The company’s ultimate goal was to increase its teams’ efficiency but, in order to do so, they had to equip them with proper tools to not only analyze data but also act on it.
As with most retailers of considerable size, SPAR collected massive amounts of data regarding their operation but accessing and crossing it wasn’t always an easy task.
The retail sector can be ruthless to those unable to identify and grab opportunities, and SPAR had a huge need to analyze pretty much everything from suppliers to warehouses, sellers, marketing, finance, operations, etc.
“The cost of manually barcode-scanning bag after bag of incoming and outgoing linen was simply prohibitive.” Until early 2014, that is—at which point Berendsen executives began to mull the cost-effectiveness of low-cost passive UHF RFID technology, in the form of tags sewn onto higher value items such as sheets and bath towels.
And technical trials, explains Macmillan, quickly showed not only that RFID technology was indeed a cost-effective proposition, but also a practical one as well.
There is only one chance to make a great first impression so, after a brief Power Point presentation, we put words into action and took the liberty to connect a few of SPAR’s databases and extract some data previously deemed unreachable.
SPAR wanted to build a Reporting and Analytics (RAP) platform that could enable its end-users to be decision makers.
Yet the underlying challenge was a more subtle one, explains Berendsen’s IT director Duncan Macmillan—and one that tended to rule out conventional approaches such as barcoding.
“At root, these are low-value, low volume items, which significantly impacts the cost-benefit equation,” he points out.
Dev Scope and Microsoft® Power BI™ have become an integral part of the management team at SPAR, and the company stopped depending on a SQL manager to extract data from queries.
With the right data science tools, you can gain powerful insight out of the ever-growing pools of corporate data.