BACKGROUND: Welch's is an agricultural cooperative, owned by its grape growers, and is the world's leading marketer of Concord and Niagara grape-based products, including grape juice and jelly. The company produces a variety of other fruit-based products, including 100% juices, juice cocktails, and drinks in the following forms: single serve, bottled, refrigerated, frozen and shelf-stable concentrates. Welch's also produces a number of fruit spread products under both the Welch's and BAMA brand names. In addition to the variety of products Welch's sells in the U.S., the company also markets more than 300 products in some 50 countries and territories around the globe.
PLATFORMS: Given that Oco is an on-demand software as a service provider, the customer does not buy any hardware or install any software on their site. This is all done by Oco at its data center. All the customer needs is an internet browser to access the solution.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Similar to many companies, we had lots of data residing in different systems and it was difficult to gather relevant information to help us make better decisions. Specifically, we were looking for ways to improve service levels, streamline operations and reduce our $50 million annual transportation expenditures. We needed to be able to understand open orders to consolidate shipments, understand weekly shipping patterns and truck capacity utilization, compare year-over-year transportation costs and make critical decisions based on factual, up-to-date data. We were hoping that the enterprise resource planning system we had upgraded to in 2007 would address this, but unfortunately, it didnt provide the transportation reporting and analytics capabilities that we needed at the time. We selected Ocos On-Demand Business Intelligence Solution, which gave us the visibility and robust reporting and analytics capabilities we needed.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Ocos solution allowed us to rapidly gather, view and analyze data from several different systems. We now have detailed views of distribution costs, order flows and truck loads, and future orders regionally. With this new system, we are able to analyze critical information and optimize operations, ensuring that were loading trucks to their full capacity by consolidating smaller orders, assessing customer order patterns and balancing truckload shipments across days of the week, and analyzing the number of orders and volume by day. Ocos solution has enabled us to achieve greater visibility into our detailed transportation costs, streamline our transportation operations and significantly reduce costs. We were able to recover our return on investment within 30 days of implementation. We also used the Oco solution to capture and report on actual delivery times to our customers and to provide carriers a view of this cost and customer-service information.
STRENGTHS: The ability to get the solution up and running in a matter of weeks and the fast ROI it delivers are very impressive. In addition, it is extremely user-friendly. The solutions ability to easily consolidate data from three existing systems into one data warehouse, present the data for all levels of the organization, and provide drilldown to granular levels of detail are key strengths. For example, we can compare detailed costs across carriers and make better decision on carrier selection.
WEAKNESSES: The main weakness of Ocos On-Demand Business Intelligence Solution is that it was not designed to offer application functionality (e.g., forecasting). We must use additional solutions to meet those needs, yet the Oco solution easily integrates with other software.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We knew Ocos solution was the ideal solution for us because it could seamlessly complement our existing ERP system and integrate data into a single warehouse. Also, its intuitive interface required very little training and was able to be easily used by upper management as well as line staff. Additionally, when we saw the way we could slice and dice the entire data warehouse across different dimensions and create reports that addressed our specific business needs and help improve our bottom line, we knew it was the right product for us.
DELIVERABLES: The BI solution provides a data warehouse that enables us to develop effective reports and produce key performance indicators that we can track from the dashboard. We are now able to easily extract and view current data from three different systems that is seamlessly integrated into the Oco data warehouse. On a regular basis we take every key bit of data from every order, bill of loading/shipment and freight bill and transmit them electronically to Oco, and they populate their data warehouse. With easy access to critical information from the data warehouse, line business and clerical staff as well as power users can all slice and dice data and compare it against a variety of criteria. We can view cost categories, carriers, product categories, customers and operations to quickly assess how we are performing, as well as find opportunities for cost savings and service improvements by leveraging more efficient routes, load levels and/or different carriers.
VENDOR SUPPORT: The support Oco provided us was fantastic. They helped us every step of the way before, during and after implementation. At the beginning, Oco conducted a structured profiling session to understand the management teams reporting requirements and showed us how they could optimize our user experience. It was the most efficient session to define user requirements that I have ever participated in. Shortly after that session, Oco gave us a proposed solution that came very close to meeting our total needs, and they quickly turned around our modifications to the initial solution. Oco understood our reporting needs very quickly and developed the right reporting and analytics solution for us. We were so pleased with their solution and support that we expanded our initial engagement. Now, we are using Ocos solution to create reports and drive supply chain collaboration by capturing data from carriers on precise customer delivery time, so we are able to measure on-time delivery performance and monitor cost performance.
DOCUMENTATION: Oco does not provide any documentation to its customers. Customers become familiar with the product during the deployment when they use the system to do quality assurance. Here at Welch's we say that using Oco is as easy to use as Google.
Ocos On-Demand Business Intelligence Solution
100 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor
Waltham, MA 02451
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