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Case Study: Food Company

Food and Beverage
Company Type:
Food Manufacturer
Company Size:
Private ($100M-500M)
Job Functions:
BI Director
BI Strategy & Planning, BI Architecture & Roadmap, BI Requirements Analysis, Custom Application Development

Challenge: How to tell if a major investment to improve the supply chain actually yielded the business benefits for which it was undertaken. Also, how to initiate a business intelligence (BI) program and deliver value from it.

Food Products of Choice

Our client is a privately-held mid-market manufacturer of baking mixes sold to consumers through a retail channel and to restaurants and institutional dining through a foodservice channel.  It also makes coatings used as an ingredient by other food manufacturers.  The company’s brands include a number of popular pancake, cider, bread and muffin mixes.

Getting Started with Business Intelligence

The company was poised to begin a major supply chain improvement initiative that included:

  • Constructing a new large distribution center to replace use of several regional public warehouses
  • Restructuring its distribution network to hold inventory at fewer locations – a trade-off between transportation cost and inventory carrying cost – while maintaining customer service levels
  • Upgrading the software tools used for sales forecasting, inventory management, and production scheduling
  • Accomplishing these changes around a very seasonal business pattern

Its executives realized that the company did not have the reporting and analysis capability to effectively compare “after” supply chain and customer service performance with “before” performance to determine whether the supply chain improvement initiative actually delivered its intended business value and return on investment. 

Although the company had some traditional reporting from its applications systems, it had no data warehousing (DW) or business intelligence (BI) infrastructure or capability.

Business Intelligence Architecture, Tools and Strategy/Roadmap

The company selected DecisionPath for its combination of BI/DW expertise, food industry background, and supply chain management experience.  Working with its BI director, DecisionPath designed a data architecture to provide the foundation for their BI efforts, developed a data acquisition strategy to extract data from its main enterprise application system, helped it select a “BI stack” of software components that leveraged its existing investment and expertise with Microsoft SQL Server, and created a BI roadmap that incorporated dependencies from the various projects of the supply chain improvement initiative and sequenced a series of subject area-focused BI projects.  DecisionPath performed the design work for the company’s first BI development project, when it chose to develop internally with its own resources.

The end result:

The company had a plan for incrementally building its BI capabilities to support the larger enterprise-wide supply chain improvement initiative.

Created by Matrix Group International, Inc. ®