Supplies Answers for Banfi Vintners
an international wine marketer, has ranked as the U.S.A.'s leading
wine importer for more than three decades. It is an arm of the privately
held Banfi Products Corp., a family-owned and operated firm founded
in New York in 1919 by John Mariani, Sr. He named it for an aunt,
Teodolinda Banfi, a woman of eclectic tastes who supervised his
early education and greatly influenced his views toward fine wines.
The company has been ranked as the nation's leading wine importer
for more than three decades and is the exclusive importer for three
of the current top ten imported wines: Concha y Toro, Riunite, and
Walnut Crest. Banfi recently implemented Dimensional Insight's business
intelligence solution, DI-Diver, to enhance their reporting capabilities.
wine from Italy, Chile, and Australia and sells to over 400 different
distributor locations nationwide. Banfi's data set contains 400
products, which include over 300 active items, which are broken
down in to 4 sub categories vintners/suppliers, brands, types, and
product sizes. Banfi is currently running DI Solution on a Microsoft
Windows NT server; users access the data with DI-Diver on Microsoft
Windows based machines.
Prior to implementing
DI-Diver, Banfi did much of its reporting using a home-grown query
tool that limited users to three ad-hoc reporting formats. "Basically,
what we had in place was a reporting system that was written and
developed in-house, which was not very flexible, to say the least,"
explains Ed Joyce, Manager of Sales Development at Banfi. Joyce
continues, "DI-Diver is a lot more flexible and is much quicker
than the former system." Peter Wrins, Director of Information
Systems agrees, "In the past, with the in-house system, our
capabilities were all ad-hoc. Salespeople would go in and pick whom
and what they wanted to report on, and how they wanted the data
sorted. Every request was handled in the same fashion. If more information
on a particular topic was required, a new report would have to be
generated. With DI-Diver, we can now locate a specific piece of
data and then dive down into further details from that point."
A common dilemma
with the prior reporting system was the inability to access detailed
levels of information with one query. For example, "our salespeople
would look at Riunite for Florida and then they would want to know,
on the depletion side, how much each particular distributor in Florida
depleted. With the old system they would have to go back and re-run
the query for each distributor. With DI-Diver, you can answer any
question you want, no matter where you are by continuing to dive,"
DI-Diver in March of 2001, Banfi immediately began taking data out
of their SQL database in order to build DI-Diver Models. Banfi's
DiveBook contains four main categories: Depletions, Sales, Open
Orders, and a section called 'All Data' where users can view depletions,
sales, and open orders simultaneously. "We are also in the
process of adding a category in the DiveBook for Goals so our salespeople
in the field will know what number they are shooting for,"
says Joyce. This Goal category would focus on not only sales goals,
but also depletion goals for Banfi's national sales force.
Once a category
is opened, users have the ability to explore a number of data Dimensions
including, region, distributor, product, and time periods. One of
the more complex Dimensions users can dive on is product. Joyce
explains, "We start at what we call the vintner level. Vintner
is more or less similar to a master brand. For example, Concha y
Toro would be considered a vintner. Under vintner are different
sub-brands; each brand carries a different price point. Next, underneath
the brand level is type. Type would be Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot,
etc. Then, under type is product. Product really relates to size,
so, at the type level you would have something called Concha y Toro
Frontera Chardonnay, but, when you go down to the product level
it would be Concha y Toro Frontera Chardonnay 1.5 Liters, and so
on." The ability to dive down to such a detailed level enables
Banfi to quickly and easily identify any product-specific issues
that may occur.
Banfi can easily investigate key business issues at the click of
the mouse. Joyce describes a commonly used dive at Banfi, "We
have a report set up under the Depletion category called 'Depletions
Recap' and it lists our brands down the individual rows. Typically,
a question we would want to answer is 'who was down for the month?'
Our sales force is divided into seven different regions and one
of the things that we can dive on is region. So, we would double-click
on brand, and then dive into region. You can easily see, by the
numbers that pop up on the screen, which region is dragging everything
down. Then, you can further dive into certain regions and analyze
if there is a decline across the board, in terms of different states,
or determine if it's one specific state that is driving the decline
for the current month." He continues, "I can see what
the total business looks like and take it down to the next level.
If there is a certain brand that is up or down significantly, I
can dive to see what drivers are behind that increase or decrease...
is it a specific state, is it a specific product, or is it across
the board in terms of product?"
Banfi has partnered with some of its distributors, gaining access
to account level data. Banfi believes that the addition of account
level information to their existing data set coupled with the navigational
freedom of DI-Diver will enhance their ability to better target
future promotions and track trends. "We can easily tell from
our data that one of our distributors sold 2000 cases of a certain
product to their customers in the month of November, but a majority
of the time we just didn't have the detail to know where those 2000
cases went in terms of the various retail accounts; did the cases
go to a Costco, a Publix Supermarket, or a local liquor store? Now,
some of our distributors are sending us their account level data
and our IT Department is working on putting that information into
DI-Diver Models. This will allow us to drill down into specific
retail accounts and enable us to define those retail accounts as
on or off premise, as well as map where the cases are going,"
coming in on a daily basis, Banfi's complex data set is constantly
changing. To keep up with these changes, Banfi updates many of their
Models each night, giving users access to fresh data daily. "We
update our Month-to-Date and Lookup Models nightly which takes around
10 to 20 minutes. We rebuild our History, and Goals Models monthly,
so that any changes are reflected in the date that is reported on.
Our largest models are the account level Model averaging 250MB and
close to 500,000 rows, which will probably triple in size by year
end," states Wrins.
As for future
plans, Wrins and Joyce both agree that Banfi's sales force would
benefit from the implementation of another DI product, Model Splitter.
"We're looking at Model Splitter so that we will be able to
break down the Models for each individual, for remote and disconnected
use," explains Wrins. "This will allow us to push the
Models out to the sales force, or we can leave the Models on the
network so our salespeople can download them. Before, we were dependent
on the salesperson to update their database. With DI-Diver we don't
have to rely on them to update the data because we'll create new
Models for them every night. With broadband access, they can pull
down the individual Models they need and they'll be off and running."