Leading UK supplier of vehicle lighting and auto electrical products deploys Phocas to improve access and usage of business data while growing sales and margins
Ring Automotive Ltd is a long-established (1974) manufacturer of automotive aftermarket products with 152 employees. The company, which currently also has a Paris office, is actively working to become a significant player across the entire European market and to reduce its dependence on its core auto bulbs business by widening its product appeal.
Ring Automotive recently implemented Phocas as their business intelligence provider and we sat down with IT Manager, Paul Whittaker to get his thoughts on the impact of Phocas since the implementation.
|HQ Location||Leeds, England|
|ERP System||Infor Aurora|
Need for more intuitive BI
Before opting for Phocas, Ring Auto built in-house pivot tables, which the company used for the past 10 years.
The pivot tables were somewhat limited in scope, and the business has since outgrown them. A search for Business Intelligence started with a need to closely monitor the company’s net margins and net profits. The issue of rebates also figured largely in its consideration.
One of Ring Auto’s sister companies had tried Qlikview BI, but because of its salesforce broad skillset, they needed a BI tool that was easier to use and more efficient. With the salesforce targeted to use the BI tool to increase sales and margins, it’s important that everyone can and will use it.
“Never in 11 years of IT projects at Ring Auto have we had such positive feedback as we’ve had about Phocas,” said Paul Whittaker, IT manager for Ring Automotive.
Smooth and quick implementation
The implementation of Phocas was smooth and straightforward.
Paul complimented the Phocas team for helping Ring Auto deploy a useable sales database within two weeks, and shortly thereafter, a rebates database.
Relevant data for all
Phocas is now used across the entire business.
Departments such as Internal & External Sales, International Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, New Product Development, and Finance can use Phocas to access the data and analytics that is relevant to their parts of operations.
The Ring Executive Board also has access to Phocas Dashboards, which provide them a clear and visual picture of the company’s overall performance.
“Never in 11 years of IT projects at Ring Auto have we had such positive feedback about a piece of software as we’ve had about Phocas. It’s just so easy to use and everyone can see how quickly they can access the info they need!”
“One of our reps was using Phocas in real time in front of a customer,” said Paul. “The customer saw immediately that he was just below another rebate break band, so he straight away upped his order by £2,000 to take him into that next rebate level. We wouldn’t have had that instant win without easy access to rebate data in Phocas!”
“There are many examples where we have recognized that sales are dropping off year-over-year by product category. With that information, we increase sales and marketing efforts for those products, which has brought in extra orders for us.”
Improved customer service
Paul also cites the Customer Services Team, which uses Phocas to monitor product refund requests for items that are beyond their warranty period.
“Because we’re able to drill down to the transactional enquiry level in Phocas, we can see item sales that are over 12-months old. Individually, that may be small stuff, but it really adds up over time!”
Ring Auto’s Customer Service also finds Phocas particularly useful in directing customer product enquiries to their nearest geographical stockist based on postal codes.
Simple, proven software
What Phocas features does Paul like the most?
“The ability to save and share favourite searches and to create, and share dashboards is great,” he said. “But really, the biggest feature is Phocas’ simplicity. It’s so easy to use! Phocas is automotive industry-proven, and the support you receive from Phocas is excellent!”