MoreCorp Group undergoes reporting and data management transformation with EnterpriseWorx solution
MoreCorp is the parent company under which MoreGolf and MoreCycle are housed. The Group is better known for its key retail brands; The Pro Shop and Cyclelab. The Groups aim is to be a diversified specialist retailer of choice, serving several key categories where deep retail skills afford a clear and sustainable competitive position. MoreCorp continually seek to leverage their retail expertise into big box, category killer retail offerings which appeal to higher LSM customers. The organisation has aggressively expanded its retail competencies across numerous sectors in South Africa and evolved into a dynamic entity with stores both online and on the high street.
Thanks to its rapid growth and development, MoreCorp's reporting and data structure needed to shift from an older installation to one which would allow for faster access to information, deep analytical capabilities and rapidly refreshed management reporting dashboards. MoreCorp opted to work with EnterpriseWorx (EWX) to develop and implement an innovative QlikView solution with powerful functionality and long-term capability.
"Our legacy system was essentially a power-pivot table which operated off our database," explains Bryden Rose, Planning Manager, MoreCorp Group. "It served the needs of the business at the time of implementation as we were still in a fairly infant stage in our reporting requirements, however as the business and the environment in which the business operated in changed the business saw there was a need for an enhanced view of reporting and a faster solution which encapsulated a richer scope for analysis and business intelligence."
For MoreCorp, the old reporting system had a number of issues which impacted on performance. It had limitations in terms of speed of delivery, flexibility, security and most of all lacked user-friendliness for users at various levels in the organisation. Employees who did not have any Excel proficiency struggled to find the data and use it effectively and this impacted on data input and analysis across all levels of the business.
"MoreCorp's structure across merchandising, operations and sourcing departments meant that everybody was using the old tool," says Rose. "The head-office staff were proficient with Excel, but at a store level, where users were slightly less proficient on Excel, staff struggled. In addition, we needed to find new ways of handling data security, reporting and analysis."
Jonathan van der Berg, Business Intelligence Executive, EnterpriseWorx (EWX) adds: "The main challenge was the time taken for employees at MoreCorp to produce the required reports which were used to drive business decisions. This lengthy process resulted in the business not trusting in the accuracy of the data and this then impacted on the decisions which needed to be made."
MoreCorp worked with EWX as they had provided them with the initial solution five to six years previously and they knew they could rely on them to provide a seamless implementation which met specific needs.
"Our initial engagement with MoreCorp was around report optimisation and the development of specific additional reports using Microsoft Reporting Services," says Van der Berg. "This was then followed by the development of their data warehouse with the idea of building a new reporting solution on top of that. And the rest, as they say, is history."
EWX facilitated and guided the process of implementing QlikView throughout the business. The final product allowed for faster access to data, exception reporting dashboards and detailed analysis-style grids with the ability to change required selections as and when required. This meant that decision making within the business became a lot faster and more accurate.
"Our first run through of the project saw us trying to keep the Excel look and feel for the solution, running alongside the older system and using similar layouts and data," says Rose. "User acceptance was at an absolute zero and a year into the project we had to relook it. EWX had advised us that this is not the way QlikView was meant to be used and we had to recognise that what we had created was just not serving the business's needs."
The result was that the previous model had to be made redundant and EWX and Morecorp entered into an agile development process with EWX providing a solution that was tightly mapped back to MoreCorp's requirements. The project started on a blank canvas, was designed around exactly what MoreCorp wanted and evolved into an interactive and dynamic format which allowed for easy and insightful analysis.
"QlikView was used on top of the data warehouse we had originally developed due to its data discovery and analytical capabilities," says Van der Berg. "The initial approach was to develop the main set of reports which are being used to drive the business, and the additional phases have been used to create exception reports and dashboards. These allow the business to quickly determine what needs to be done to accurately drive their defined business strategies."
Due to the shift in direction during the project implementation, EWX put a developer on site at MoreCorp to allow for a more agile development process. This meant that both parties were immersed deeply in the project and they could actively review it every day, adapting it to shifting goal posts and introducing required tweaks on demand.
"The results were significantly better and the process far more agile with a developer on site," adds Rose. "I would say it was 300% more effective than working with someone off-site. We have also forged an even stronger relationship with EWX and now have a tool which really works for us as a business."
"While we don't have a like for like time frame comparison on the previous solution to compare, the gain can be quantified to a certain extent," says Rose. "At a high level estimate with the old model our department would spend 60% of their time building reports, 20% of the time analysing them and 20% of the time actioning our findings each week. Now, the time allocated to the building of reports has been vastly reduced with access to pre-set reports which are refreshed on a daily basis. Report building time has now been reduced to below 10%, analysis time increased to over 40% and actioning to over 50%. The quality of our output has improved immensely with time now attributed to the critical analysis of the business."
As the retail industry moves at an incredibly fast pace, the new reporting structure and the ability to access data and make accurate business decisions based on that data is invaluable. The old system meant that an inordinate amount of time was spent building reports thus forfeiting the ability to make the all-important marginal gains and mitigate missed opportunities. The same cannot be said for the new QlikView solution.
"From a business performance perspective we have had two of the best years ever in the group both from a margin and turnover perspective," says Rose. "The business could not ask for a better tool, together with EWX, we have developed an industry-leading solution that delivers a rich, in-depth and dynamic perspective on the business, its customers and its product performance."
The solution offers superb visibility, insight, analysis and capability, giving people across all levels of MoreCorp the tools they need to examine data and understand its value and impact. The result is that employee and organisation both have more control and are able to look at information on a daily basis. An essential benefit in light of the fact that retail is a constantly fluctuating environment with immense data sets making it vital that the business can dissect these, take out the most important learnings and use them effectively. For MoreCorp, QlikView does this perfectly.
"The solution has been a great success story for EWX as well as MoreCorp," concludes Van der Berg. "By taking away the time used to put these legacy reports together, users can now focus on business strategies and accurately drive business decision making to ensure success and growth over the long and short term."