Footwear Importer ES Originals Saves 20 Hours Per Month on Report Generation
Founded in 1954, ES Originals is one of the longest surviving footwear importers in the US, also pioneering imports from Asia. As with any system that has evolved over such a long period of time, they had significant issues with disparate and disconnected data, with nearly 1,000 reports running against their ERP system. This was a logistical quagmire and one that software analyst Ahuva Shabtai was determined to solve. ES already owned Sisense when she came on board, but it hadn’t been deployed, so she set out to change all that. Her work resulted in greatly reduced report times and 20 hours per month of time saved in report generation.
The Opportunity: Simplify Reporting
ES has a homegrown ERP system that has evolved over many years and through different requirement phases. Their reports were written against data in this system and tend to be statistic in nature. That means if someone likes report ‘a’ but they need it with one extra field, or some different selection criteria, another report has to be created to accommodate it. This led to an explosion of reports over the years. Ahuva was originally brought in to help with the systems and reporting because there were so many requests and requirements.
The Challenge: Combining and Streamlining Reports
With multitudes of people with multitudes of reports, all importing information into Excel and doing their own calculations and manipulations, ES wanted to have one unified and standardized reporting system and methodology. Ahuva ran a report to get a list of almost 1000 reports and analyzed who was getting what and how many could be combined if they had some filtering options available.
On top of this, salespeople needed to bring hard copies of reports with them to client sites because they couldn’t be sure of having a stable internet or cellular connection. The final challenge was the ingestion of data from their partners. Each partner provided different data, in different formats, which needed to be reflected back in the reporting dashboards.
Fixing Old Mistakes
While Ahuva was an experienced analyst, she didn’t have a BI background. That didn’t stop her. She knew that by understanding the stakeholders’ needs and working with internal IT staff and Sisense support and training materials, she could get where she needed to be.
In her interviews with users, she found a really big request was simply to have graphic representations of data. Following that was the ability to manipulate the criteria on the reports and have everyone reading from the same single source of truth.
ES had instances where one person ran a report from the ERP system and another person ran a report from another data source, purporting to be the same report, and the results didn’t match up. This was an opportunity to find those internal problems and address why they were happening.
Early on in the implementation, Ahuva presented her results to an IT co-worker that had been with ES for many years and knew the system very well. He pointed out that she was missing critical data and the dashboard was wrong. However, after some research, it turned out that, in fact, that data did not exist, revealing a larger problem that they were able to address.
During this analysis she also found a larger number of reports that were no longer used or desired, proving this early audit and test process very important in the ultimate success with the Sisense rollout.
The IT department had been getting a lot of requests to enhance inventory availability, but they were backlogged. Ahuva took the opportunity to address inventory first and added “timing” to the reports, so you can not only see what you have today, but what is available in the future based on procurement information.
From upper management to sales, everyone was thrilled with the results. Prior to Sisense, ES had 1600 reports from each division that had to be filtered and examined as text. Now with graphs and drill down tables, they can immediately see what is happening at any level.
ES Originals’ biggest win though? Admins that run one of six core business reports have saved 20 hours per month in report generation. The time, accuracy, and reduced stress on employees to collect information on this and other reports has changed the way the organization functions.