Kettle Foods reduces reporting cycle from eight weeks to just three

With help from IBM Cognos and Inca Software, a Logicalis Company

Published on 20-Apr-2011

"We found IBM Cognos Express to be simple to use, easy to configure, and innovative in being able to mold a model specifically tailored to Kettle Foods’ specific needs. Help from Inca Software consultants made the process even smoother. Now our end users can server themselves with data from a trusted source." - Shaun Richardson, IT Manager, Kettle Foods

Customer:
Kettle Foods

Industry:
Consumer Products

Deployment country:
United Kingdom

Solution:
Business-to-Consumer, BA - Business Analytics, BA - Business Intelligence, Information Integration, Information On Demand, Leveraging Information

IBM Business Partner:
Inca Software

Overview

Originally founded in 1978 in Salem, Oregon, Kettle Foods has become one of the leaders in the premium potato chip industry and is growing at a strong pace. Headquartered in Norfolk, U.K., with U.S. manufacturing sites in Salem, Oregon, Beloit and Wisconsin, the Kettle Brand is distributed around the world. Kettle Foods’ celebrated products include more than 20 flavors and four varieties of potato chips, as well as snacking tortilla chips, nut butters and trail mixes.

Business need:
Spreadsheet-based reporting processes were hindering Kettle Foods in its efforts to increase visibility of key business data and help its management teams make quick, effective decisions. Financial reports took up to eight weeks to generate, and creating new reports required support from IT specialists.

Solution:
Kettle Foods worked with Inca Software, a Logicalis Company, to implement IBM® Cognos® Express and create a single, central solution for reporting across the whole business.

Results:
Dramatically reduce reporting time from eight weeks to three weeks.

Benefits:
Empower end users with the ability to generate the specific reports they desire, freeing the software development team to perform more pressing tasks. Centralize data using IBM Cognos Express, making it consistent for all users while increasing ease of management. Ensure that all updated data is secure and readily available either remotely or onsite, via web browser. Work with Inca Software to create a reporting model that is specifically tailored to fit the needs of Kettle Foods. Cut reporting time from eight weeks to three, and enable near-instant amendment of reports.

Case Study

Originally founded in 1978 in Salem, Oregon, Kettle Foods has become one of the leaders in the premium potato chip industry and is growing at a strong pace. Headquartered in Norfolk, U.K., with U.S. manufacturing sites in Salem, Oregon, Beloit and Wisconsin, the Kettle Brand is distributed around the world. Kettle Foods’ celebrated products include more than 20 flavors and four varieties of potato chips, as well as snacking tortilla chips, nut butters and trail mixes.

Challenges
In previous years, Kettle Foods relied on an antiquated reporting system that consisted of 70 to 80 spreadsheets which needed to be updated and sent back and forth between departments. The reporting process took at least eight weeks, and if any modifications needed to be made, it took at least two days to effect them. End-users also found difficulties in creating their own reports, and had to rely on developers from the IT department to generate reports for them. This occupied valuable development time that could have been spent on other pressing IT needs.

Moreover, board members would receive data reports with varying numbers, which meant that a large proportion of each meeting was spent figuring out which data was reliable and current. Kettle Foods wanted to give its end users the tools they needed to generate their own reports, and consolidate these reports onto one easy-to-use, secure platform. They also wanted to relieve time and stress caused by these reports so that board members could spend their time making business decisions.

Approach

  • Leverage Inca Software’s expertise to develop reporting models specifically tailored to Kettle Foods’ needs.
  • Purchase IBM Cognos Express software.
  • Centralize data onto a single, secure web server that can be accessed by a variety of users (sales, finance, production, management) via a standard web browser.
  • Use IBM Cognos Express to empower end users with the ability to pull specific data from a reliable source immediately.

Impact
  • Dramatically reduce reporting time from eight weeks to three weeks.
  • Enable near-instant amendment of reports - a process that previously took at least two days.
  • Used Inca Software’s consulting services to create a reliable, timely, standard reporting model, including a budgeting report model that is accessed via web browser and immediately reflects updates to all users.
  • Generates sales reports directly from the ERP system, removing the need for time-consuming spreadsheet-based processes and providing instant updates on sales data.
  • Eliminates the software development team’s role in the reporting process, freeing it to focus on more pressing IT tasks.
  • Provides a stable roadmap for future development: Kettle Foods will soon upgrade to the latest version of Cognos Express to take advantage of additional functionalities.

About Inca Software
Inca Software, a Logicalis Company, is one of the largest and most successful IBM Cognos partners in the UK, providing customers with the full suite of IBM Cognos products. Inca’s professional services division is home to a highly experienced performance management team, who have implemented IBM Cognos solutions for over 400 companies across all industry sectors. Inca is the partner of choice for companies that want to gain a clear understanding of business performance through improved performance management processes.

About IBM Business Analytics
IBM Business Analytics software delivers complete, consistent and accurate information that decision-makers trust to improve business performance. A comprehensive portfolio of business intelligence, predictive analytics, financial performance and strategy management, and analytic applications provides clear, immediate and actionable insights into current performance and the ability to predict future outcomes.

Combined with rich industry solutions, proven practices and professional services, organisations of every size can drive the highest productivity, confidently automate decisions and deliver better results.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Cognos Express, Cognos Express Xcelerator, Cognos Express Advisor, Cognos Express Reporter

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011. IBM Global Services, Route 100, Somers, NY 10589, U.S.A. US Government Users Restricted Rights - Use, duplication or disclosure restricted by GSA ADP Schedule Contract with IBM Corp. Produced in the United States of America, April 2011. All Rights Reserved. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com and Cognos are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Other product, company or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates.