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Playing with IT

A leading Toy producer with the tech interventions from Nihilent upped its overall operating efficiencies and created a proactive BI backbone.

THE ENTERPRISE

A leading provider of children’s toys and other entertainment products with stores across the UK and Ireland. In the last few years, the company has also grown aggressively by way of inorganic initiatives that expanded its footprints across Europe.

THE BUSINESS CHALLENGES & IT ALIGNMENT

Running an enterprise of this size and scale calls for a seamless blend of people, process and technology coming in unison to create products that have good market uptake. The company was facing multiple challenges, the significant ones were:

  • Managing and analyzing huge volumes of Point of Sale (PoS) transactional data for dashboard reporting.
  • Need to provide role based pre-configured dashboards with superior performance.
  • Ability to perform deep-dive data analysis to take prompt corrective actions and decisions e.g. buying, price changes, margin management etc.
  • Providing management with an accurate and detailed snapshot of sales performance across locations (regions, stores), and selling channels (stores, online) with the ability to drill down to item level.
  • Identifying improving and declining stores and channels.
  • Helping department buyers and merchandisers to identify moving and non-moving products.
  • Need for responsive dashboards that can be rendered on mobile devices as well as laptops.

Other challenges the customer faced related to:

  • Voluminous data with tables in excess of 950 million records.
  • Manual effort to combine several XL sheets to generate the requisite information.
  • Several reports, running into thousands of pages, were required to be printed regularly necessitating provisioning of printers, printer room, and dedicated personnel resulting in costs and delays.
  • Buyers had to carry thousands of pages of printed sheets to select new products for new product introduction.

THE SOLUTION WALKTHROUGH

After taking a through due diligence of the existing pain areas, Nihilent reviewed, updated and optimized the customer’s entire information systems setup for delivering MIS dashboard reporting. Leveraging its experience in SAP HANA, the team helped the customer in not only upgrading to the latest version, but also remodeled their data structures, thereby improving query performance.

Nihilent enabled the following processes:

  • Analyzing and documenting tactical and strategic KPIs for dashboard design.
  • Providing a roadmap design for future dashboards to include additional data elements like stocks and margins.
  • Redesigning dashboards based on user roles and requirements.
  • Redesigning the customer’s data models comprising analytical views, calculation views and attribute views.
  • Multi-level partitioning: Data filtering – helped in analysis of huge volumes of unstructured data.
  • Delivering dashboards versions for mobile devices and tablets.

THE POST DEPLOYMENT BENEFITS

Post the solutions in place, the customer accrued the following benefits:

  • Enabled smarter decision making through real time analysis and reporting based on end user role (buyer, merchandiser, and C level executives)
  • Over 100x faster reporting on over 900 million records in as less as 5 – 7 seconds.
  • Enabled quicker business assessment through visibility of key sales KPI/metrics at real time.
  • Increased confidence due to the ability to demand more complex reports on voluminous data, introducing massive efficiency and faster reaction time to competition.
  • Successfully deployed MI Dashboards and reports for business performance monitoring and decision making.
  • Handled 1 billion records on single table.
  • Reports available on the go – on Mobile devices.
  • Near real-time view of business performance through critical KPIs.
  • Built BI strategy to address the current and future business requirement by leveraging HANA system.