Swiss Farms prides itself on being a fast, easy neighborhood drive-thru grocery and dairy service, delivering the freshest products at a fair price. After 45 years in business, the company has customer convenience down to an art form.
We do things well and we do them once with TARGIT.
- Chris Gray, CEO, Swiss Farms
Swiss Farms prides itself on being a fast, easy neighborhood drive-thru grocery and dairy service, delivering the freshest products at a fair price. After 45 years in business, the company has customer convenience down to an art form. With 13 stores already humming in Southeastern Pennsylvania and more on the way, Swiss Farms relies on TARGIT Decision Suite's analytics solution designed for retail to deliver data across the organization in order to ensure their reputation for freshness, convenience, and quality service stays on top.
Before TARGIT, Chris Gray, CEO and former IT Director at Swiss Farms, had implemented Microsoft AX ERP for Retail but found the platform had limited reporting and analysis tools. At Swiss Farms, Gray had experience with SAP Crystal Reports, but developing new reports was a tedious, time-consuming task.
It was time for a new way to look at business intelligence and analytics. Swiss Farms shopped around for the right solution to fit their unique retail needs. In the end, it was TARGIT Decision Suite’s ease of use, price point, and strong integration with Dynamics AX that won out.
Swiss Farms’ TARGIT experience started strong. During the initial implementation, the data warehouse retail cube was developed by a third-party partner and immediately hit some snags.
“TARGIT consulting stepped in and resolved the issues we were having, and the experience got immediately better,” says Gray. “I really can’t say enough good things about TARGIT consulting.”
But TARGIT’s support doesn’t stop at software sales and implementation. In order to get the most out of any software investment, it helps to start with a solid basis of understanding and continue to pick up on tips and tricks as the BI journey progresses. That’s why TARGIT offers a variety of different classes for BI users of all skill levels.
“As for the learning curve, thanks to the solid training provided through TARGIT University, it was relatively small for me,” says Gray. “I didn’t have much trouble at all hitting the ground running.”
Throughout Swiss Farms, TARGIT adoption has been positive. “Once [store managers] get a good immersion into the product, they figure out what they are doing. Most of the people in our organization are able to pick it up after a quick lesson.”
Company-wide adoption was a priority for Swiss Farms from the get-go. During the early implementation phase, Gray sat down with employees throughout the organization and asked them specifically what they needed in a BI solution. From those discussions, Gray and the BI team were able to build customized dashboards and analyses that gave each department what they were looking for.
“We always involve the end-users in the process,” says Gray. “BI is relevant to individual roles and locations. Data that looks meaningful to one store may not for another. We don’t want to clog up dashboards with every store's information that might not be relevant to all. Keeping the users in mind when creating dashboards and analyses helps people better make sense of the data in front of them.”
Additionally, TARGIT Decision Suite’s various client types let Swiss Farms employees consume their data when and where they need it. TARGIT Decision Suite power users work most in the desktop client, while most employees — from the CEO to the assistant store managers and everyone in between — tap into TARGIT’s web client to quickly and conveniently access reports, analyses, and dashboards.
And with TARGIT Decision Suite, it’s not necessary to create a new report or analyses for every user. Just set it and forget it, and the system will automatically generate reports and analyses with information relevant only to that particular user. TARGIT Decision Suite’s secure data governance and access controls ensure every employee only has access to the data they are meant to see.
Now years into their BI journey, Swiss Farms attributes TARGIT Decision Suite for revealing a greater level of insight into the business than ever before. Today, the company uses TARGIT Decision Suite to precisely track retail, purchasing procurement, and trucking logistics from their dairy fleet.
Every day a report is electronically sent to the Swiss Farms’ dairy with order specifications so the dairy can quickly and accurately pull stack counts for each truck depending on quantities and the location of the store receiving the order. On the other end, each individual store uses the reports to check the accuracy of every delivery. This allows Swiss Farms to track each product from the dairy farm to customers’ hands.
The company is also taking advantage of harnessing data stored outside of the data warehouse to gain a more comprehensive view of business with TARGIT Data Service. For years Swiss Farms had valuable data stored in disparate spreadsheets on desktops throughout the company that sat largely unused. Employees now easily pull in data from Excel and other flat files, SQL, and weather data and mash it up with data from the data warehouse with the click of the mouse to create reports on the fly.
Swiss Farms is also currently experimenting with analytics that gives greater insight into customer service data. When customers call or submit website messages with complaints or compliments, employees load those into a spreadsheet, and TARGIT Data Service creates analyses in minutes on top of data from existing in-memory cubes.
They’re even harnessing Twitter data, and have plans to incorporate Facebook data from customers, all of which they will mash up with internal customer call center data to gain a more comprehensive understanding of overall customer satisfaction. With the right information at hand, Swiss Farms can create a better customer experience.
Gray says he looks forward to diving even deeper into TARGIT Data Service in the future. Particularly, he plans on taking advantage of the many big data connections, such as Quandl, to easily use data from the world around them and know how it affects the business.
Currently, Swiss Farms is updating their TARGIT software to the newest Decision Suite version. Gray is happy to report the upgrade process is a simple one.
“Going from one major version to the next is a 20-minute job,” he says. “That’s a nice little perk.”
Overall, Swiss Farms is incredibly happy with their TARGIT experience. As the company continues to grow, they know TARGIT will scale with them, taking their business to the next level.
“We do things well and we do them once with TARGIT.”