Monin Gourmet Flavorings gets a taste of the future with TARGIT Decision Suite

About the company

The Monin U.S. Headquarters and Flavor Innovation Center are based out of Clearwater, Florida. Their team of more than 100 employees perfects and produces new flavor offerings, creates exciting recipes and beverage innovations, and oversees all sales and operations throughout North America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Their Challenges
  • Reporting was limited, time consuming, expensive, & prone to human error.
  • It took weeks to pull data
  • Lack of critical insight made forecasting limited, if not impossible.
How we helped
  • Reports are automatically generated every night and delivered to users
  • Users have instant access to updated dashboards & analyses with critical KPIs
  • Advanced insight helps Monin foresee trends to create new recipes.
TARGIT improves the entire manufacturing process. It helps us monitor costs so we know if we’re staying within a certain range. If we get out of that range, we can fix it and move forward. We’re always working towards achieving operational excellence. When we save money, we pass that savings on to our customers.
- Todd Cummings, VP of Information Technology, Monin

Expanding the Digital Footprint

True to the company's history of innovation and the search for perfection, Monin Gourmet Flavorings knew they needed a better way to harness company data than their current reporting system. As it was, reporting services were limited, time-consuming, expensive, and prone to human error. Every month, Monin employees would spend weeks pulling data, sending that data to external reporting consultants, and waiting for results. By the time reports hit decision-makers’ desks, data was already a month old.

Because data was old and only available once a month, employees could only look back on what they had done. They lacked critical insight for analysis and had no way to better prepare for the future.
Considering they were paying tens of thousands of dollars a year for their current system, executives knew there had to be a better way to get the data they needed when they needed it. Monin was increasingly expanding their digital footprint and needed an analytics partner that would seamlessly integrate not only multiple internal data sources but also external data such as weather and commodities pricing, which could affect global business. That’s when they found TARGIT Decision Suite.

A Cultural Shift Toward Analytics

“We’re increasingly driving towards a digital business in today’s world, and analytics is the center of it all,” says Todd Cummings, VP of Information Technology at Monin Gourmet Flavorings. “We are putting energy into building our culture around that. We’re looking at how to do things differently. We’re building the system that feeds analytics.”

When Monin first implemented TARGIT’s business analytics for manufacturing solution into the company strategy, they knew they were embarking on a journey to data-driven excellence. And today, they are well on their way, building up best practices and pulling departments into the overall analytics strategy one by one.

“We’re changing our entire company culture,” says Todd.

KPIs at the Push of a Button

In just a few years, Monin has transformed the old way of doing business. Those reports that used to take weeks to prepare are now automatically generated each night and delivered to users’ desktops, emails, and mobile devices every morning.

Sales, Operations, and Purchasing are humming away with their analytics projects, with more plans to expand throughout the company already underway. In addition to automatic reports, dashboards and analyses highlighting critical key performance indicators (KPIs) are automatically generated and delivered to users who rely on the daily stream of information.

The Sales department particularly appreciates TARGIT’s mobile business intelligence (BI) capabilities to keep them up-to-date on their own results. They have instant insight into their sales by customer, region, and state, and can drill down into any number for more details right from their mobile phones. These dashboards update daily and allow users to identify changes in sales numbers as they happen.

Employees can also proactively track flavor trends. In just a few clicks, users can see if a flavor is trending nationally or regionally, and determine what that means to their own selling strategy. This data helps production better prepare. Users can even mash up company data on top of external database information, such as weather data, to see the correlation between weather patterns and their sales.

Manufacturing, too, benefits from unprecedented access to KPIs for their daily operations. Average batch size, loss, number of bottles produced per day, and cost of production jobs all ensure operations employees know exactly how they are performing. When numbers fall outside pre-set parameters, the TARGIT system automatically notifies employees so they can take action within hours, not weeks.

“TARGIT improves the entire manufacturing process,” says Todd. “It helps us monitor costs, so we know if we’re staying within a certain range. If we get out of that range, we can fix it and move forward. We’re always working towards achieving operational excellence. When we save money, we pass that savings on to our customers.”

Monin dedicates an increasing amount of resources to their online marketplace with recipes, product information, eCommerce, and a new mobile app all of which generate valuable data for analysis.

“Every time we put in a new system, we ask ourselves, what can we learn from this system?” says Todd. “How can it drive analytics? How can we take the data we know in one department, like Marketing, and carry it over to uncover more insight into other departments? It’s changing the way we see and do things throughout the entire company.”

Analytics With End-Users in Mind

A successful company-wide BI implementation is, of course, designed with the end users in mind. When considering user adoption, the presentation of data is just as important as the data itself. Cummings meets with each department to discuss how analytics can better help them make data-driven decisions and how that data should best be presented to employees.

There are a number of distinct BI user personas in Monin, all of whom use and consume business intelligence in drastically different ways and have different levels of IT expertise. The first step in implementing a solution that is adopted company-wide is to ensure that the platform accommodates the needs of these different users.

Analytics for the Future

Todd has big plans for the future of analytics at Monin. The company is currently in the process of implementing TARGIT InMemory to streamline the ETL process and speed up the entire analytics process. Today, it takes about five hours to run the ETL process each night. TARGIT InMemory will take the current ETL process from five hours down to a few minutes.

As the company continues to grow, the amount of data they want to incorporate is corresponding exponentially. TARGIT InMemory will ensure not only the ETL process is near instant, but that when users log on to access dashboards and analyses, there is no lag time between clicks.

This is an important move for the company who hopes that faster load times will lead to even greater user adoption. This will also help employees get a more rapid feel for important changes in the industry, such as flavor trends.

A Finger on the Future of Flavor

Because Monin’s ingredients are all-natural, it can take months to gather the necessary fruits and other natural flavors needed to respond to an increasing flavor trend. The faster the company can get a feel for what’s coming, the faster they’ll be able to stock appropriately.

Advanced insight will also help the company’s Beverage Innovators create successful recipes. These Beverage Innovators are professional bartenders and chefs who design high-end cocktails and other flavor combinations for the Monin website, apps, test kitchen, and national accounts.

“We want to be able to provide data on who’s looking at drinks, how many are being searched online, which drinks are most successful at our national accounts, and more,” says Todd. “This will help our Beverage Innovators better design recipes that are specifically geared towards emerging trends.”
But  Todd’s BI and analytics ambitions don’t stop there.

Today, the company is in the process of bringing the Supply Chain, Manufacturing, and Purchasing departments more fully into the analytics strategy. As part of this, he will work with TARGIT to improve existing cubes to provide better insight on more data. Stats that are currently manually entered into Excel spreadsheets will be integrated into the TARGIT system. KPIs will be displayed in real-time on the manufacturing shop floor, so goals are always visible – a critical step for MONIN’s lean manufacturing strategy.

In order to get all of this off the ground, Todd plans to create analytical groups with members from each department to brainstorm how they can each use data better.

“We’re going to show them what we can do and get them to think about this data differently,” says Todd. “Show them where the trends are and how to better drive opportunities. Look at drink data, see what people are buying, and connecting all that data together with analytics. This is about fostering creativity. That will lead to more data-driven decisions.”

Monin is well on their way to company-wide data-driven excellence with a solid strategy for continuing the journey. Now that the company has a taste of the future, it won’t be long until analytics have an even more significant place in the overall company culture.

Originally published March 17, 2020. Updated September 26, 2023