ALAIN AFFLELOU achieves a clearer view of performance

Creating new insight into operational performance with IBM Business Analytics

Published on 06-Nov-2012

"Cognos 10 gives us a single point of access to all the financial and operational data necessary to steer the business across all our different domains of activity. The solution provides a wealth of powerful analytics capabilities that we anticipate will deliver significant benefits in the years to come." - Ludovic Tassy, CIO, ALAIN AFFLELOU

Customer:
ALAIN AFFLELOU

Industry:
Retail

Deployment country:
France

Solution:
BA - Business Analytics, BA - Business Intelligence, BA - Performance Management

IBM Business Partner:
2B Consulting

Overview

Alain Afflelou opened his first optician’s store in the Bordeaux suburbs in 1972. The business expanded into a franchise operation in 1979, growing to 100 stores within just six years. Today, there are nearly 700 ALAIN AFFLELOU stores in France, 250 in Spain, and a further 90 across Belgium, the Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Morocco, Portugal and Switzerland. ALAIN AFFLELOU has exclusive deals with a number of major global brands to distribute their glasses and sunglasses, and has pioneered a number of optical technologies and sales approaches.

Business need:
With more than 1,200 franchised stores across nine countries, ALAIN AFFLELOU had difficulty in generating accurate and timely business intelligence on key operational performance indicators. The company wanted to provide easily accessible reports both to internal users and external franchisees.

Solution:
Working with 2B Consulting, ALAIN AFFLELOU deployed IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence to add operational business intelligence to the financial metrics from its existing IBM Cognos TM1® solution. The new solution delivers user-friendly dashboards directly to users on Apple iPad devices.

Benefits:
Provides a single gateway to all management information at ALAIN AFFLELOU, covering both finance and operations. Delivers clear, actionable business intelligence from multiple data sources. Supports faster and more effective decision-making based on all the relevant information and analysis.

Case Study

To read a French version of this case study, please click here.

Alain Afflelou opened his first optician’s store in the Bordeaux suburbs in 1972. The business expanded into a franchise operation in 1979, growing to 100 stores within just six years. Today, there are nearly 700 ALAIN AFFLELOU stores in France, 250 in Spain, and a further 90 across Belgium, the Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Morocco, Portugal and Switzerland. ALAIN AFFLELOU has exclusive deals with a number of major global brands to distribute their glasses and sunglasses, and has pioneered a number of optical technologies and sales approaches.

ALAIN AFFLELOU had been successfully using IBM Cognos TM1 for financial planning and controlling, and wanted to extend its business intelligence capabilities to encompass operational aspects. As a franchised business, ALAIN AFFLELOU works with a number of independent businesses that run its branded stores, and does not share a central IT system with them. This meant that generating key performance indicators for operational aspects of the business required employees to manually capture and manipulate data from multiple different databases and spreadsheets.

“With TM1, we had a good view of financial metrics such as overall revenues and margins,” says Ludovic Tassy, CIO, ALAIN AFFLELOU. “However, users outside of the finance team – for example, people working in distribution or marketing – had to manually source and process data to see important operational metrics such as average basket or campaign performance.”

Knowledge transfer

“We approached 2B Consulting for a solution that would extend our reporting beyond the financial metrics, but that would be coherent with our existing TM1 reporting,” recalls Ludovic Tassy. “Following the launch of IBM Cognos 10, 2B Consulting showed us how well the solution could connect to TM1 and how it would provide easy-to-manage portals for accessing business intelligence.”

IBM Premier Business Partner 2B Consulting created a prototype environment as a proof-of-concept exercise, then helped ALAIN AFFLELOU to deploy the full Cognos solution, including connections to its various databases and ERP systems. During the ongoing rollout of the solution, the aim has been to ensure knowledge transfer to the ALAIN AFFLELOU team, so that they will be able to run and develop the solution autonomously.

“2B Consulting proved to be highly adept at focusing on our business requirements, rather than trying to sell us a bigger or more complex solution with functionality we didn’t need,” says Ludovic Tassy. “We value their professionalism and expertise in the Cognos solutions, and their focus on the human dimension is really helping us to build a new culture of business intelligence within our business.”

Full visibility

One of the early successes that ALAIN AFFLELOU achieved with IBM Cognos Business Intelligence was to give its digital marketing team full visibility of campaign performance. Previously, they had little or no visibility of internet-based campaigns, or of the resulting effects on sales performance. Today, they can view pre-built reports or create their own analytics based on accurate data sourced from multiple operational and financial systems, providing a clear and complete picture for the first time. New business intelligence capabilities are also having an important impact elsewhere in sales, marketing and customer-behaviour analysis.

“It’s still too early to talk about the direct impact on sales,” comments Ludovic Tassy. “What we can already say is that we have a faster, clearer and more accurate vision of what products are selling where in our network of stores. Of course, the analytics tool is not everything: you need complete and accurate source data, and you need to know how to interpret the resulting business intelligence, and what actions to take as a result. So Cognos 10 is one of several vital building blocks in our business analytics strategy.”

Mobile insight

The Cognos Business Intelligence solution is integrated with the Cognos TM1 environment at ALAIN AFFLELOU, complementing it by adding new mobile capabilities, easy-to-use portals for different types of users, and powerful administrative tools for the IT function.

“By deploying Cognos 10, we have succeeded in extending the use of business intelligence from finance to other parts of the business,” says Ludovic Tassy. “We are now capturing operational data from multiple disparate source systems and distributing reports and analytics through portals and directly to mobile devices. As we ramp up our use of Cognos 10, the appetite for business intelligence is growing, and we’re getting much better visibility of key performance indicators.”

ALAIN AFFLELOU is using IBM Cognos Active Report to create and deliver self-contained business intelligence applications and dashboards for browsing and exploring data offline. These are particularly useful for its franchise managers, who spend much of their time visiting stores to discuss performance and planning with the franchisees. Thanks to Cognos Active Report on their Apple iPads, they now have all the relevant metrics literally at their fingertips.

“The mobile element on iPads was one of our key reasons for selecting Cognos 10,” says Ludovic Tassy. “We now send updated dashboards straight to users’ iPads, so there’s no need for them to manually download or refresh data. Or for more in-depth work, users can choose to access the Cognos Connection portal. Everyone in the business is really enthusiastic about the Cognos solution, which is starting to create big changes in the way we work.”

Select reports and analysis are automatically sent out to all franchisees on a daily basis, as well as to different teams within ALAIN AFFLELOU itself. Around 40 employees use the Cognos solution directly, including members of senior steering committees, heads of department and franchise managers.

Comprehensive and consistent

With Cognos Business Intelligence, ALAIN AFFLELOU now has faster access to key operational metrics, and much more complete analysis from multiple data sources. All employees are now working from the same consistent, centrally validated data, and everyone has access to the same accurate management information, providing greater clarity and consistency in decision-making processes. As the business develops its analytical capabilities, this should translate into faster and smarter reactions to emerging challenges and opportunities.

“Cognos 10 gives us a single point of access to all the financial and operational data necessary to steer the business across all our different domains of activity,” says Ludovic Tassy. “The solution provides a wealth of powerful analytics capabilities that we anticipate will deliver significant benefits in the years to come.”

About 2B Consulting

Established in 1998, 2B Consulting has been an IBM Premier Business Partner for more than ten years. The company has worked on more than 1,000 Cognos projects across a broad range of industries, and all of its consultants hold Cognos certifications.

To learn more about services and solutions from 2B Consulting, visit: www.2bconsulting.com

About IBM Business Analytics

IBM Business Analytics software delivers data-driven insights that help organisations work smarter and outperform their peers. This comprehensive portfolio includes solutions for business intelligence, predictive analytics and decision management, performance management, and risk management.

Business Analytics solutions enable companies to identify and visualise trends and patterns in areas, such as customer analytics, that can have a profound effect on business performance. They can compare scenarios, anticipate potential threats and opportunities, better plan, budget and forecast resources, balance risks against expected returns and work to meet regulatory requirements. By making analytics widely available, organisations can align tactical and strategic decision-making to achieve business goals.

For more information

For further information please visit ibm.com/business-analytics

Request a call

To request a call or to ask a question, go to ibm.com/business-analytics/contactus. An IBM representative will respond to your inquiry within two business days.

Products and services used

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

Software:
Cognos TM1, Cognos Business Intelligence

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012. Compagnie IBM France, 17 avenue de l’Europe, 92275 Bois-Colombes Cedex. Produced in France. November 2012. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Cognos and TM1 are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.