KWV, originally established in 1918 as a winemakers’ co-operative, is today a group of companies under the umbrella of KWV Ltd. It markets a wide range of natural and fortified wines and brandies, with a total of around 350 individual products.
During 2006 KWV identified a need for a new business intelligence tool that would be easy and inexpensive to implement, easy to use and offer sophisticated analysis right down to the finest detail of sales-related business information.
Although it is possible to draw sales analysis reports from the ERP system, this required specialised knowledge and time.
“We have a relatively complex company structure with many different possible views on the data,” explains financial accountant Francis Matthee. “People would come to management meetings with different information, causing disagreement and frustration. We needed a way for everyone to get a single, unified view of the data.”
KWV implemented QlikView in late 2006 and it quickly proved popular with users. “It’s very fast and easy to use,” says Matthee, “which has resulted in quick acceptance by our managers, especially those in sales and logistics.”
With the ability to analyse sales activity up to the close of business the previous day, KWV’s sales managers are able to revise and update their sales plans daily. This has proved especially useful whilst travelling, says Matthee.
“Now someone can be in Korea or Japan and have access to yesterday’s sales figures and the past two years’ worth of data in next to no time.” This kind of performance, says Matthee, has rapidly converted the sceptics.
“I used to have to get all my information from other people,” says sales executive for the EU and Scandinavia Bryan Anderson. “But with QlikView I don’t need to be a computer boffin to get the information the way I want it; it’s incredibly flexible.”
QlikView has also made forecasting, planning and analysis much easier, says logistics manager Jacques du Preez.
“For example, the board wanted an explanation of why we had unplanned inventory in a particular product line. It took me 15 minutes in QlikView to produce a detailed analysis so that we could improve our planning for next time. The same job would have taken hours previously.”
Similarly, says Anderson, QlikView’s easy access to information makes for better decision making by marketers. “If I’m interested in changing a label or bottle closure, I can find out instantly who bought that product in the past two years and call them to see how they would respond to the change. In the past, I would have had to send out a bulk email request and hope for the best”.
Matthee says QlikView has also saved time: “The sales team and other operational people now produce their own reports, which has freed up our SAP team for other work.”
Management information extracted from QlikView, is now regularly used in management meetings and Matthee expects its use within KWV to expand.
“Our organisation is being restructured at the moment and re-architecting QlikView for the new structure will be much easier than it would be using any other BI tool. We can change the entire underlying data structure in a matter of days and the saving in consultancy fees alone makes QlikView a winner.”