Fountain Tire has been providing high quality tires and automotive service to customers throughout Canada since 1956. The company’s teams of experienced owners, licensed technicians, and high quality products ensure the name Fountain Tire is synonymous with excellent service.
Today, customers can depend on Fountain Tire from British Columbia to Ontario, with future growth projected. As the company expanded, it become more important than ever to be able to track metrics and provide insight into the business. In 2009, the company implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX, but knew that an ERP system alone could not provide the consolidated view of company health and finances Fountain Tire needed.
With 160 different locations under the Fountain Tire umbrella, consolidating cross-company reporting was slow and problematic. The Finance department was spending a tremendous amount of time generating reports, which they could only compile once a month. Even worse, employees were running different reports and getting different answers to the same questions.
The company needed a system that let them aggregate data quickly and easily and provide information in a consistent manner. In other words, they wanted to arrive at one answer and trust that it was the right one. Other items on the wish list included a consistent ETL process, easy access to reporting, and a single sign-in for executives to be able to quickly and easily get a pulse on the metrics that matter most to them.
The company’s Microsoft partner had recently implemented TARGIT Decision Suite at Kelly Tractor, a construction and industrial equipment leasing company who found great success with their business intelligence and analytics progress. You can read about Kelly Tractor’s journey to data-driven excellence with TARGIT here
. Fountain Tire employees liked what they saw at Kelly Tractor and knew they could check off everything on their wish list with TARGIT Decision Suite.
The BI Journey begins
Fountain Tire’s finances were the first department the company wanted to get up and running with BI. For that, they created a set of cubes to aggregate financial data and pull it into a consistent format. Once the cubes were established in the data warehouse, six Fountain Tire employees and would-be TARGIT super users took a one-week TARGIT University training class to be sure they had all the skills they needed to take advantage of TARGIT Decision Suite’s robust catalogue of tools and analyses features. You can see the schedule of TARGIT University classes here
“Training was very helpful,” says Glenn Tkachuk, Manager of Business Applications, Fountain Tire. “It gave us a great foundation for what we wanted to do. I would recommend everyone take at least one training class even before building their cubes. It gives an understanding of the measures you want and need.”
From there, the ball was rolling for generating reports for finance and sales. Before long, users had valuable insight into data they had previously been lacking, such as sales versus cost. With TARGIT Decision Suite’s drill down capabilities, they could examine those numbers broken down by region, zone, and store.
Fountain Tire’s power users, or Business Analysts, generate the reports and analyses for the rest of the company’s Information Consumers. You can read about the various BI users at each company and why it’s critical to design BI to fit their unique needs in this eBook: How to Ensure the Highest User Adoption Rates at Your Company
With these reports and analyses on hand, company executives can log in, instantly view their most important KPIs on dedicated dashboards, filter through analyses to examine regions and zones, and drill into any number that stands out to them for more information. For them, the filter and drill down tools are essential for fast decision making.
“Executives open a report and see sales to date versus cost in a glance,” says Tkachuck. “They can see sales as overall, and drill into those numbers to get precise details of sales by category, passenger tires, specialty tires, and how each category is doing. They always know what’s on or off target and can get to the bottom of what might be causing a problem. The executives look at [their reports] every day and make decisions based on those reports.”
Proactive business decisions
Fountain Tire employees have A-ha Moments all the time with TARGIT Decision Suite. With an eye always on what’s trending over time, users can see business and trends as they unfold every day.
“We used to get a report once a month,” says Tkachuck. “That means we could only react once a month. We didn’t have the confidence that numbers were right. Now, we can see change on a daily basis and react immediately. We track trends and see exactly what’s happening in sales. The impact is seen immediately.”
The next step on Fountain Tire’s BI journey is incorporating more ad-hoc reporting with tools like TARGIT Data Discovery, which lets users mash up external data and files with data inside the data warehouse in a single analyses on the fly. The company looks forward to incorporating a nearly unlimited amount of data sets to their existing BI environment.
“We’re going to bring in other data sources that finance already currently uses in separate reports—such as industry standards in regards to the price of oil, weather information, specific brand information on vehicles and truck sizes—and incorporate those into the company reports in relation to supply and sales,” says Tkachuck. “We can do heat maps and track our sales in conjunction with the weather or the price of oil. Those will show things that everyone believes really impacts our business. If we can correlate those with our sales, we can prove the correlations and use that to our advantage to improve sales or use as advertising campaigns.”
Biting off increasingly complex amounts of business intelligence in manageable steps is all a part of the BI journey to a truly data-driven powerhouse. By thinking big, starting small, and incorporating more powerful tools and data sources as the project scales up and out, companies like Fountain Tire increase their BI user adoption, foster an analytical environment, and promote operational excellence. You can read about the steps to becoming a data-driven company in this eBook: 3 Stages of Becoming a Data-Driven Organization.