Success Story

National Distributor Saves Time and Improves Performance

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The Challenge

A leading national distributor of organic and natural foods needed to keep a close eye on their frequently changing inventory rates and trends. As expected with perishable products, inventory cannot be on hand for extended periods of time. A constant view of out-of-stock items and replenishment requirements was a necessity. With six principal operating units, 12 warehouses and numerous buyers, a need for better organization and reporting features for inventory control and calculations existed.

With no Business Intelligence present on the web, reporting was coordinated through e-mails. Buyer-level reporting was available by region, but not as a total for the organization or by warehouse. After realizing the time wasted and problems caused by paper trails and collating inventory stock reports from each of their twelve warehouses separately, they determined that PerformancePoint Server Scorecards and Dashboards, on a SharePoint web platform, would create unlimited opportunities. Such a site would allow the top executives in each region to access, view and run company wide reports from any location. The efficiency of having the availability to create a compilation of total results on a Dashboard, rather than sifting through six paper reports, would allow management to dedicate their time to other important business management activities.

The Solution

An existing client of blum and the food distributor relayed pleasing comments of a prior job well done by blum. This stellar reputation, and blum’s Microsoft Certified Partner status, allowed blum the opportunity to exhibit their expertise and experience in developing customized SharePoint solutions. After viewing the impressive capabilities of SharePoint and PerformancePoint Server through reporting demonstrations, the client chose blum to begin an approximately six-month development project.

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The Benefits

An Enterprise Data Warehouse was created, allowing the client to perform trend analyses based on performance indicators that signify the fluctuations in inventory over time. Calculations now exist to determine “Days On Hand.” “Days On Hand” represents estimated days of inventory at a given warehouse, based upon recent shipment totals. This is a key management indicator for warehouse operations. In addition, the client is now able to look at results at a warehouse level, as well as carve out the numbers across each buyer to establish performance and purchasing trends. blum exceeded expectations by delivering a high volume Data Warehouse capable of providing levels of analysis far deeper than what currently existed. The final deployment of the website was dependent on the client obtaining proper licensing. blum provided instructions on how to operate the system upon completion and, as always, is available for questions and assistance.

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