Replace Reports with a Standard Data Utilisation Environment
Business Intelligence for Everyone
Dole is a multinational agricultural corporation, and the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. It entered Japan in 1965, and serves the market with fresh produce, as well as longer life products such as canned fruits, jellies and desserts such as dried fruits.
The company has a strong commitment to quality, and an emphasis on the steady execution of its sales plans. As Masaru Oizumi, manager of IT planning and business applications comments: "Because we handle a large amount of fruits where freshness is important, we do not keep excessive inventory and aim to sell out within a set period. That's important."
In order to support this objective, the Business Applications team is focused on providing data that can accurately and quickly show sales performance. To underpin their Business Intelligence strategy, the team turned to Dr Sum.
Prior to implementing Dr Sum, core system data was managed using Excel and a series of standard reports for each department. These reports combined items such as product category, customer and earn and was generated manually each time using macros, with reports generated on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. As a result, more than 370 individual reports were being produced by the department.
This placed a huge burden on the team. For example, weekly routine reports needed to be prepared and distributed to all sales departments every Monday for the regular meeting at 10am. With so much manual effort involved, the team struggled to keep up.
Implementing Dr Sum allowed the team to create an environment of timely and flexible data utilization for all employees in the field, while substantially reducing the heavy load involved in report creation.
Open Data, Without Restrictions
One of the key principles behind the adoption of Dr Sum was the idea that data could be opened up across the company without predefining specific views for different departments. Rather than making data access overly restrictive, the team built an environment where there was data on sales and budgets for all categories of products, all areas, and all customers. Users could aggregate data from any perspective simply by selecting a menu.
As everyone has a different perspective on what they want to see, it was impossible for the IT department to create enough custom reports to satisfy everyone. The company realised that is was better to open the data entirely to the employees and leave it up to them to decide how they wanted to slice and dice the results.
Nearly 200 Employees Using Self-Service BI
As of October 2016, nearly 200 employees across all departments were using Dr Sum EA, with over 80% of data requests being handled by end users entirely within Dr Sum. Those requests would previously have required the IT department to generate the report, but now these were being handled by the users themselves.
In this way, Dr Sum has taken root in the company and is being used as an indispensable tool for business.
"At the beginning of the project we held a brief briefing session in-house, but after that, we received almost no questions, and each person in charge started using it as they wished. Even people who have no knowledge of Business Intelligence did not get confused about the operation. This ease of use is probably the true value of Dr Sum EA", says Mr. Oizumi.