Published on 17-Dec-2009
The high-powered IBM Cognos solution had the flexibility to handle Clorox Canada’s reporting, and operations needs in an easy-to-use total package.
Streamline processes and provide robust reporting and analysis of key operational metrics, focusing on sales, inventory and budgeting.
A comprehensive IBM Cognos 8 BI solution combined with an IBM Lotus Notes Workflow solution has provided Clorox Canada with a solution that has automated processes and sped up operations with actionable intelligence throughout the company.
Streamlined and automated processes; self-service dashboards with embedded query, reporting and analysis capabilities; real-time analytics; real-time and continuous monitoring of time-sensitive KPIs.
The Clorox® Company of Canada is a unit of The Clorox Company, a multi-national Fortune 500 company that has been committed for generations to making products that promote a cleaner world and healthier homes.
Founded in 1914 in Oakland, California, Clorox boasts several trusted products, including bleach, stain fighter and color booster, and kitchen and bathroom cleaners. Today, the company’s laundry additives and home cleaning products are sold in more than 100 countries and are manufactured in plants in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The Clorox product family includes well-known names such as Glad Trash Bags, Brita water filtration systems, Kingsford Charcoal and Green Works. Clorox is focused not only on innovation, but also on social awareness and global responsibility.
Clorox Canada wanted to turn over a new leaf by eliminating time-consuming, error-prone processes, such as manual data entry. The effort to streamline operations had increased over the past several years as management realized that it would need to have more efficient reporting practices in place to continue to deliver stellar performance. Therefore, in 2007, Clorox Canada realized it needed a business intelligence (BI) solution to not only provide “one version of the truth” reporting and analysis, but also to track budget versus actual and provide customer-based and brand-based scorecards. Additionally, Clorox Canada wanted to eliminate manual data entry into its ERP system, which would in turn, improve workflows.
Clorox Canada was looking for a high-powered analytical tool with a straightforward user interface that could access multiple data sources and provide a single version of the truth in a timely fashion. Because its approximately 60 users are non-technical in nature, Clorox Canada needed the BI system to be simple to use, without a lot of training required, and have self-service dashboard capabilities to display continuously updated data from multiple source systems.
Executives also wanted the ability to see more data and act on it appropriately, depending on what course of action needed to be taken. They also wanted to have the ability to conduct more proactive budgeting. Having one version of the data is important “to ensure everybody is looking at the same exact set of data in the same efficient manner,” says Narius Mistry, Business Intelligence Manager at Clorox Canada.
Once the company realized the vast reporting and analysis capabilities that a BI solution could potentially have, Clorox Canada decided to implement an IBM® Cognos® 8 BI solution while deploying Lotus Notes® Workflows to eliminate manual data entry into its ERP. During the system’s deployment, in-house IT worked closely with executives to train everyone so as to minimize any snarls.
Within Clorox Canada, the IBM Cognos solution is now used daily in numerous departments, including sales, marketing, finance, IT and operations. Since August 2008, Clorox Canada has been using IBM Cognos 8 BI on a Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 database, with Windows 2000® and Windows Vista® as the organization’s operating systems.
Now, Clorox Canada’s visibility into data is far more efficient, streamlined and automated, thanks to the comprehensive IBM Cognos solution. Executives can access the most accurate, up-to-date information in formats that are easily digestible, yet highly informative. This is important, because executives review key data on a daily basis. Executives want to have data on hand that empowers their analysis of business trends, so Clorox Canada can continue to be agile and stay ahead of competitors.
“Our users are fully entrenched in using the IBM Cognos system to retrieve all their data,” Mistry says. “Nobody ever needs to go into the actual ERP to run any ERP-based reports now because the IBM Cognos system provides everything we need.”
Clorox Canada can now report directly on data on its numerous brands through one portal from its data warehouse because it’s fully integrated with their IBM Cognos solutions. Data can now be distributed more effectively than ever before. Data on operations, sales, inventory levels and order fill rates is provided in a format that not only lends itself to easily readable reports, but also to high-level dashboards showing key performance indicators (KPIs). From the dashboards, executives can analyze inventory counts of specific products and brands, and see how much supply is on hand at any given time. They can also see the sales trends compared to forecasts. These dashboards have been very well-received, and give executives a strong sense of ownership and empowerment.
“The dashboards have definitely been a benefit, and the executives have better insight into their numbers and their data,” Mistry says.
Clorox Canada counts several other benefits as a result of the IBM Cognos system, including:
- • Consolidation of dedicated IBM Cognos servers
• Reduction in licensing costs
• Reduction in printing of reports, with output in PDF or Microsoft Excel®.
As for future expansion, Clorox Canada is hopeful it can capitalize even more on additional benefits made possible by IBM Cognos solutions. During the fall of 2009, the company is considering how to get more business information out to mobile users while they’re on the go, using IBM Cognos 8 Go! Mobile. The potential area of expansion is being eyed due to the increasing amount of mobile workers at Clorox Canada.
About IBM Cognos BI and Performance Management
IBM Cognos business intelligence (BI) and performance management solutions deliver world-leading enterprise planning, consolidation and BI software, support and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. IBM Cognos solutions bring together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers an open, adaptive and complete performance solution. Over 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries around the world choose IBM Cognos solutions.
Products and services used
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