Phocas Puts Data Discovery in the Spotlight at ALP Lighting
The Chief Operating Officer of ALP Lighting, David Brown, shares his thoughts on the implementation of Phocas Business Intelligence Software and the benefits it has brought to ALP.
Were you using business intelligence tools before Phocas and how does it compare?
“We tried using Cognos for several years and we found that it was too complex for users. We had several home grown data retrieval systems that served us well but they were slow and inflexible compared to Phocas. Phocas opened a whole new world of data accessibility for us”.
How does Phocas work alongside your existing Frontier (Friedman) ERP system?
“The Friedman ERP processes the data very well but it does not summarize it in all the different ways we want to view it. What we do is automatically pull information each night from the Friedman system into Phocas. Phocas then allows us the flexibility to look at the information in any manner we choose. Phocas integrates tremendously well with Frontier”.
What exactly does Phocas do for ALP?
“The sales people love it because it is incredibly easy to use and they have detailed information at their fingertips. How much volume have we done in a given territory? How does it compare to the prior period? Which customers are up? Down? Which product lines are up? Down? What are the margins by customer or by product line, product class, or individual SKU? We can format information pulled out of Friedman in any manner we choose. Phocas makes information so easily available that we operate in a different manner than before! We have different expectations about what people should know about their areas of responsibility”.
How does Phocas function within your business environment?
“I use it constantly as do most of my top managers and salespeople. The information that we get from Phocas allows us to make better business decisions. In fact, Phocas information is a staple in all of our meetings. We are even planning to use Phocas externally in the near future – in meetings with customers and suppliers”.
Do you use Phocas for more than just sales?
“Yes. In addition to sales, we have developed apps for ALP Capacity, ALP inventory and Open orders”.
Can you briefly describe the implementation of Phocas at ALP?
“We selected Phocas right before Thanksgiving a few years ago. All the set-up and implementation was complete by early January and all our salespeople were trained, using it and loving it by the end of January. We encountered very few problems throughout the process”.
Has Phocas earned its keep at ALP?
“Absolutely! Phocas is tremendous value, and provides an excellent return on investment. We tried to implement Cognos for years, and then we searched for a workable BI solution. Of all the tools we evaluated, Phocas was the most reasonably priced and its ease of use makes it incredibly effective. This will be by far the easiest to implement, most usable business intelligence system you will find. Phocas is Business intelligence that you can actually use”.