REVIEWER: Clifford Siegel, senior vice president, Global Supply Chain at Lifetime Brands.

BACKGROUND: Lifetime Brands is a resource for nationally branded kitchenware, tabletop and home decor products. The company markets its products under many of the industry's best known brands, including Farberware, Cuisinart, Calvin Klein, CasaModa and Hoffritz. Lifetime’s products are distributed through almost every major retailer in the U.S.

PLATFORMS: Application: SAP, Demand Solutions, RedPrairie, Great Plains, legacy systems; database: Access, Excel, SQL, Oracle; hardware: HP 16-processor server, Intel 2.4GHz server, 64GB RAM; operating system: Windows 2003 Server 64-bit.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Experiencing expansion organically and by acquisition, Lifetime Brands grew to encompass more than a dozen brands. With many companies and a recent SAP R/3 implementation that did not incorporate historical data, consolidated reporting and data analysis quickly became a challenge — ultimately leading Lifetime Brands to QlikView from QlikTech.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: With QlikView, Lifetime Brands tracks and analyzes company-wide sales by time periods, months, division, materials, current versus historical and forecast versus actual. Users can drill down, organize data and run reports at a level of detail that would have only been accessible by running 100 individual reports in their old system - a 99 percent reduction in time and energy. Through a supply chain analysis application, employees are now able to monitor and analyze inventory turns, purchase orders, material requirements and vendor performance - across all divisions. This enables management to identify and solve problems proactively in the supply chain, from supplier deliveries and production schedules to warehousing.

STRENGTHS: We can aggregate historical data from various enterprise software systems with data from SAP, making company information accessible to everyone and enabling users to develop consolidated reports more efficiently. Additionally, IT has been able to decrease time spent on creating individual reports for employees at various levels in the company.

WEAKNESSES: It would be nice if we could capture user input and feed that back to the central server. For example, allow the salesperson to review and change a budget directly in QlikView, and that change would be recorded back to the server for executives to review.

SELECTION CRITERIA: QlikView could support consolidated reporting for current and future acquisitions. Regardless of the data sources, Lifetime Brands would have the ability to deploy new QlikView applications in just days, even with significant customization. With QlikView, we could pull data from the different systems of its newly acquired companies together and run powerful reports almost immediately - in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost required by SAP or other BI solutions.

DELIVERABLES: We get reports and dashboards for executive analysis: impact of sales performance and metrics on bottom line; sales analysis: sales by days, months, etc., history and trends, forecast versus actual; sales performance at every level; supply chain analysis: inventory turns, purchase orders, material requirements and vendor performance.

VENDOR SUPPORT: QlikTech did a wonderful job of helping the project sponsors prepare and demonstrate QlikView to upper management. In only two weeks, we presented a fully functional sales report/dashboard as proof of QlikView’s fast deployment and ease of use. Since the original deployment, we have become almost completely self-sufficient, but we occasionally reach out for guidance and always receive a quick response from QlikTech.

DOCUMENTATION: I find most answers I need in the application help menu and the supplied PDFs within the documentation. The examples are clear and easy to follow. I point new power users to the help files, and they almost always find what they need.



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