Award Winning US Consumer Brand adopts Power ON for more visibility into the budget for improved decision making and planning
California Olive Ranch pioneered new ways of cultivating and harvesting olives in California to make the highest quality extra virgin olive oil at affordable prices by blending tradition with innovation.
With Microsoft Navision as their ERP system of record and Microsoft Power BI in-house, the IT team continues this spirit of innovation to support sales and the business with improved Planning and Forecasting from Power ON BI.
The California Olive Ranch relies on accurate and timely data for retail trade plans that drive the bottom line for the business. Incomplete records for trade spending and a disconnected sales forecasting process made it difficult to budget. It was a huge open loop that needed to be closed.
Using a 3rd party tool, multiple spreadsheets, and a custom-built application, they were able to capture what happened, but they could not capture what the sales team needed to plan for in retail trade such as sales volumes, promotions, estimated costs, or any commentary. This led to challenges on the production side of the business and carrying more inventory than was needed.
A small IT team and an antiquated method of planning led to too much overtime and high employee turnover. IT needed to work every weekend with broken and cumbersome processes in place. Poor processes led to a credibility issue for IT within the company and low employee morale within the group.
They had to come up with a better way to plan their retail trade models, have a new method to produce forecasts and a single place for one source of truth.
- Lack of control in trade forecasting
- Hypothetical inputs were driving forecasts
- Disconnected planning and forecast system
- Production Team struggled translating Sales forecasts to production
- Carried too much inventory
- Way too many desktop spreadsheets
- 3-4 days a month to merge budget vs actual reports
The answer was in their existing Business Intelligence platform, Microsoft Power BI. By extending the capabilities of Power BI with Power ON, they developed a new method of forecasting that allowed users to remain in familiar tools like Excel and Power Pivot.
Power ON improved Retail Trade Planning and Forecasting by bringing collaboration and insight into the process with easy data entry, commentary and write-back to the underlying database.
The sales team are now able to enter their forecasts directly into the Power ON? system. Finance now has real-time insight into the sales forecast to a much greater detail rather than broad percentages, such as what items will be on promotion, what discount will be offered for each item, and how long the discount will be offered for, and with the ability to easily modify when needed.
The new process with Power ON pushed the responsibility to the people who are actually responsible for making the plan, instead of everything having to filter through one person.
Before Power ON, I was easily working 60 hours a week. Every weekend, for a full year. Today, I might work just one weekend a month! ~ Director of Information Technology
The functional groups within California Olive Ranch that bring olive oil to our tables: the farm team, the mill, the bottling team, and sales, now all have access to easy data collection, real-time commentary and what-if analysis to produce more accurate budgets and forecasts.
California Olive Ranch now has much better visibility into their budget. When they look at the budget versus actuals, people believe it, because there is now only one source of truth, which was a huge hurdle to overcome. Power ON takes a subjective process and makes it objective – working with real numbers, not guesses or hypothetical data.
Analysts save 3-4 days a month with Power ON’s easy to set up automated reports which pull data users have collected and merges with the data from their ERP system. Reliably delivering results through Power BI to the decision makers and executives quicker so they are better informed with real-time insights for critical decision making.
Power ON elevated the image of IT with Finance, Production, Sales, and Leadership teams across the company, eliminating siloes, creating stronger partnerships, and a more collaborative environment to drive improvements.
- Forecasting from annually to quarterly
- Greater visibility into the budget
- Confidence in numbers with one source of truth
- Able to involve more users in Forecasting process
- Dynamic collaboration between Finance and business users
Power ON is another tool in our arsenal that helps us develop more accurate plans and forecasts with deeper detail.
It enables us to allocate our time, effort, and resources more strategically.