How data autonomy transforms company culture to be more data-driven
To remain competitive within a highly seasonal market, the team at Woodberry sought to democratize its business data to enable a faster and more informed response to market trends.
The UK outdoor furniture sector has traditionally encountered the challenges of seasonal buying patterns and a crowded, competitive marketplace. The recent cost of living and energy price rises have also resulted in many of Woodberry’s clients restricting their spend. As such, Woodberry has sought to maximize all competitive advantages to convert sales and grow the business.
Prior to Phocas, Tim Barr, CFO at Woodberry, had been the primary creator and gatekeeper of Woodberry data insights. Although the Sage 50 system, in conjunction with complex Excel documents, could deliver insights, the process was time consuming, and the results were static. This led to secondary information requests and department specific reports that further delayed teams making data-driven decisions on any findings.
“Before Phocas, we were analyzing a lot of data, but it was a lot of work and it all landed on my plate.” Tim Barr, CFO at Woodberry
Insufficient Excel reporting skills and limited access to stock data and sales reports was hampering Woodberry’s agility in the marketplace.
“The reporting set up didn’t enable other team members to quickly access the data or to investigate trends and behaviors by interrogating the data. It wasn’t as quick to look at setting up new reports and different departments wanted different things from the same reports.” Beth Purdue, Marketing Manager at Woodberry
Woodberry wanted to empower their teams to interrogate the data and turn insights into actions, so Woodberry contacted Phocas for a demonstration of Phocas BI Analytics.
New opportunities and fast decisions
The swift implementation process, intuitive workflows, dashboards and data drilling capability have enabled all users to identify sales patterns and market behaviors, to examine activity and test new campaigns to maximize income.
“Our sales and marketing teams use Phocas to nail opportunities. Last month we identified the healthcare sector was producing some outstanding results. So, we were able to divert some of our sales effort away from low performing sectors into those that appeared to be more lucrative. That was really good.” Howard Barr, General Manager at Woodberry
A static monthly report has been replaced with an office wallboard of live data points, daily and weekly reports specific to each business function, and the ability to interrogate every data point to inform agile business working.
“With Phocas we can make informed, fast decisions autonomously or as a team without being slowed down by data availability or the need for a committee decision,” Beth Purdue, Marketing Manager at Woodberry
The license to be creative
Understanding what products customers want, their buying sector and the preferred buying platform, is enabling Woodberry to tailor the sales and marketing efforts to deliver highly relevant content for customers.
Beth says, “From a sales and marketing perspective it has given us license to be creative with testing theories and running reports ourselves, which has been insightful and impactful.”
Beth added that, “There has never been more scrutiny on sales numbers, how we behave as a business, and how each team member contributes. Phocas has enabled Woodberry to remain nimble and design content to proactively impact customer behaviors.”
Business insights and efficiencies
Whilst the team at Woodberry has always been open to learning new skills, the integration of Phocas reporting and access to self-guided data investigation has shifted company culture towards one of data-led decision making. Coupled with a robust review and analysis of activity against business data, tracking the ROI of promotional activities has never been easier for Beth and her team.
“Having all the sales, product and customer buying behavior data all in one place and accessible to as many staff as needed it is a game changer,” Beth says.
From the additional overview of sales and stock levels, Woodberry has identified ways to streamline long-term purchasing. Thanks to quick access to stock levels and up-to-date sales data, the purchasing manager can now track and anticipate the demand for products. This has allowed Woodberry to take advantage of cheaper, longer-range shipping costs and economies of scale previously beyond its control.
Tim described a real tangible benefit of using Phocas by explaining,
“We have a stock product SKU forecast. I was able to put this budget into Phocas and the team that looks after sourcing, importing and manufacturing the stock lines are now able to monitor that monthly with a very high degree of accuracy. It gives us fantastic overview of performance of product lines against budget on a month to date, quarter to date, year to date, year against year history. It’s been highly advantageous.” Tim Barr, CFO at Woodberry
Looking to the future
Armed with the insights supplied by Phocas, Woodberry is confident that it will continue to be a leader in the commercial outdoor furniture sector. Planning for the future, Woodberry will utilize Phocas to strengthen its sales by keeping track of market activity as well as growing its web-based sales channel.
Whilst the team at Woodberry has vast specialist knowledge, Beth shared that the addition of Phocas has provided ‘greater clarity’ for the business.
“We would recommend Phocas to any other UBT clients looking to empower different teams to use and understand data regularly in an easy to view format,” Beth Purdue, Marketing Manager at Woodberry