Shufersal is Israel’s pioneer supermarket chain, with a history stretching back over 40 years and now operating 7 marketing chains with 172 branches countrywide. Shufersal has a highly sophisticated national logistic center, supplying the branches with over half of all the chain’s sales. The chain also offers facilities for shopping by e-mail, fax or telephone.
In order to provide better analysis for its suppliers, Shufersal identified the need for a new and secure BI system in a B2B environment. The idea was to enable the supplier to carry out their own analysis of the actual sales of their own brands in the different branches of the Shufersal chain. This would enable a more effective use of inventory, better management of the distribution and logistic network, and real-time improvement of product pricing in line with actual demand. Underlying the decision was the expectation of improving and strengthening Shufersal’s ties with their suppliers and enabling them to receive information that had previously not been available.
Yitzhak Shafer, Shufersal CIO, explains: “We were looking for a system that would give us an overall picture of the chain and show us details such as the scope of sales, turnover, inventory as well as information regarding our customer club. We needed the ability to provide details drilled down to branch level, departments and even individual products, so that each manager or supplier could see just the information relevant to him or her.”
The solution would serve the senior management and the category managers as an internal organizational solution, while providing a secure extranet for the many suppliers who work with the chain. In addition, the solution had to be very intuitive, easy to use, require minimal training, as well as provide a high level of performance, security and efficiency in a Web environment.
Shafer adds: “We were looking for a system that would be user-friendly and provide managers inside the organization with quick access to information, while also serving us outside the organization in our working relationships with our suppliers.”
Following a thorough investigation, Shufersal chose Panorama’s BI Platform. The system was rolled out and operational in the Shufersal chain, serving 30 head office employees on the intranet side, as well as some of the leading Shufersal suppliers on the extranet side.
The Panorama system interfaces with Shufersal’s Teradata Data Warehouse system and with the IBM AS/400 via 2 SQL Server engines running the Analysis Server cubes – one for internal use within Shufersal and the other fire-walled for extranet application.
Shimon Flikovich, a senior IBM Business Intelligence consultant, in charge of implementing the Business Intelligence OLAP systems in Shufersal, notes: “The Panorama solution enables us to develop applications in a relatively short time. It is intuitive and it has a very user-friendly Web interface. The simplicity of the solution and the fact that it is based on a Microsoft platform enables us to provide a full B2B system to our suppliers.”
According to Flikovich, Panorama’s solution makes it possible to drill down to a very deep level of the data with excellent performance, and to provide in-depth analysis with in a very short time and in a secure manner.
Yitzhak Shafer, Shufersal CIO: “Panorama’s BI system allows Shufersal to maintain its competitive advantage over the other chains, and enables the company’s decision-makers to obtain a general picture of customers, prices, internal processes and marketing trends, and thus make better decisions.”
In conclusion, Shefer noted that Shufersal achieved the targets it set for the project within a shorter timeframe and at a lower cost than originally planned. In the future he anticipates that the use of Panorama will be extended to additional fields of operation in Shufersal, and that it will not be long before all Shufersal branch managers will also benefit from Panorama’s capabilities to support and enhance their decision-making.
- Enterprise-wide access to more accurate consistent information
- Tailored analytics to specific departments and functions
- Ability to adapt rapidly to changing service requirements
- Optimized resources
- Self Serve access to information
- Leverage customizable reports