Global food provider improves sales analysis reporting with QlikView

Bakkavör is a leading provider of fresh prepared foods and produce, with operations in the UK, Continental Europe, America, Canada, Africa and Asia. Within the UK alone, it has more than twenty business units which all have a different enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and a different process for the analysis of sales data.

Put simply, at an operational business unit level Bakkavör had too many bespoke applications and manual processes and not enough simplicity and consistency. This was making it difficult and time consuming to provide data accurately with little time left for actual analysis. Reviewing its reporting options led Bakkavör to QlikView – a powerful analysis tool, capable of extracting and analysing data from any number of sources in seconds and supplier Informance, a QlikView Elite Solution Provider and manufacturing IT specialist.

Murray Shaw, systems manager for Bakkavör says: “We wanted to provide a standard approach to enable data to be gathered quickly to allow our business users more time to be spent on analysis and value-added activities. We needed to find something that addressed what we really needed from business intelligence and a solution that could be rolled out quickly.”

Initially Informance delivered a template for QlikView with rapid business intelligence/business discovery capabilities. At this stage it was agreed that there would be a small number of users from which a pilot and proof-of-concept could be built. This was conceived around Bakkavör’s Scottish- based business and concentrated on sales analysis. Significantly, Informance built and delivered this application in approximately one week.

With the pilot complete and deemed a success, attention turned to expanding the use of QlikView across Bakkavör’s UK-based business. QlikView has now replaced the Access-based legacy system used by the Bakkavör Spalding business, with promotional data as well as sales analysis included. This was more complicated than it sounds because of the number of permutations between customer and product categories. With the inclusion of historical data to offer greater insight, the volume of information QlikView had to process was vast. However, the software was up to the challenge.

Murray Shaw says: “Whilst starting off with a relatively small number of users, this has now grown to forty. Our next plan is to achieve the roll-out of the sales analysis QlikView application to at least ten more businesses and increaser the user numbers to over a hundred before the end of 2012”.

QlikView is also being used for other analysis needs within Bakkavör. These include overhead analysis, material variance alongside other key performance indicator (KPI) business reporting areas. When manufacturing fresh food products operational efficiencies and information to make decisions are extremely important. The business discovery insights that QlikView offers are expected to prove as useful in these areas as anywhere else. Also, QlikView is incredibly quick to install with Murray Shaw stating: “QlikView can be installed using a template approach rapidly, which is perfect for our business needs”.

Beyond this, Bakkavör identified three key benefits and Kirsty Phillips, systems accountant for Bakkavör says: “Firstly, QlikView has made the creation of weekly reporting data much quicker, easier and more flexible. We estimate the time savings in this area could be as great as 50% which allows us to spend more time on analysis rather than data collation and report creation. Kirsty continues: “Secondly, accurate decisions can be made more quickly, because all the data is available within a day – or more often if required – from one source. Thirdly, QlikView’s introduction has improved accountability and consistency within Bakkavör by making information available to all users instantly”.