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The ins and outs of data at Midwich: a global audio visual business

33 min listen

The audiovisual (AV) industry is constantly evolving and today’s new LED light or flat-screen displays can be replaced by a new version in a year’s time. An ethos at Midwich is to continuously improve so adapting to ongoing innovation is part of the every day. 

On this episode of the inPhocas podcast – we chat with Midwich’s Business Administration Manager, Nick Seaman who has seen much change in the company since he started in 2003.

Midwich evolved in England about 40 years ago and has grown exponentially through acquisition and is now a globally listed company.

The company has grown 10 times since Nick joined 20 years ago which has a lot to do with great management, an excellent culture and staying on top of technology trends.

Nick explains the business administration manager role as all-encompassing.

“As Midwich has a large diverse sales team and an experienced commercial team who speak to suppliers and vendors, the role of the business administration team is to join these two elements of the business through systems, reporting and communication to enable the flow of goods into our business to function at the most optimal level.”

The team Nick manages administers several software platforms that the business use day in day out and Phocas is its primary Business Intelligence system. Nick’s team ensure all people have the right resources to learn how to use the software effectively.

How does Midwich help drive user adoption of data

Nick says in any business there are three types of people. The first being the absolutely data-driven colleagues, then there is a middle section of people and those that don't have a natural affinity to data.  

At Midwich, Nick makes sure that the data team approaches colleagues about how they might want to consume that data. He says give your internal and external customers the choice on how they want to receive data and how they want to use it because if they're receiving it in a manner that suits them, they are more likely to take action. My tips would be to make sure you ask the data questions.

  • Would you prefer to receive data as a spreadsheet table which is preset?  
  • Do you prefer to look at an online page at a number of tables? 
  • Would you prefer dashboards? 

In a data driven world get to know your data.  It's easy to just see massive tables with millions of rows and 10s of columns. Get to know it, meander about it. Learn what it shows you, learn the pitfalls and learn how you might want to manipulate it before beginning the process.

Nick Seaman, Business Administration Manager

How does data help in a pandemic market

In the last year with the pandemic affecting most businesses, Midwich had to use data to help make decisions about all sorts of things from talent resourcing to stock holdings.  

Midwich created a covid recovery sales tracker for the senior leadership team and all relevant parts of the business to view. 

It looked at how many orders they were taking on a daily basis, how many quotes were issued and how many sales were invoiced to monitor the trends that affect the sales cycle. Midwich used this data to review the changes in its sales cycle. 

Through Phocas Midwich has created a stock management favorite that all its purchasing and business management guys to access to provide insights into overstock and understock, to help them know when to initiate a purchase order for some stock. 

And the parting advice from Nick, "In a data-driven world get to know your data.  It's easy to just see massive tables with millions of rows and 10s of columns. Get to know it, meander about it. Learn what it shows you learn the pitfalls and learn how you might want to manipulate it before beginning the process."

inPhocas podcast

The inPhocas podcast showcases people from Phocas’ circle of friends. It's a forum to share ideas, celebrate success, understand hard work, consider data and learn some new fun facts. Don't miss our next episode.

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