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Customer Success Story: A.W. Chesterton's global BI journey

September 28, 2015

The company adds a local touch to their global business with TARGIT.
A.W. Chesterton is the leading international manufacturer of industrial pumps, fluid sealing systems, high performance protective coatings, cleaners, lubricants, and specialty industrial maintenance products. The company produces over 1.5 million items for sales and service locations in over 100 countries.

Chesterton had been using various models of ERP systems for more than 20 years to store and manage their vast amounts of data, but didn't have a solution that let them easily pull reports and analytics from their many disparate data sources. Getting a true comprehensive view of company health and activity was nearly impossible. Not to mention, there was a pile of valuable data locked away in various systems everyday business users had limited access to.

Different company departments—sales, finance, marketing, and supply chain—would pull data to create reports at disparate times throughout the month or even day. As a result, whenever departments compared data at company and departmental meetings, the numbers never matched. Managers and employees were frustrated with this scenario for more than a decade.

The Chesterton sales department struggled to put together sales reports keeping track of the millions of products mass and custom produced for customers. Sales members would be hard pressed to report what was sold to which company in what industry in what month. Reports were estimated, and the process of budgeting for an upcoming year was tedious and prone to error. If territories shifted or new employees entered the fray, numbers became almost impossible to calculate correctly.

The Journey to BI

The company’s first step on their journey to BI began by meeting with the various departments that would benefit from a complete business intelligence solution. Chesterton recognized that in order to implement a solution that was successfully adopted across the organization, they would need input from more than just the IT department.

After meeting with managers throughout the company, Chesterton mapped out three distinct criteria most important for an ideal BI solution:

  1. It had to be able to be implemented in 90 days.
  2. It had to be user-friendly for employees of every technical skill level. 
  3. It had to be affordable.
After an extensive evaluation period with over a dozen different business intelligence vendors, Chesterton found TARGIT Decision Suite to be the only BI solution that fit the bill.

“More importantly, we wanted an organization that shares the same DNA that we have in ways like working together, communicating together, and staying together for a number of years," says Tom Meier, Vice President of Information Technology at Chesterton. "When we looked at it that way, the other companies faded away.”

From the very beginning, TARGIT worked with Chesterton not only to meet their three company goals for a successful BI project, but helped employees set a more strategic, holistic approach to decision making in motion.

“TARGIT established a relationship with us that was very personal,” Meier says, reflecting on the implementation process. “Not only was it person and vendor, but it was partner.”

Since then, Chesterton has expanded the scope and reliance on TARGIT throughout the company. Throughout it all, the entire TARGIT project remained under budget, the system is tightly managed, and it’s very well understood by employees, hitting all three tenets of Chesterton’s priorities for a successful BI project.

“The TARGIT help desk works really, really well,” says Meier. “TARGIT has been generous with their use of consulting time in order to help us solve problems. I think they’re just super-efficient and have nailed the hours every time. It’s been wonderful. There’s no anxiety on our part because we know TARGIT will work with us. The reps are really confident and secure in their own product. They knew TARGIT could do what we want it to do even though our business is so complicated it really pushes the software to the limit.”

Doing business better

Today TARGIT provides summaries of the massive amounts of sales data and the software’s predictive analytics capabilities alert Chesterton when it’s time for new orders for custom products.

Chesterton employees can overlay industry information over time to see when sales have occurred so they can prepare for new orders that will come in. This information helps the company plan strategically instead of reactively as orders roll in.

TARGIT’s simple concepts, such as converting prices into local currency depending on who is pulling a report in a particular location, keeps data consistent and easily understandable for Chesterton employees around the world. For this, TARGIT consultancy created a cube that displays data one way for the E.U. and another for the U.S. TARGIT Decision Suite automatically converts data during the ETL process from ERP to computer screen.

TARGIT also increased throughput, making the entire process faster and more efficient. What used to take eight hours now takes about an hour and 25 minutes. When Chesterton was ready to expand services to make the system more enterprise, TARGIT walked them through the process seamlessly. 

“TARGIT has helped us predict our coming budgets far more accurately, and it’s allowed us to better prepare our sales force to understand our customer base and their needs before they even understand they have needs,” says Meier. “The success story of TARGIT is that the technology was good … but the implementation was top notch and the sales team was exemplary. They were flexible and straightforward. They predicted all of the obstacles we might come across and helped us move around any that came up. The implementation team is the differentiator and that’s where TARGIT stands at the front of the line. Good honest dialogue, no surprises; those are the characteristics that describe TARGIT.”


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