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Florida's Natural Growers Reduces Time Spent on Reports by 80% with Dimensional Insight

 

Established in 1933, Florida's Natural Growers, Inc. manufactures and distributes juice around the world. This profile is based on an interview with Scott Kapocsi, Senior Systems Application Developer.

 

Platforms
Florida's Natural Growers, Inc. runs DI Solution on Windows NT, and users access data Models with DI-Diver from Microsoft Windows 95 clients on a Novell network. Also, DI-WebDiver runs on a Corporate Intranet using Windows NT.

 

Problem Solved
"Our standard sales reporting system was robust, but we were constantly having to upgrade the HP 9000's as the sales department grew. People were running reports to retrieve just a few numbers at a time. For example, they would create a hard copy report to see what, when, and how many products a broker sold, and then throw out the paper. Now, with DI-Diver, the sales department is able to answer those quick questions online without slowing down the entire system by using the HP 9000's. We quickly recognized that other departments would benefit from the functionality of DI-Diver."

 

Product Functionality
"We use DI Solution and DI-Diver to keep track of and analyze efficiency, revenue, and expense throughout the company. In manufacturing, we track line efficiencies and downtime on a daily basis. In production departments, products and locations are bar coded, so we scan all transactions and download the information to be accessible by DI-Diver. We analyze information down to the user level to see who is doing what, and how much time is spent on a particular job. That information can be cross-referenced with a record status to see how many times sales changed an order in the middle of loading and unloading. We also use DI-Diver to allocate budgets to 149 centers (glass production, concentrate production, sales, administration, etc.) based on historical data for electricity, steam generation, waste treatment, and refrigeration. There are 24,000 General Ledger accounts in our general ledger, so in the past, compiling a quarterly budget would take ten days. Now it takes only two days. At the end of a quarter, senior management is always interested in summary level revenue and expense reports for all corporate centers. Preparing these reports now takes less than a day, opposed to a week. If the number of units produced is increasing, senior management wants to know if the percentage of income and expense is also being followed. A correlation between payroll expense and sales, or finding out the cost for a group of centers, is quickly attainable with DI-Diver. We are able to combine the individual data Models together in order to see the trends at the corporate level."

Strengths
"On the IS side, DI Solution' greatest strength is the lack of IS intervention. The Models are created, turned over to the users for approval, and then all reporting from that point on is handled by the user. Speed and flexibility are also the products' strong points. If we build a multidimensional Model and it's not exactly what we want, it's easy to go back and manipulate the Model by swapping a dimension, adding an info field, or changing a calculated column. All of this is accomplished with a simple Windows interface. On the user side, DI-Diver allows fast access to large amounts of historical data, and the ability to view information by any conceivable category. We're building Models that hold information from 376,000 invoices in Accounts Payable. Users are able to quickly get down to the invoice, even though the database covers a four-year period."

Selection Criteria
"Other business intelligence solutions were extremely hard to administrate, they required a substantial amount of time to implement, and the price was extreme. Dimensional Insight fulfilled our needs, the solution could be developed quickly at a reasonable cost, and we didn't have to invest time in SQL training."

Deliverables
Sixty users access twenty-four Models representing five years worth of data for sales, budgeting, accounts payable, general ledger, and manufacturing. Twelve Models are updated nightly, and the others are updated weekly or monthly. Supervisors use the Models to quickly access details. Upper management is interested in summary level trends and statistical data. The budgeting department receives a constant variety of requests and creates ten to fifteen customized reports per week. One example of a report request: Why is my production cost .01 cent per unit higher this month than it was last month?

Copyright 2008. Inroads Ltd, Hong Kong.