Retail & Wholesale

5 Ways to Make Better Merchandising Decisions

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As any retailer with multiple locations and product lines knows

sales transaction data stacks up incredibly fast. Having a modern business intelligence (BI) environment that can keep pace with these constantly changing information inputs is critical, especially for large-scale organizations.

One of the top companies in the clothing retail space engaged with Ironside to get their BI and information management assets on track with their current volume of business and give them deeper visibility into their products and locations.

Customer Case Study

Client Information

Industry: Retail

Size: 50000-100000 employees; >$1 billion in revenue

Areas of Engagement: Business Intelligence, Information Management

The Challenge.

The client had a well-established but aging and complex BI platform with complicated security rules and a dual security model requiring the use of custom sign-on scripts. This environment was hampering their ability to effectively carry out their analytics goals. The end of life of their BI platform version prompted them to seek help from Ironside with upgrading their system, migrating key assets, and setting up a more modern information management solution that would let them better leverage the wealth of data to which they had access. The client also wished to create some centralized reports that would serve as one-stop shops for merchandise planning information.

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The Journey.

The Ironside consultants working with the client started the engagement by developing reports to measure the effectiveness of their existing implementation and initiatives. Based on these discovery efforts, they formed a plan for a full-scale data extraction and consolidation that would reconcile the client’s Sterling Commerce reports and information with their wider enterprise BI platform. With this plan in place, the Ironside team then defined which source data fields would be required for reporting and mapped those fields to tables in the client’s enterprise data warehouse. They then created an ETL job design to load the desired data into the data warehouse and an optimized metadata model to support the client’s self-service reporting needs.

Ironside also started work on the client’s second major initiative: redesigning their merchandise planning system. This entailed building out a new data mart and modeling off the newly created data source with dynamic cubes to support the large data volumes being queried. The consultants then created reports on those cubes to support the planning process. This project is still ongoing with further health checks and report deliveries scheduled to execute in 2015.

The Results.

The new information management and BI reporting processes that Ironside established have made a huge difference for the client in terms of modernizing their analytics infrastructure and putting their mission critical information into accessible formats. As Ironside resources continue to build the environment, these kinds of advantages are only becoming more apparent

Ironside’s information management and BI  improvements provided the following major benefits to the client:

  • Provided an array of more advanced functionality and improves user experience through upgrade activities.

  • Brought together previously siloed data sources to facilitate easy self-service reporting.

  • Designed a sophisticated approach to merchandise planning using modern data mart and dynamic cube technologies that move at the speed of the client’s business and are ready for further expansion.

  • Practiced continual discovery and evaluation activities in the client’s environment to uncover and recommend previously unanticipated enhancements, synergies, and optimizations.

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