With the help of Corporate Renaissance Group, Vega deployed a business intelligence (BI) solution centered on its NetSuite ERP platform. The solution utilized one of the tools within the CRGroup BISuite™ designed for NetSuite users. The BISuite provides a powerful data warehouse deployment coupled with data visualization using Tableau.
Since 2001, Vega (Sequel Naturals) has established itself as the leader in the plant-based natural health and performance products industry. Formulated by Brendan Brazier, vegan former professional Ironman triathlete and bestselling author on plant-based nutrition, the Vega brand of nutritional products is internationally recognized. Good for the body and the planet, Vega is the clean, plant-based choice to fuel a healthy, active lifestyle—without compromise.
Challenge: Data Accessibility and Flexibility of Sales Reporting and Analytics
In order to manage and drive the performance of its large sales force, Vega’s business analytics team required a great deal of time and put a lot of effort into producing reports and tracking metrics. The out-of-the-box report writer from NetSuite did not provide true analytics, nor the flexibility to accommodate the rapidly-changing views of the world for timely decision-making. As a result, most reporting was being done manually in Excel. This laborious process had to be repeated each period and often required manual database queries through open database connectivity (OBDC) to extract data into flat files. There was also the need to combine data from disparate data sources, such as budgeting and point-of-sale (POS) data in order to provide a complete picture of the business.
Using the CRG BISuite, Vega hoped to resolve various ongoing data challenges, including the ability to:
- access daily reporting with a single version of the truth from sales data stored in NetSuite and disparate data sources;
- readily distribute reports to users with information tailored to what they have responsibility over, and enabling drill-down and data interaction;
- incorporate existing budget data for variance reporting;
- create analytical groupings of data and the flexibility to modify those as someone’s view of the world changes/evolves;
- create visualizations and trend analysis.
Solution: Build a BI Powerhouse
Vega engaged Corporate Renaissance Group to assist in the building of a robust data warehouse that could support the level of reporting and analytics it required.
“The first step towards working more effectively with our data was to store it all in one place. The consolidation was a very time-consuming process, and we did not have the internal resources or expertise on hand to dedicate to the project,” says Derek Chan, Vice President of Finance at Vega. “Corporate Renaissance Group helped us create a data warehouse that pulled from our NetSuite environment and also incorporated data from other sources.”
“We were able to incorporate our NetSuite sales information, point-of-sale data from various stores, budget data and other disparate sources,” explains Mr. Chan. “Based on all of this key data, we can now view information by product, customer, store, sales representative and geographic location.”
To help Vega gain the full value of its new data warehouse, Corporate Renaissance Group set up Dynamic Analytics Tables around the following sets of data:
- Customers (forecast groupings, strategic accounts)
- Products (reporting names, core/non-core, bundle types)
- Sales Reps (reporting structure – country managers, regional managers, district managers, sales representatives – and territories)
- Customer Budget (subsidiary/country, customer groups)
- Product Budget (subsidiary/country, product groups)
- Sales Rep and Manager Budget (subsidiary/country, sales managers, sales reps)
- Business Days (for allocating data such as monthly budgets to daily-level)
“Now we can drill down to any of our 2400+ SKUs and each of our 1890 stores that serve our 8500+ customers. Storing data at the granular level allows us to easily group the data at higher levels,” says Chan.
The BI solution was deployed by Vega to drive focused business growth as well as to provide the Vega sales team with current, timely, and accurate information across product lines, customer segments, and territories with relevant key metrics to measure Vega’s performance and to develop new strategies. The solution succeeded in meeting those objectives and more.
Strong Foundation for Growth
The resulting data warehouse and Dynamic Analytics Tables offer a snapshot of static fields (e.g., standard cost, key account tagging) and incorporate various groups of data from sources outside of Vega’s NetSuite system. Moving forward, the data warehouse and the Dynamic Analytics Tables can be easily maintained and expanded as required by Vega.
The data warehouse incorporates detailed geo-coordinate data for stores to facilitate in-depth geographic and territorial analysis. This enables the validation of the resulting data with clients who can access reports in a hosted environment through remote access.
Corporate Renaissance Group deployed a self-service data visualization system using Tableau Software. Vega’s business analytics team is now able to build an array of interactive reports, charts and dashboards that provide more than a dozen financial, variance, budget, key performance indicators and trend reports that enable quick and easy analysis. The reporting is based on analytical measures that provide insight into:
- Standard Costs
- Gross Profit ($ and %)
- Daily Budget Sales
- Variance ($ and %)
- Average Daily Sales Required to Hit Target
- Products not sold in the last ‘N’ weeks
- Measures are YTD/MTD as of today, historical, and percent growth of historical
- Fiscal year based reporting
Vega uses Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server to ensure that actionable information is readily available to decision makers whenever and wherever it is needed, in order to improve profitability.
Timely and Consolidated Information
Vega’s management and staff can now access a central corporate reporting environment to assist in both daily operations and long-term planning. The CRG BISuite solution empowers users to slice and dice the data as needed, reducing the reliance on IT and producing cost savings over time.
“Corporate Renaissance Group came in and took the time to understand our business needs. They were able to help us make the most of our sales data, whether it was in our NetSuite system or located elsewhere.”
– Derek Chan, VP Finance, Vega