Origin Enterprises PLC is a leading provider of value-added services, technologies, and strategic inputs that support the delivery of sustainable and profitable food production solutions.
Origin’s corporate umbrella includes nearly a dozen agri-services and animal feed companies, including Goulding fertilizers and Agrii, the UK’s leading agronomy company.
The group focuses on the science of soil management and crop production via environmental stewardship, varietal selection, growing systems, nutrition application, crop protection, and precision farming for over 46,000 customers. Origin saw a turnover of €1,5 B in 2017.
We could start to aid people with decision making rather than just looking at a lagging indicator. We could really start to guide people and give them the data on a mobile device or a tablet, whenever they need it.
- Dave Johns, BI Reporting Manager, Origin
With over 2,300 employees operating out of 108 operation points throughout Ireland, the UK, Poland, Ukraine, and Romania, Origin needed a solution that made it easier to track KPIs and optimize business across its corporate structure. By making better business decisions, Origin can deliver unrivaled expertise and support for sustainable and profitable farming and help its customers meet today’s farming challenges.
In an attempt to improve its data gathering and analysis, Origin implemented Dynamics AX. Then came the first challenge: standardizing dated legacy systems. Origin needed a solution that seamlessly pulled data from various sources, analyzed it, and presented it in user-friendly reports and data visualizations. So the company turned to TARGIT Decision Suite to help them look at data in a new way and provide better customer service.
The implementation of any new software is a challenge, especially for an organization of Origin’s size. The company found it difficult to motivate employees to adopt the new practices into their everyday business routines and accurately display the value of analytics.
With the needs of companies of all sizes in mind, TARGIT developed the Momentum workshop series, which makes it manageable and affordable for the entire organization to make better, faster decisions. TARGIT Momentum is a strategic framework that TARGIT consultants and partners use to design a unique solution for every customer, focusing on goals, user adoption, and end results.
“When Origin realized that users weren’t adopting at the rate they were actually expecting, they invited us in to do a workshop to help them define the actual challenges and how we could work together to overcome those challenges,” says Kasper S. Thomsen, Former Sales Manager at TARGIT. “As a second step, they came to our offices in Denmark and spent two days with us to get a clear view of the roadmap, how we could work together to accomplish the data visualizations they wanted, and generally just get closer engagement with us.”
Origin had two major challenges: integrating a large amount of data sources with TARGIT Decision Suite and getting employees to adopt the platform even though it would change their daily work routines.
“They were used to old reporting,” says Dave Johns, BI Reporting Manager at Origin. “They had to change the way they think. Once they saw the advantage of data visualization, it really helped.”
After a successful TARGIT campaign within the company following the TARGIT Momentum workshop, Origin credits TARGIT with helping them improve internal processes by enabling them to look at working capital and review month-end reporting timetables and effectiveness. This level of insight lets company decision-makers look forward instead of just backward.
“We went to see another TARGIT customer, and that really opened our eyes which then led us to do a Momentum workshop, which opened our eyes further,” says Johns. “We then realized what we were missing out on. We realized that we could take this to another level. We could start to aid people with decision-making rather than just looking at a lagging indicator. We could really start to guide people and give them the data on a mobile device or a tablet, whenever they need it.”
Origin’s BI journey went from static reporting to dynamic, up-to-date analysis of tens of thousands of rows of data every single day. With TARGIT Decision Suite, users can easily visualize, summarize, and move through layers of data rather than expanding or exporting massive rows of data for the company’s commercial reporting, financial reporting, service desk, and timesheets.
“You can get to the answer a lot quicker through filtering and using multiple cross tabs,” says Johns. “Once you click on them and they change, you can trigger to another level and keep going deeper and deeper to look at it a different way. You can actually gain multiple answers to multiple questions within one dashboard.”
Perhaps TARGIT Decision Suite’s greatest benefit is the level of self-service that empowers everyday users. Origin employees are engaged with TARGIT’s data visualization capabilities, which has helped drive down the pull toward old-fashioned data extracts in Excel. Plus, self-service means users can create dashboards and analyses on their own and drill in to find answers to the questions they need without having to get IT involved every time.
The next step in Origin’s BI journey is to go bigger. The company plans to expand the data sources and bring TARGIT Decision Suite to more people in more departments throughout the organization. They will soon extend TARGIT from their current-day 60 users to more than 300 users. Thanks to TARGIT’s training, Origin is confident they can reach optimally high user adoption thanks to understanding user personas within the company. Based on those personas, they can customize the type of visualizations each user will receive and where they will receive them, whether that’s their desktop, mobile device, or through TARGIT Anywhere.
The sales team will be the first to benefit from this expansion. Sales team members will soon be able to access their data on the move from their mobile devices, enabling them to make better, faster decisions everywhere, from the client site to the crop field. Origin will also integrate environmental status monitoring, logistics, weather, farming, and asset management software into the TARGIT solution.
“In the long term, I see an uncapped potential for the number of users they have, both internally and externally,” says Thomsen. The seeds of Origin’s BI and analytics journey have only just begun to bloom.