Hampered by manual reporting processes, in the past Cromology often lacked timely data to effectively inform decision-making. After working with CrossPoint 365 to implement Jet Analytics, the business has seen dramatic improvements.
- Easy analysis that extends past native enterprise resource planning (ERP) reporting tools.
- 1-2 days saved per week on reporting.
- Data oversight enables efficient collaboration between business units.
- Increased Sales success due to deeper data insights on market trends.
- Training from CrossPoint empowered staff to conduct their own analysis, reducing load on IT.
- Data culture and cleanliness has been greatly improved with data transparency.
Legacy Is a Double-edged Sword for Long Standing Paint Brands
In Spain, many paint companies are strong, multi-generational family businesses that are clinging to dated business practices and missing opportunities lying dormant in their data. “It’s a mature industry in Spain, where many organizations are protective of their data. We decided to break from the pack and use our data to gain competitive advantage,” said Bert Van Soest, BI manager at Cromology.
Recent advances in technology, growing regulatory pressure, and rising consumer expectations have drastically increased the complexity of running a modern paint manufacturing business. The manual data processes that worked for the last century are not efficient enough to effectively manage today’s multiple data flows from across the business.
Cromology Holds onto Legacy While Embracing Modern Data Technology
With history stretching back over 270 years, Cromology is one of the biggest European players in the decorative painting industry. It has five research laboratories, nine production sites, seven logistics platforms and more than 380 integrated Points of Sale and e-shops spread across the country.
In the past, Cromology was facing many of the issues previously outlined, with data siloed within business units.
Cromology made the wise decision to invest in its data and integrated Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management to help organize data across its business. As many businesses do, Cromology realized that its data analysis ambitions extended past the stock reporting capabilities of Dynamics and Power BI. So, they engaged local Dynamics experts, CrossPoint365, to help them find the right business intelligence solution for their needs.
“We were sold an ERP solution that promised reporting capabilities, but it did not have the level of depth we needed. We wanted to autonomously create reports and analysis without relying on support from the provider. That’s when CrossPoint365 reached out and we got a very good feeling about them from day one,” said Van Soest.
Cromology was looking for a solution that would:
- Integrate data from across its business units to enable more holistic analysis.
- Automate its regular reporting.
- Quickly provide deeper analysis in an approachable format.
- Reduce reliance on IT and enable teams to generate their own analysis.
- Increase collaboration and transparency by providing a single source of truth for their data.
Working with CrossPoint365, Cromology chose Jet Analytics, insightsoftware’s data management and analytics platform, to simplify and accelerate its Power BI deployment and enable it to manage analytics in-house, to help with its push to the forefront of the paint manufacturing industry. Integration was quick and painless and Cromology was seeing return on investment within 60 days.
“CrossPoint suggested Jet Analytics and after seeing the presentation, we knew it would give us the access and control we needed. CrossPoint’s philosophy of teaching the processes, rather than doing it for us, has been crucial in enabling the long-term success of our team. Whenever we need support, CrossPoint responds immediately, allowing us to fix our problems in the moment, without needing to wait,” said Van Soest.
Jet Analytics Positively Impacted Every Business Unit
Business Intelligence Saves One to Two Days Per Week on Reporting
The efficiency gains for the BI team were immediate. Regular reports that had taken days to extract from the ERP, now were updated in a matter of minutes. Professional analysts were no longer wasting time on data entry, instead using their skills to investigate deeper into the data to uncover meaningful market insights.
“For instance, previously when generating cross-functional reporting we had to pool data from multiple locations into Excel, then send it one-by-one to relevant people for feedback. Now, we can push Jet Analytics reports through a central platform like Power BI for easy collaboration. It saves us at least one to two days per week,” said Van Soest.
Centralized Data Helps Cromology Adapt to Market Demand and Boost Efficiency
Before Jet Analytics, Cromology data was siloed within its various business units. Now, Van Soest and his team can cross-analyze data from across the business to find efficiencies.
Previously, Demand Planning had limited insight into Sales data, so was basing demand off past seasonal trends. Now, the Demand Planning team can easily analyze real-time Sales data to understand where the demand is and adjust production according to the market focus.
Armed With Data-Led insights, Sales Has Opened the Door to New Markets
With virtually no end-consumer data and often time-consuming analysis of its own data, Sales had limited insight into where, when and what to sell. Now the team can analyze the real-time data to see which clients, products, or geographic areas to target.
“We can cross-analyze demographic and sales data to see growth pockets and decide where we want to focus our attention. We only have so many sales staff, spread thinly over 3,000 plus points of sale. Now sales staff can make informed decisions about where to visit. Sales meetings take less time because we can back up our sales pitch with data and provide real market insights to the client. Because we are coming to them with data, customers are happier and trust the information we are giving them, further building that relationship,” said Van Soest.
Centralized Data Access Significantly Reduced the Load on IT
Previously, all data requests had to go through the IT department. It was overloaded with work and often these requests would take too much time to answer. Now there are several other employees empowered to generate their own reports and analysis. Data requests are handled quickly and efficiently, and the IT manager can focus on other high-value initiatives.
Data Transparency Fostered Collaboration and Strong Data Culture
Jet Analytics provides a single source of truth to enable collaboration across all Cromology business units. All employees can access the same data and be confident that it is accurate. Business units can work together efficiently, using the same technical language, without wasting time arguing over whose version of truth is accurate. This transparency has started to build a positive data culture within Cromology. Each business unit is now held accountable for its data practices. Business leaders have started to see the opportunities lying dormant in their data as each new piece of analysis emerges.
The access to data leads to more efficient discussions and fact-based decision making,” said Van Soest. “Our push to improve data culture with Jet Analytics has been so successful that I ironically have less time now as every business unit wants to explore its data. I know this is only while they learn the ropes and it will slow down soon, but it’s amazing to see Cromology thrive in this new way of working.”