QAD has recently achieved several successes with its business intelligence solution, QAD Business Intelligence.
The US-based firm, which dominates the mid-sized food and beverage and automotive manufacturing sectors in Australia, has installed the QAD Business Intelligence solution in major Australian customer sites, including The Décor Corporation.
"This level of success is really exciting," said QAD ANZ managing director Anton Chilton. "Complementing their existing QAD installations, QAD Business Intelligence allows our customers to fully exploit the data stored within the QAD solutions, to drive informed and objective decisions that further streamline operations, boost sales and identify constraints and areas that need management attention."
QAD Business Intelligence is an enterprise application that helps manufacturers gain insight into their business operations by leveraging the wealth of information collected within QAD MFG/PRO and other transactional systems.
Using QAD Business Intelligence, organisations have the visibility required to anticipate and proactively respond to business trends, improve decision making and be more competitive.
QAD Business Intelligence incorporates Cognos 8 and Cognos Powerplay PowerCubes.
Earlier this year, The Décor Corporation, Australia's leading manufacturer of homewares, became the first Australian customer to fully implement QAD Business Intelligence. Based on early successes it expects the system to have paid itself off within 12 to 18 months.
The company distributes nearly 400 products, including kitchenware, picnicware, office accessories, pet supplies and gardenware, of which 80 percent is sold through major retail outlets Coles Myer, Big W, Kmart, Spotlight and Bunnings.
As part of its new sales strategy, Décor wanted the ability to analyse sales against budget, compare current sales to the previous year, and review growth year-by-year and month-to-date.
QAD Business Intelligence was selected over several alternatives because its technical interface allowed rapid deployment in just one month, rather than the six to eight week window required by the competing solutions.
The project ran exactly to spec, said Décor MIS director David Mathie. "We knew we'd been making some improvement in sales of brushware products to the Coles Myer group but couldn't exactly quantify how much,” he said.
“With just a few clicks using QAD Business Intelligence, the percentage increase on brushware was on screen, plus we drilled down to which actual brand within the Coles Myer group that increase was occurring at."
Mr Mathie said the system has been extremely well received by Décor's sales team, allowing the company to boost sales through better visibility of trends; to respond more quickly to increase and decreases in product lines to reduce waste and save money; and to improve customer service using more flexible and accurate controls in its warehouse.
Mr Chilton said the partnership with Cognos has allowed QAD to add further value to its existing customer base, while being confident of Cognos' robust business intelligence solutions and its depth of expertise in the field of data mining.
"We're very happy that QAD has chosen Cognos as its strategic partner for business intelligence," said Lesley French, Vice President Australia and New Zealand at Cognos.
"By leveraging our product set, QAD are able to offer its present and future customers market-leading business intelligence solutions.
“Cognos has traditionally been used by many manufacturing organisations and our partnership with QAD gives Cognos a very strong presence within the mid-sized food and beverage and automotive manufacturing sector in Australia".
To transform data into valuable insight, QAD Business Intelligence comprises two primary components: a data transformer and pre-defined business models.
The data transformer performs extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) functions on the raw data collected by QAD MFG/PRO, ensures its accuracy and consistency, and then aggregates this content in a separate, dedicated business intelligence data warehouse.
The pre-defined business models incorporate metrics/key performance indicators (KPIs) and provide a framework for mapping the collated data to a meaningful format.
These business models include:
* Inventory monitoring, for insight into current and historic inventory trends;
* Manufacturing performance, including statistics on work orders, production costs, productivity and throughput;
* Forecasting performance;
* Sales analysis, including statistical trends in sales and revenue margins;
* Financial controls, encompassing gauges for profitability, investments and the effectiveness of financial management;
* Vendor rating intelligence, from patterns in purchase price and cost, to materials delivery; and
* Service performance insights, including service profitability and trends in customer calls and contract selection.