Growing retailer increases business efficiency x 10
Beauty Zone is a fast growing business focused on serving rural and entry-level consumers. To bring about its expansion targets, management needed to address the manual reporting workload which was slowing down its ability to react to market changes.
The team, managed by Ishrat Dastagir, IT Executive and lead on the company's ICT and digital efforts, had been searching for a BI tool to complement its Kerridge K8 ERP system. The set-up of the business and the focus of the product mix means the number of products sold across all stores is a crucial metric for Beauty Zone to track. Ishrat took this initial measurement need to kickstart the company’s search for a stronger reporting tool and a platform to consolidate data and view performance by several variables.
With multiple financial entities sitting within the Beauty Zone group, creating a business overview at group level was also a manual process that involved exporting the various sets of data for the team to combine before any insights could be extracted. Prior to Phocas, the process of creating the monthly business report pack was taking Ishrat a full week with additional business critical reports run 2-3 times a week.
“It was difficult for us when we wanted to see group level. We'd have to go and take out whatever we need from each company, manually consolidate it, put it on a presentation, a word document or an excel spreadsheet, dependent on the view that we needed to see.”
In addition to these centralised reports, each category manager was generating reports relating to over 25,000 SKUs to analyze procurement data. This was consuming up to two hours from each working day, adding up to a significant number of people-hours dedicated to creating reports.
Consolidated reports unlock hours of time every day
After reviewing but dismissing multiple other BI tools due to a lack of ‘flexibility and agility’, the team at Kerridge Commercial Systems introduced Ishrat to Phocas to address its financial and operational data insights needs.
“The first day I saw Phocas I said, ‘Okay, right. I want it".
Phocas enabled users to self-serve insights
From the first demonstration of Phocas Analytics, the team at Beauty Zone could see the positive impact that consolidated multi-entity business reporting would have on its ability to drive efficiencies and become more agile in their business decisions.
In addition to the time saved across the business in report generation, consolidation and analysis, Phocas also offered a new level of autonomy to users as a system that can be easily used to drill into data and to create new reports, removing the data silo and any delays of waiting on IT to create and share reports.
Fast, agile, and reliable financial insights
Beauty Zone also have Phocas Financial Statements to add another dimension to their business data insights within Phocas.
Whilst still in the early stages of their use of Financial Statements, the product has unlocked fast, agile, and reliable financial insights for their Finance Manager who now doesn’t have to wait until month end to review the figures but can now check in with store, group, and company level data daily.
New platform delivers x10 reporting efficiencies
With Phocas combining data from their ERP into one source of truth for the business, the hours, days and weeks previously spent on pulling reports is a thing of the past enabling the team to be agile to concentrate on business growth.
Due to the ease of reporting and dashboard insights, users across the business have increased how often they check in with the figures from on average once a week to several times a day as they can create and run a report in minutes. “It's made us 10 times more efficient and added a lot of free time to a lot of people's lives.”
Business wide insights
The procurement team, primary users of Phocas Analytics, have reduced a daily 2-hour report to just a few seconds. Whereas Beauty Zone Directors are more connected to the daily business thanks to mobile access and can act to offset issues to seize opportunities in real-time. Speaking of the Directors, Ishrat said, “They love it. They log in wherever they are in the world to see what's happening.”
A new era for financial data
With the addition of Phocas Financial Statements, Beauty Zone no longer needs to manually create P&Ls, balance sheets and finance pack reports but can see an overview of the data instantly, being able to push a report from the up-to-date data in a few clicks.
A strong plan for growth
Beauty Zone has weathered the challenges of COVID, and more recently significant flooding, and is now scaling up the number of outlets in the region with 12 new stores opening over the past 12 months and plans to reach 50 stores in the next two years.
With such an ambitious growth model, more internal users are adopting Phocas Analytics for company processes and day-to-day tasks and Phocas Financial Statements is ramping up. Whilst the immediate focus is on finding and fixing ‘pain points’, Ishrat has identified further optimizations as the next stage of development, with bringing Phocas Budgeting and Forecasting into the tech stack soon to create a comprehensive Financial Planning and Analysis suite further down the line.
"We could be 15, 50 or 100 stores, Phocas is going to get our data and put it in the way we want it from a group level to product level in the click of a finger. It gives us the agility we need.”
Beauty Zone is an independent retailer of personal care, wellness and beauty products in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Since opening the doors at the first store in 2005, Beauty Zone has grown to over 30 retail locations managed from its head office and distribution centre.
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