Founded in 1869, Jelly Belly Candy Company is a manufacturer of jelly beans and other confections. Jelly Belly produces the leading gourmet jelly beans in the world as well as other treats such as candy corn and Gummi Bears. Jelly Belly products are sold in 35 countries around the world and in 2003, the company reported annual sales of more than $140m US.
Jelly Belly Candy Company needed a better way to analyze data to more precisely gauge the company’s global efforts. Jelly Belly’s old reporting system had been created in-house more than 10 years ago and had very fragmented reporting capabilities. The need to create a reporting system that would support real-time exploration of organizational data and the ability to drill down into deeper levels of their information lead Jelly Belly to implement a more robust Business Intelligence solution featuring Panorama’s BI Solution combined with Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services. With this solution, Jelly Belly employees now have faster access to data that is more accurate and have the ability to drill down and gain more detailed insight into critical information. As a result, Jelly Belly has seen a marked improvement in productivity with remote users able to access data 10 times faster and daily sales information updated 12 times faster than with the earlier system.
With their decade-old, in-house system, Jelly Belly employees would come to the monthly product review meetings with a variety of different reports — green-bar reports from one system, different reports from the web-based system — and often, the numbers from each report would conflict or be incomplete. With no single version of the “true” numbers, meetings would drag on as participants left the room in search of better numbers and frequently follow-up meetings were needed. Identifying errors and tracing their cause was also very time-consuming and often took contacting various people in the field to get accurate answers.
Jelly Belly wanted a reporting system that would support the kind of real-time exploration of data that allows managers to create their own search criteria without having to ask IT to develop custom reports. They also needed a system that would let them drill down to see the “numbers behind the numbers” and that would ensure that the data was consistent throughout the organization.
|“With the Panorama BI Solution and Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, we have much better data visibility. As a result, we’ve slashed the time of our product review meetings by about 75 percent!”Dan Rosman, Director of IT Jelly Belly Candy Company|
“Our old system didn’t let us drill down to lower levels of data,” says Joe Coulter, Business Systems Manager, Jelly Belly Candy Company. “The reports showed us a monthly level of data, but we wanted to be able to look at what was happening on a weekly and daily basis. We also needed the ability to customize the filters for the data so we could gain more detail about what was happening on a product basis and customer basis.”
For its new Business Intelligence solution, Jelly Belly evaluated the Panorama and Microsoft solution and the solution offered by Oracle. After an extensive evaluation that included a full prototype of the proposed solution using data from their ERP system, Jelly Belly chose Panorama and Microsoft because it provided a complete business intelligence and data warehousing solution.
The complete solution consisted of Panorama running on top of Microsoft Analysis Services, deployed on a Dell PowerEdge 2650 dual-processor server. The data warehouse holds 5 million records covering more that 5 years of historical sales data. With Panorama and Microsoft Analysis Services, Jelly Belly personnel are now able to drill down to daily figures at the invoice level and access a variety of web-based reports that are easy to use and easily accessible for users throughout the organization. Information is now readily available and any issues can be more easily identified and corrected.
Better Data To Support – Better Business Decisions
Dan Rosman, Director of Information Technology at Jelly Belly Candy Company, knew his company would gain better visibility into its ERP data when it deployed its new BI solution. But he was surprised by the immediacy of the impact, which included reducing the time that used to be spent searching for data.
“With the Panorama and Microsoft solution, we have much better data visibility. The information is right there on the laptop for everyone to see. You can drill down in real time and you can get the information that you need. As a result, we’ve slashed the time of our product review meetings by about 75 percent!”
Flexible and Customizable Reporting
Jelly Belly managers also now enjoy a wealth of possibilities as they explore the data using Panorama’s BI Solution— viewing it across different dimensions and drilling down for whatever detail they need. This is a welcome change from the old system.
“With the old ERP reports, you got what the programmer gave you and that was it,” Rosman says. “Now, we’ve created a series of template-based reports, but the difference is that users can take that template and reconfigure it anyway they like. They can store their custom report and go back to it with the click of the mouse and the reports automatically updates with fresh data whenever you use it. That’s a huge timesaver.”
The new solution has also made information so easily available that IT is saving time by not having to print monthly green-bar reports — each of which was up to 1000 pages and were printed up to a dozen times a month. Now they print reports for only one person — they used to spend 3 days compiling the reports and now it only takes 4 hours.
Jelly Belly experienced numerous benefits from its new business intelligence solution, including:
- Better data to support better business decisions
- Flexible customized reports
- Deeper insight into data
- Increased productivity
- Lower operational costs
Use of the business intelligence solution and the data warehouse are quickly expanding throughout the company, now finance, sales, marketing, operations and distribution are using the solution and it’s still expanding.
“We’re surprised by how many people are making use of the new BI solution,” Rosman says. “This is good to see because information is what people need to do their jobs better.”
Rosman adds, “People from sales and marketing presented in front of the whole management team and it seemed like nearly all of them took time to say in one way or another:’Thanks for giving us these tools!”