Paul North, Managing Director, illuminis Insight Software
Hello and thank you for watching this short video.
My name is Paul North and I’m the Founder and MD of illuminis insight software, home of the illuminis business intelligence solution for SMEs.
Our offering to SMEs is unique: we combine reporting software along with data analyst support as part of a single monthly fee.
So today I thought I would share with you how we helped our client Central Foods – a frozen food distribution business in Northampton – to solve a problem which was costing them hard cash in lost sales.
So here’s a snippet from a presentation I gave a couple of years ago, in partnership with the Open University.
Gordon rang me a little while ago with a little story and an interesting question. And his story was, he’d been to the stores that morning, a big cold store, and he’d kind of fallen over a large pile of chicken nuggets. I have this great vision of this nugget mountain.
They sell a lot of these things but there was rather more in the warehouse than they would have expected.
He’d gone back to the office, done a little bit of checking up and discovered that three months before a client who bought loads of these things every month, about typically nine thousand pounds worth had stopped buying. Just like that, no reason why! Still buying loads of other stuff.
And he rang me and his question was “is there some way I could have found out about that sooner?”. There we go, it’s taken me three months to find it and because I fell over it really, so what could I do to find it sooner.
I think he rang me because he knows I’m a bit of a data nerd and I do like a puzzle. This was a nice little puzzle, so a little think about it, and this is a really good example of how if you can create a rule to look in some datasets you can come up with some answers that solve your problems.
The first part of that is, what’s the problem we’ve got in the first place. So in this instance this monthly £9000 of a particular item by a customer had stopped, but that customer is still buying lots of stuff.
Some other context around it, there are hundreds of customers, there are hundreds of products, the customers only buy some of the products so it’s not even as much as, is that one disappeared? And not all of the customers buy regularly so there’s all sorts of different patterns going on.
We had a little chat and came up ultimately with what’s really quite a simple rule, and it’s that we look at the sales of every customer and item pairing for the last seven months, of which there are thousands, but then we only look at the ones where for the first six months of the last seven months they’ve bought something every month. So that customer bought that item every month for six months but then last month they didn’t.
So graphically, six months of sales and then in the seventh month, last month, nothing happened.
We applied that rule and we put it back into the data and we found that lost £9000 worth of chicken nuggets. So we were really pleased that the rule worked. It also found another 58 things that had been stopped buying with a typical average monthly value of about £58,000!
So that was passed onto some sales reps who made some phone calls and some business was won back again. So a really interesting way of looking at it. And in true data democracy fashion this report is now something that each of the sales reps have for themselves, they’re looking for their own customers so they can run it on their own, no help or skill required, off they go.
Once you get the hang of doing this kind of thing in your data, I promise you all sorts of opportunities pop-up that really can drive profitability and productivity.
So if like Central Foods you would like to have a one stop shop for SME reporting, combining excellent, easy to use software along with specialist advice and support which is always on tap then do get in touch.
I’d love to give you a quick demo and show you how you too can have the reporting you need, at a level you really didn’t think possible at this price.
Email me or visit our website and get in touch.