databases and is working to integrate a variety of homegrown solutions into EDA—including systems for retail customers’ budgets and restrictions.

Sparks added, “It may be cliché to say you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, but when it comes to reporting, the opposite may be true. Communicating and training people to use one platform is easier for the business.

And the IT team has developed several custom programs using SQL to connect these older systems to EDA. With EDA and the ability to create our own databases, it will open up a whole new world for us.”

Loeb is also using EDA for internal staff reviews. Managers use custom dashboards that highlight a variety of KPIs—from how many orders were placed and gross profit trends, to customers acquired and lost during the year. The dashboards provide visibility for managers to ask questions and identify opportunities for improvement and praise.
 

For more information about how Loeb Electrics and other electrical wholesalers are using data analytics to transform their operations, click here.

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Tags: Case Study, Industry - Wholesale Distribution, Industry - Electrical

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