BACKGROUND: Family-owned and operated since 1936, Cleveland-based Cres Cor is a mid-tier player in the $400 million food service equipment market. Our product line comprises over 650 SKUs from aluminum and stainless steel food warmers to rolling carts, ovens, racks and hot cabinets. Our top- tier customers include KFC, Burger King and Olive Garden. To compete in this market requires a real understanding of our customers and how the market is segmented.
PLATFORMS: Cres Cor is running the Sales DecisionMart solution from Silvon on a Windows NT server with a SQL Server 7.0 database.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Cres Cor is continually looking for ways to generate growth and profitability in a mature, fragmented and historically slow- growth industry less than 2 percent per year. In order to compete in the industry today, we realized that we needed to improve how we analyze and profile customers, and how we plan and execute our sales and operational business plans for a distribution chain of 1,500 dealers, manufacturer's reps and consultants. These business analysis requirements just couldn't be met with our old reporting system which consisted of green-bar reports that were labor- intensive to develop, out of date by the time management viewed them and unable to present the customer and sales-related data in an analytical format. This is where Sales DecisionMart by Silvon stepped in.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Silvon Sales DecisionMart simplifies and speeds the process of extracting customer and market information from Cres Cor's internal business systems, housing that information in a data mart that is flexible, scalable and easily refreshed, and analyzing the data down to granular detail level. Now we can quickly obtain answers to questions in the areas of territory/region performance, customer visibility
and profitability, market segmentation, product line contribution, trends analysis and more. Ultimately, we hope to establish a full-scale CRM system using Sales DecisionMart as the source. We are also considering the integration of other Silvon applications with Sales DecisionMart to address the areas of sales planning, forecasting and trade funds management.
STRENGTHS: Considering all the technology, functionality and supply chain industry expertise that is rolled into Sales DecisionMart, the price per value of this solution
is outstanding. I think Sales DecisionMart is an ideal application for mid-sized businesses such as Cres Cor that need a powerful analytical solution but don't have a large software budget or extensive IS resources to support it. I'd also guess that it's a good solution for larger organizations that need a sales analysis application right now that can be expanded in the future to handle additional business intelligence requirements.
WEAKNESSES: The base package for this solution provides up to 72 analysis templates (which gave us 90 percent of what we needed), but it does not offer the ability to create new templates. Silvon does, though, offer a modifications path for an additional cost for businesses that wish to create customized analyses and views of their data.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We went with Sales DecisionMart because it is a problem-solving application not just a report writer or query tool. Fast implementation and immediate return on investment are two of the most compelling advantages of this prepackaged solution. We actually had this software application up and running in only a few weeks. Plus, you don't need a Ph.D. in computer science to operate or manage the product.
DELIVERABLES: Silvon Sales DecisionMart is completely packaged and consists of software powered by Silvon's industry-leading DataTracker application architecture. Sales DecisionMart includes five user seats, data mart management tools and a predefined business model/sales analysis library that more than adequately address the typical sales analysis requirements of manufacturing organizations. In addition, the license includes: Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 database software, the Microsoft Windows NT Server operating system, server box and implementation services for loading the Silvon Sales DecisionMart software, populating the data with Cres Cor's data, and user training.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Silvon's industry-specific expertise in developing and installing business intelligence solutions for supply chain enterprises was a real plus for us when it came to setting up and implementing Sales DecisionMart. On the personal side, Silvon's sales, marketing and technical support staffs are extremely competent, easy to work with and customer-service oriented.
DOCUMENTATION: The product documentation is thorough and easy to follow.
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