Company: Jelly Belly Candy Company

Company Profile

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.

Business Challenge

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.”

Solution

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.

Results

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!”

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