Some BI Case Studies in Retail


Department Store Chain Speeds Reporting, Saves $600,000 a Year in Technology Costs: Florida-based Stein Mart, a large department store chain, wanted faster data reporting and new analysis capabilities. It switched from an IBM-based business intelligence system to a solution based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 built on HP technology platform. As a result, Stein Mart runs weekly sales reports in 3 hours instead of 14 and has reduced its monthly technology costs by U.S.$50,000. The company also has new tools for business analysis and forecasting.


Global Retailer Boosts Agility and Efficiency, Simplifies Data Access and Reporting: To improve agility and data transparency, clothing retailer Tema Mağazacılık deployed a report generation and distribution solution based on the Microsoft platform. Flexible and easy to use, the mission-critical solution improves efficiency, making it possible for employees to create reports with charts and graphics in minutes. It also speeds access to 5 terabytes of data, facilitates consistency, and increases control over information.


Food-Service Company Reduces Time for Custom Analysis from Weeks to Hours: A leading U.S. food-service distributor needed to react more quickly to changes in market and customer data stored in its ERP and CRM systems. The company was using third-party business intelligence software, but creating new analysis models required formal, time-consuming IT projects. To address this issue, the company deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. Business users can now perform custom data analysis using familiar Microsoft Excel tools, without the need for IT intervention. Custom analysis now takes hours instead of weeks or months. Faster and more flexible data analysis will help retain customers and obtain new business, and eliminating third-party BI software will save U.S.$75,000 a year. The company also expects to save $450,000 by using SQL Server 2008 R2 data and backup compression features and $250,000 by migrating its data warehouse from IBM DB2 to SQL Server 2008 R2.


Multichannel Retailer Enriches Data, Saves Money, and Decentralizes Decision Making: Studio Moderna sells products in 20 Central and Eastern European countries through multiple sales channels, including television, the Internet, telemarketing call centers, and retail outlets. The company’s complex operations require fast and decentralized decision making—which places heavy demands on its IT systems. In upgrading its data management software, Studio Moderna sought to better unify data from disparate sources. The company will implement Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, which works with Microsoft Excel 2010 for business intelligence and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for collaboration. The new software will consolidate data from multiple IT systems into “one version of the truth,” helping employees make decisions more quickly and reliably. The solution is cost-effective and will help employees do their jobs with less reliance on the IT department.


Online Retailer Boosts Productivity with Self-Service Business Intelligence Solution: wanted to provide self-service business intelligence capabilities to improve decision making and enhance the customer experience. In 2010, the company deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, Office Professional 2010, and SharePoint Server 2010. Now, customers can access the information they need and employees can use features such as Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel to boost productivity, raise service levels, and foster innovation.

State Owned Enterprise gains valuable insights through Business: New Zealand Post Retail has rolled out a cost effective Microsoft Business Intelligence solution – Business Intelligence, Hyper-V Server, Office, Visual Studio and Windows Vista Enterprise. “For the first time our business users would be able to get a single consistent view of business information presented to them in a clear and consistent format that would allow them to drill down into that information to gain further insights,” says John McDermott, Retail Technology Architect, NZ Post Retail.

Grocery Chain Achieves Goal: The Right People, at the Right Place, at the Right Time: For more than 50 years the Toronto-based Longo Brothers Fruit Markets (Longo’s), a premium grocery chain, has been celebrated for its high quality food and great service. As the company grew to 19 stores and 3,500 employees, it deployed a collection of workforce management solutions, including an Oracle-based HR application—but Longo’s needed a solution that was easier to use, easier to manage, and resulted in a lower total cost of ownership. Longo’s also needed to ensure that it could continue to use its Ceridian payroll system. To meet these goals, the company chose Dayforce, which runs on the Microsoft Application Platform including Microsoft SQL Server 2008. Moving to Dayforce has provided Longo’s with an improved workforce management solution, an enhanced user experience, and a better view into its business.


Portuguese Retailer Boosts Productivity, Makes Better Business Decisions: Sonae is a Portuguese company that operates food chains and retail stores. Sonae needed to improve its process for sourcing products in international markets. The company relied on formulas in spreadsheets to calculate costs, but the spreadsheets soon became difficult to manage. Maintaining version control, data consistency, and security was challenging. Sonae used Excel Services in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to create a product called PowerSheets, which takes advantage of centrally managed spreadsheets to help users access data and share information to react quickly to changing market conditions. Now, the IT department can ensure higher data accuracy. Efficiency among users has risen, and by improving the quality of its business intelligence, Sonae makes better purchasing decisions, which contributes to lower costs and higher profit margins.


Grocery Retailer Uses Business Intelligence to Strengthen Supplier Negotiations: Grocery retailer Waitrose needed a more efficient business intelligence solution to support buyers’ daily decisions. It designed a solution based on Microsoft® technologies, which pulls reporting and analysis into one place. Buyers can quickly access crucial trading figures and supplier data for use in negotiations, helping the retailer to boost sales and profits


Specialty Retailer Smoothes Operations for Improved Productivity and Future Profits: Jamba Juice—a leading provider of healthy, on-the-go food and beverages—viewed the economic slowdown as an opportunity to assess its operations and improve efficiencies. The company decided to invest in integrated technology tools that would help its stores run more efficiently and streamline communication. Therefore, Jamba Juice signed a Microsoft® Enterprise Client Access License Suite agreement, saving 50 percent in software costs, and deployed products such as Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 and Microsoft Office PerformancePoint® Server 2007. The company already has seen improvements in its productivity, and it expects to enhance its business intelligence capabilities for better decision making. Overall, Jamba Juice anticipates that its use of Microsoft products will result in increased profitability due to a better ability to serve customers and decreased operational costs.

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