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Maytag International Shines with Enhanced Delivery of Data Analysis and Reporting Capabilities


Maytag International, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is responsible for finished goods export sales, licensing of the corporation's appliance and floor care brands, and joint ventures worldwide. Maytag International's presence in markets around the world includes direct sales operations in Australia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. Kit Nicholson, Senior Sales Director, and Doug Wendling, Senior Database Analyst, explain why Maytag International chose Dimensional Insight's DI-Diver, and how the product is used within their organization.

Hardware Platforms

Maytag International runs DI Solution (the OLAP server engine) on a Windows NT server, and 70 users access the DI Solution data Models using DI-Diver from Windows 98 clients. Models store five years worth of data.


Problem Solved

"In the past, we were sending thousands of pages of paper reports per year to each region. It was tedious for us to get detailed information on a customer from those reports, and unreasonable to carry them when visiting a customer site. Although our salespeople were as prepared as possible, sometimes questions would arise that they couldn't answer simply because they didn't have the data with them.

""With DI-Diver, the data is updated monthly and distributed to users over the LAN. For remote users, in Lebanon for example, we send the updated Model on a CD. The detailed data people receive is relevant to their region, and they are able to "dive" into the data Models to answer questions from their laptops, instead of shuffling through thousands of pages of printed reports."


Product Functionality

"DI-Diver is used in offices around the world to track sales and analyze profitability for refrigeration, laundry, floor care, cooking and dishwasher product categories. DI-Diver reports include sales dollars, unit totals, revenue, cost, warranty, and gross margin information for 1,700 SKU's and 1,000 customers. DI-Diver allows Maytag International to communicate more effectively with customers and each other, find and capitalize on the most profitable product mixes, and quickly identify and eliminate the least profitable SKU's. In addition, if a manager questions data within the DI-Diver reporting package, he or she can quickly zero in on the data to determine the root of the question.

 

"From a business administration stand point, DI-Diver gives a clear and accurate view of the organization as a whole. If a salesperson in Greece has a product order that doesn't meet minimum production run requirements, he can use DI-Diver to figure out who else in the world is buying/selling that product and work jointly with international salespeople to fulfill minimum production requirements. We share information that allows us to be more intelligent and more responsive to both external customers and our internal production facilities."

 

"We pinpoint occasional errors and find out what caused them very quickly with DI-Diver. If there is an odd number, it allows anyone who has access to the data, if they are interested, to go after the answer without having to submit a report request or pull out a box of paper reports from the archive. The first year we used DI-Diver, there was a big question regarding profitability in one of the regions. We investigated the data and found out that the margins were lower because the value-added tax had not been pulled out of the cost. This was done in minutes. It may have taken us days or longer to figure this out before DI-Diver."

 

"With regard to product planning, we use DI-Diver to find out where we have opportunity to expand sales. For example, our salespeople who have had success promoting and selling our counter-depth refrigerators, which are narrower in depth and have a built-in look to them, will probably be interested in other SKU variations of the counter-depth products. As we plan to expand sales, we use DI-Diver to dive into the refrigeration product category, and then dive down further into different types of refrigerators (top-downs, side-by-side, etc.), to look at regions where each is most popular. Therefore, we can presume the best product mixes, and expand sales by targeting those retailers with the most suitable products."

 

"In the future, we plan to update DI-Diver Models more often; some will be updated daily. We are in the process of evaluating DI-WebDiver, which will allow users to access daily information within a browser. We'd like to extend DI-Diver throughout the Maytag International organization. Also, as we expand into direct markets, we will be able to pinpoint where the actual consumers are, and use DI-Diver to collaborate closely with our retail partners."


Strengths

"Ease of use and ease of maintenance. Implementation, building Models, and making changes/modifications to Models was very straightforward. It is a "plug and play" software package." Selection Criteria "We looked at other business intelligence products and found that the DI-Diver Model is compact, very easy to use with little training and one where our people, located all around the globe, find very beneficial. Doug Wendling evaluated Dimensional Insight's product, and created Models with Maytag's data. He rolled it out to a few people in the Sales and Marketing Department, and after ten minutes of training they loved it. We analyzed the cost of the old way versus the cost of implementing DI-Diver. We have definitely received a Return on Investment."

 

Deliverables

"One person in the IT department, Doug Wendling, creates and maintains DI-Diver Models. Users click through Models and create reports to analyze product performance by territory, country, customer, model, category units, and sales dollars. Maps give users a geographical view of product distribution, and DI-Diver's timeseries feature allows users to analyze products and customers year-to-date versus last-year-to-date, or by each month. Timeseries produces aggregate data for the different periods of time being compared, the absolute difference between them, and the percent difference."

Copyright 2008. Inroads Ltd, Hong Kong.