• // Business Intelligence
  • // Data Warehousing
  • // Business Analytics

Case Study: Food Company

Food and Beverage
Company Type:
Food Manufacturer
Company Size:
Job Functions:
CIO and other C-Level Executives
Assessment and Gap Analysis, Requirement & Portfolio Planning, Information Architecture

Challenge: How to upgrade and get more business value from an outdated risk-prone data warehousing and business intelligence infrastructure while also responding to growing business unit demand for better information and performance management tools.

Brands you know. Brands you love

Our client is a company of classic brands including powdered baking mixes, canned meats, sauces, frozen dinners, and frozen vegetables. Their major brands hold leading market positions in their respective retail categories and enjoy high consumer awareness – collectively penetrating four our of every five US households. With revenues of $3 billion, the company is a strong competitor among mid-cap food and CPG companies.

Conquering Complexity – A Core BI Strategy

The company faced many of the same challenges its competitors in food/CPG did. These challenges centered mainly around operating complexity and visibility. It had hundreds of products moving through a over a dozen channels to tens of thousands of retail and foodservice locations across the U.S. and Canada. Like most food/CPG companies, the company had an incomplete view of retail-level demand for its products, which varies by time of year and geographic region.

The company realized that better access to and use of data could allow for greater control over this complexity, and provide an opportunity to outperform their competition. The company recognized the need for better business information and analytical tools – (BI in short) – so that its management team could be more agile in tracking key performance indicators, drilling down to the root causes of unfavorable situations, predicting the business results of its options, and taking corrective action.

While the existing data warehouse had served the sales function well, the infrastructure was outdated, risk-prone, and not designed to deliver the kind of business information and analytics needed by operations, finance, and other parts of the company.  Essentially, they realized that by evolving their BI program – aligning the right strategy with the right infrastructure –  they could improve enterprise-wide performance. At the same time, there was a strong desire among the management team to respond to the competition and proactively drive business performance, resulting in the need for better tools.  Lacking such tools, managers are partially-handcuffed in their ability to perform such tasks as:

  • rapidly responding to unfavorable sales trends
  • efficiently directing trade spending to maximize promotional effectiveness
  • correcting plant productivity and product cost variances
  • monitoring leading indicators of business performance
  • optimizing production plans, inventory and customer service
  • collaborating with retailers and suppliers to reduce supply chain costs

BI Vision and Strategy – Tools for Managing a Complex Business

In order to evolve their BI program, executives realized they needed help in planning an effective BI and BPM strategy as well as designing the technical architecture that would yield the best results. The company selected DecisionPath for its combination of food industry experience, BI thought leadership, and practical experience working with companies in a wide range of industries to develop customized BI strategies. 

Using the BI Pathway Method, DecisionPath partnered with the company’s CIO and its BI Director to engage business executives, directors, managers, and analysts across the company’s business functions to create an enterprise BI Vision and Strategy.  This BI Vision and Strategy established a systematic plan for making immediate technical improvements to the existing data warehousing and BI infrastructure – thereby reducing performance problems and improving the usefulness of existing BI applications used by front-line sales teams and sales managers to drive revenues and evaluate the effectiveness of trade spending. 

The BI Vision and Strategy also established the relative priorities for investments in customized BI applications and is the basis for an Enterprise BI Roadmap that directs and synchronizes the series of projects through which the company’s BI Vision and Strategy will be realized.  Lastly, the company and DecisionPath worked together to identify strengths and gaps in their readiness to deliver and leverage the BI applications that comprise its enterprise BI portfolio. 

As a result of this engagement, the company has a clearly articulated strategy for leveraging BI and a low-risk, practical plan for delivering BI applications that will enable its Management Team to conquer complexity and achieve its business objectives for revenue growth, operational excellence/productivity, brand equity, distribution, pricing power, profits, and free cash flow.

A Leap Forward for BI:

With a comprehensive BI Vision and Strategy, built specifically to address the opportunities and challenges in its industry, the company is ready to take the next step in the maturity of it’s BI program.  Executing on this strategy, the management team will be able to more quickly respond to the competition and proactively drive business performance.

Created by Matrix Group International, Inc. ®