Swiss Farms, Broomall, Pa., prides itself on being a fast, easy neighborhood drive-thru grocery and dairy service delivering the freshest products at a fair price. After 45 years in business, the company had customer convenience down to an art form. With 13 stores already humming in Southeastern Pennsylvania and more on the way, Swiss Farms relies on TARGIT Decision Suite to deliver data across the organization to ensure freshness, convenience and quality service.
Before TARGIT Chris Gray, IT director at Swiss Farms, implemented Microsoft AX ERP for Retail, but found the platform had limited reporting and analysis tools. Gray also had experience with SAP Crystal Reports, but developing new reports was a tedious, time-consuming task.
It was time for a new way to look at business intelligence and analytics. After shopping around for the right solution, it was TARGIT Decision Suite’s ease-of-use, price point and strong integration with Dynamics AX that won out.
However, during the initial implementation, the data warehouse retail cube was developed by a third-party partner and immediately hit some snags.
“TARGIT consulting stepped in and resolved the issues we were having and the experience got immediately better,” says Gray. “I really can’t say enough good things about TARGIT consulting.”
But, TARGIT’s support doesn’t stop at software sales and implementation. In order to get the most out of any software investment, the Boston-based developer of supply chain solutions software starts with a solid basis of understanding and continues to pick up on tips and tricks as the journey progresses. That’s why TARGIT offers a variety of different classes for users of all skill levels.
“As for the learning curve, thanks to the solid training provided through TARGIT University, it was relatively small for me,” says Gray. “I didn’t have much trouble at all hitting the ground running.”
Throughout Swiss Farms, TARGIT adoption has been positive.
“Once [store managers] get a good immersion into the product, they figure out what they are doing. Most of the people in our organization are able to pick it up after a quick lesson,” Gray adds.
Fostering high software adoption
Company-wide adoption was a priority for Swiss Farms from the get go. During the early implementation phase, Gray sat down with employees and asked them specifically what they needed in a business intelligence (BI) solution. From those discussions, Gray and the BI team built customized dashboards and analyses that gave each department what they were looking for.
“We always involve the end users in the process,” says Gray. “BI is relevant to individual roles and locations. Data that looks meaningful to one store may not for another. We don’t want to clog up dashboards with every stores’ information that might not be relevant to all. Keeping the users in mind when creating dashboards and analyses helps people better make sense of the data in front of them.”
Mapping out the BI users in an organization is an important step in the journey. TARGIT identifies four distinct BI user personas.
Additionally, TARGIT Decision Suite’s various client types let Swiss Farms employees consume their data when and where they need it. TARGIT Decision Suite power users work most in the desktop client, while most employees—from the CEO to the assistant stores managers and everyone in between—tap into TARGIT’s web client to quickly and conveniently access reports, analyses and dashboards.
And with TARGIT Decision Suite, it’s not necessary to create a new report or analyses for every user. Just set it and forget it and the system will automatically generate reports and analyses with information relevant only to that particular user. TARGIT Decision Suite’s secure data governance and access controls ensure every employee only has access to the data they are meant to see.
Harnessing the power of big data
Now, years into their BI journey, Swiss Farms attributes TARGIT Decision Suite for revealing a greater level of insight into the business than ever before. Today, the company uses TARGIT Decision Suite to precisely track retail, purchasing procurement and trucking logistics from their dairy fleet.
Every day a report is electronically sent to the Swiss Farms’ dairy with order specifications, so the dairy can quickly and accurately pull stack counts for each truck depending on quantities and the location of the store receiving the order. On the other end, each individual store uses the reports to check the accuracy of every delivery. This allows Swiss Farms to track each product from dairy farm to customers’ hands.
Swiss Farms is also taking advantage of harnessing data stored outside of the data warehouse to gain a more comprehensive view of business with TARGIT Data Service. For years Swiss Farms had valuable data stored in disparate spreadsheets on desktops that sat largely unused. Employees now easily pull in data from Excel and other flat files, SQL and weather data and mash it up with data from the data warehouse with the click of the mouse to create reports on the fly.
Swiss Farms is also currently experimenting with analytics that give greater insight into customer service data. When customers call or submit website messages with complaints or compliments, employees load those into a spreadsheet and TARGIT Data Service creates analyses in minutes on top of data from existing in-memory cubes.
They’re even harnessing Twitter data, and have plans to incorporate Facebook data from customers, all of which they will mash up with internal customer call center data to gain a more comprehensive understanding of overall customer satisfaction. With the right information at hand, Swiss Farms can create a better customer experience.
Looking toward the future
Gray says he looks forward to diving even deeper into TARGIT Data Service in the future. Particularly, he plans on taking advantage of the many big data connections, such as Quandl, to easily use data from the world around them and understand how it affects the business.
Currently, Swiss Farms is updating their TARGIT software to the newest Decision Suite 2015 version. Gray is happy to report the upgrade process is a simple one.
“Going from one major version to the next is a 20-minute job,” he says. “That’s a nice little perk.”
Overall, Swiss Farms is incredibly happy with their TARGIT experience. As the company continues to grow, they know TARGIT will scale with them, taking their business to the next level.