Company: Macmillan Distribution

Company Overview

Macmillan Distribution (MDL) provides a distribution service for the  Macmillan Publishing Group as well as distribution services to more than 40  third-party publishers. MDL employs 300+ staff, and its title file contains  more than 100,000 titles. MDL offers warehousing of more than 400,000 square  feet that ensures the smooth operation of receiving, storing and distributing  an extensive range of books.

Business Challenge

Panorama’s BI Solution enables MDL to offer its clients customizable access  to their own personalized information through a standard Web browser and empower  them through better control of their own data. Data delivers sales information  with a large range of dimensions that allow new levels of analysis previously  unavailable though older legacy tools.

Strengths

Panorama’s BI Solution is a very robust solution and offers superior  intuitiveness compared to other tools in the market. It’s fully capable of  taking an unlimited number of data sources and creating easy-to-manage  dashboards, views and reports. It is easy to use, flexible and customizable,  and allows the user to manipulate the view as required.

Weaknesses

One of the challenges was the  integration with internal security and firewall software, and configuration was  a challenge, which Panorama helped MDL to overcome. In addition, MDL clients  are so dependent on the solution that they found when it came time for deployment,  change could not happen fast enough. For the internal technical team, some of  the new features were not quality assured, but they have worked extensively  with the Panorama team in order to smooth out the process of upgrading the  solution.

Selection Criteria

MDL looked at other  candidates for our BI needs and ultimately selected Panorama. Panorama was able  to offer a powerful functionality and intuitive usability that could easily  accommodate multiple types of users with various access rights. We were  confident they could offer superior protection of information while making  deployment seamless. Panorama has a demonstrated track record with Microsoft  SQL Server Analysis Services, which was important to us and a large deciding  factor in our selection. Panorama’s pricing was found to be competitive and  extremely fair.

Deliverables

The MDL solution (MIDAS)  is currently running close to 30 reports from eight different data sources,  with the policy of giving clients access to all their data. As such, these  reports are not configured and show all dimensions and slicers to enable  self-service reporting for the end users. Having addressed all of the power  users at client publishers, in order to get a greater take-up percentage, work  is underway to deliver more set configured reports. The client base is  constantly demanding the delivery of new information, and through the solid  infrastructure provided by Panorama’s BI Solution, this has become an ongoing and  successful process. Recent phases have seen MDL building on earlier success and  delivering more information relating to stockholding, sales against forecasts  and other value-added information from elsewhere in the supply chain.

Vendor Support

Overall, vendor support  was found to be excellent from Panorama, but was especially noted at  implementation. In the first 12 months, Panorama provided technically competent  people to overcome some of the hurdles experienced. Ongoing support is  consistently good.

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