Bidvest Waltons finds one version of the truth with Qlik
"Qlik has ensured we experience greater efficiency, more productivity and a faster turnaround time on report development. Financial decisions are now made based on one version of the truth," says Michael Glass, Special Projects Manager, Bidvest Waltons.
Bidvest Waltons delivers office supplies and automation, operating with a firm belief in the opportunity and power of education. It continuously seeks to play a valuable role in the South African economy, and that of the continent.
The company proudly supplies the tools that facilitate the efficiency required for business success today as well as the items required for all learning environments.
Bidvest Waltons stocks a wide range of products that support all needs in these environments, such as: stationery, office catering and hygiene, technology, office consumables, office furniture and Optiplan filing solutions.
Delivering a diverse range of quality offerings at competitive prices, Bidvest Waltons excels with exceptional service delivery. With a vision to become its customers' partner in success, it commits to delivering on its promises and providing the best solutions with focus, speed and efficiency.
Waltons experienced difficulty in ensuring the information at hand was standard, concrete and valuable. According to Glass: "People were looking at two different sets of data. There wasn't one version of the truth."
As a result, data analysis took long, and it comprised a difficult process. "There's a lot of data to be analysed, yet we weren't always looking at the same set of data. This came to the fore in reviews, when one set of outlines were presented, but this data differed from what the managers were looking at."
This disparate data made informed decision-making extremely difficult.
In 2015, Waltons began looking into data solutions. "By 2016, we had made a concrete decision to implement QlikView through SA Qlik," advises Glass. "We then began the process of investigating and scoping. The Qlik developer started working on the implementation in March/April 2017."
Although Waltons initially planned to manage the Qlik implementation in-house, it made the decision to bring in a Qlik consultant to manage the process. "There were some snags along the way, but, considering the size of the project, it went fairly smoothly," recalls Glass.
The business now has five active QlikView applications:
* Sales (updates once a day, very more detailed);
* Daily sales barometer (updates every 15 minutes);
* Debtors; and
When the solution was first implemented, 90% of the staff immediately jumped on board and began using it. "There was no change management required," confirms Glass. "It is easy to use and clearly beneficial."
Glass confirms the business now enjoys the benefits of viewing one version of the truth across the board. The platform also provided a solution to the inefficient data analysis process previously managed on Sequel and Excel.
"Everyone is looking at the same QlikView application and pages; there's no debate on data," he adds. With ease of use and a user-friendly interface, Waltons has found the tool to be quick, easy and intuitive.
Waltons' financial decision-making is now based on one reliable set of data. "It's also easier, faster and we can analyse huge mountains of data at speed. This allows us to make better decisions, and to perform better operationally."
As such, QlikView has helped Waltons achieve faster, more accurate, decision-making. "Qlik has ensured we experience greater efficiency, more productivity and a faster turnaround time on report development," states Glass.
While some reporting functions were taking three or four days to do, these are now automated on QlikView, giving the staff more time to focus on other critical tasks.
Glass offers the following advice to businesses considering implementing Qlik solutions:
* Scope it properly; know what you want; every page in QlikView must give you value.
* Have an idea of the things you want to achieve through Qlik.
* Go for it.
Waltons is currently evaluating Qlik Sense, which could be implemented in the future as a hybrid model, maintaining the current QlikView applications. "We're also considering expanding the use of Qlik into further operational areas, like Warehouse & Logistics. We're also interested in establishing an inventory application that measures KPIs within the warehouse," concludes Glass.
Customer name: Bidvest Waltons
Industry: Office supplies and automation
Function: Sales, inventory, debtors, finance
Geography: Johannesburg, South Africa (operating countrywide)
Challenges: Disparate data, leading to reporting inconsistencies and analysis frustration. With inconsistent data, employees were unsure of which data to trust and what to disregard.
Solution: After considering a variety of options, Waltons selected Qlik and implemented QlikView.
* One version of the truth;
* Reliable, consistent reporting that can be generated at the click of a button rather than taking days to deliver;
* Faster turnaround time on reporting;
* More strategic financial decision-making;
* Increased efficiency;
* Improved operational performance;
* Increased sales visibility and trackability; and
* Better planning and strategic direction.
Data sources: Sequel server, Excel spreadsheets
Three months to implement QlikView across the organisation, improving efficiency and productivity.
Sales barometer implemented: Updates every 15 minutes, supporting sales growth and ensuring targets are constantly monitored and met in a proactive way.