A solution for all seasons
How Coeo transformed Business Intelligence for a major fashion retailer that has made them more agile, proactive and self-sufficient so they can concentrate on the future of the business rather than manual data crunching.
Aggregate data across multiple sources into intelligent, dynamic platform with ability to drill-down at a granular level
Create proactive alerts to smooth out spikes in the stock ordering process
Build in-house BI knowledge and capability
The ability to generate reliable, highly advanced sales reports in minutes
- SQL Server Database Engine
- SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)
- SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS
A Dedicated Engineer deployed into Boden for a number of days each month, to assist with strategic planning and technical roadmap Readiness training and mentoring for the Boden team to ensure project success and knowledge transfer for the development team.
- Reporting times reduced from hours to minutes
- Circa five days saved each month in analyst time
- Reports that render perfectly – from desktop to mobile devices
- From zero in-house BI experience to dedicated BI capability within Boden
Learning & understanding
Since launching over 20 years ago, Boden has become a firmly established favourite brand which now exports to the USA and the rest of Europe through its online and catalogue businesses and ships over 12,500 orders a day from its Leicester warehouse.
With a business of this size, Business Intelligence is key to their success. Their search for Enterprise-Class BI began with the realisation that manually crunching numbers to analyse critical data wasn’t going to carry the business forward.
Alex Ives, Business Analyst at Boden, explains: “We have a variety of systems that deal with all aspects of the order process – from what’s in stock at our warehouses to supplier and customer financials. Aggregating this data into Excel reports was slow and laborious. With the rate at which we do business continually changing, we realised we had to change – we needed data insights in an instant.”
“The speed with which we’re now able to access and analyse our data has been transformational. We can now spend our time thinking about new ways to assist the business rather than manually crunching data.” Alex Ives, Business Analyst at Boden.
As an already trusted partner working with Boden to provide SQL Server Remote DBA and Managed Services, it was natural for them to ask us what our approach to bringing BI to the company would be.
Matt Simpson, Principal BI Consultant at Coeo, was delighted at the opportunity to explain how we would approach this with Boden. “As a business we’re passionate about knowledge transfer. We learn so much from all of our customers that we want to share best practice wherever possible. That’s why we proposed a solution where we would architect and implement the SQL BI environment Boden needed and at the same time coach their in-house team to give them the skills and confidence to manage the solutions themselves.”
This was exactly the right approach for Boden as Alex explains: “ We’re a confident team and enjoy being able to manage our own environments so Coeo’s solution gave us the perfect balance of creating a BI platform that worked whilst developing our capability to build future functionality ourselves.”
Like all fashion retailers, Boden’s business is heavily influenced by seasonality and being able to keep one step ahead on stock and sales (and react if the season isn’t turning out as expected) is vital.
“One thing that was really important to us working with Boden,” says Matt, “was to make sure the BI solutions supported how Boden runs its business. We worked closely with their financial analysts, business sponsors and IT teams to take into account seasonality and stock availability and build in functionality that would deliver powerful and relevant data insights across stock, warehousing and sales – whatever the weather.”
Nowhere was this more evident than in the design of the data warehouse. Historically the ability to drill down on data was lost as information from each of Boden’s order and supply chain systems was put into partitioned Excel reports. By standardising product dimensions, introducing commonality of language and giving each data point context, the teams at Boden can now pull reports that are meaningful and deliver real value to the business.
“We’d always had challenges tying data together but now we can make datainformed business decisions at a speed that wasn’t possible before. says Alex. ” “ The fact that Coeo has delivered us capability that includes things like detailed sales reporting at 6am has made us incredibly proactive and agile.”
At the same time as creating ” this BI solution, we put together a BI Boot Camp and mentoring programme designed to establish a solid foundation of BI capability within their DBA and development teams.
“ We’re proud that our down to earth attitude extends right across the business, so when we partnered with Coeo we were excited to work with an organisation that shared our values and spoke our language. They’ve brought us business intelligence with common sense.”
- Alex Ives, Business Analyst at Boden
Time To Think
“This is a tremendous step forward for the business,” says Paul O’Leary, Boden’s Finance Director.
“The depth of information available first thing in the morning provides us with the tools to understand and react to trading patterns immediately. This will certainly lead to improved decision making and ultimately better stock management.”
This speed to business decision making has been one of the most tangible benefits that the SQL Server BI solution has returned to the business so far as Alex explains: “It’s an incredible gift back to the business and the ability to query data now means that we know precisely where any KPI challenges are coming from – so we can focus on solutions rather than trying to establish the cause of the problem.”
Alongside the business benefits that Boden are enjoying, our approach to partnership and sharing our RETAIL CASE STUDY knowledge is something that has made this project such a success.
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