Home & Outdoor Consumer Products

This privately held consumer products firm manufactures accessories and products for the home and backyard.  A leader in multiple categories, the firm markets more than 1,000 items sold through authorized retailers in over 25,000 locations nationwide.  Product categories include lawn and garden, outdoor storage, home storage, pet products and snow tools.

CLIENT CHALLENGES

The client’s finance team relies on OLAP reporting tools to obtain fast, accurate analysis, year-over-year comparisons and actual vs. forecast reporting of sales, units, cost and profitability. 

To meet the demands of finance and IT users for greater functionality, reliability and performance, the company invested in an upgrade to its OLAP environment with surprising and disappointing results.   It was only after implementing the new OLAP environment and OLAP tools that the company discovered that the new environment’s OLAP tools lacked the functionality of the previous version of tools in critical aspects and could no longer generate some needed reports. 

Believing there was no way to address this problem, the company decided to revert to using older version OLAP tools in the new OLAP environment.  Unfortunately, this proved to be an unsatisfactory and temporary fix.  The mismatch between OLAP tools and OLAP environment resulted in frustrating and problematic increases in maintenance requirements, user confusion and performance:

  • Generating a report using a relation OLAP (ROLAP) solution took longer to execute than standard OLAP reports.
  • Users didn’t fully understand variances between between OLAP and ROLAP technologies
  • Users could not take full advantage of current software features and functionality.
  • Company lacked a single reporting domain for analysis throughout the organization. 

Dissatisfied, the company sought advice on alternatives.

SENTURUS SOLUTION

Senturus’ first step was to gain a solid understanding of the client’s finance and IT users’ reporting issues and requirements.  A second step was to conduct an in-depth investigation to determine why the client was unable to generate needed reports using the latest OLAP tools and to identify possible solutions.

 Within six weeks, Senturus delivered a detailed assessment that included

  • Comprehensive report of findings, including identification of previously unrecognized issues.
  • Business Infrastructure maturity scorecard that provided an at-a-glance evaluation of various components of the client’s architecture.
  • Roadmap and recommendations of how the client could upgrade its whole business intelligence solution to the latest software version.

Senturus’ assessment of the client’s data warehouse and business intelligence solution infrastructure included analysis of actual server components to verify whether servers had sufficient CPUs and disk space, evaluation of  configurations, and examination of  actual deployment of how information and metadata modeling was presented and compiled.  Senturus also identified factors that negatively impacted performance, such as an undersized server.    

Equipped with Senturus’ detailed assessment, the client was able to make an informed decision to upgrade its business intelligence solution in a way that maximizes results, incorporates best practices and minimizes disruption.  

Senturus provides expert, efficient assessment of the current state of companies’ OLAP environments, and delivers a roadmap for implementing solutions that incorporate best practices and maximize results. 

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