Industry Insights: Retail Pet Services
We are driven to inspire, empower and drive our clients to focus on what they do best, and often that means building a solution from the ground up. In this blog post, the latest in a series focusing on the insights we’ve gleaned through our work with a wide range of companies, we’d like to focus on the retail pet services industry, and in particular, the challenge of managing reporting processes for a large organization.
The client, a leading specialty retailer of services and solutions for pets, carries a line of more than 10,000 products, with proprietary and exclusive products counting for more than one-third of its net sales. With more than 50,000 employees working in nearly 1,500 stores across the United States and Canada, the company is as focused on caring for its team members as it is on innovating for its loyal customer base of pet owners.
As with any company of similar size, the client has an extensive human resources (HR) division that is charged with a variety of people-related functions, from hiring to internal promotions and encouraging sign-ups to the company’s 401K plan. As part of these operational processes, the company needs to run tabular reports that describe specific characteristics of their employee base – for example, a report listing all employees along with the state in which they work, their salary and pay grade. Each time the company’s HR team needed a report, however, they had to ask the IT team to create one, and a report often took two or three weeks to build. The company had billions of rows of data in its systems, because every pay period created a record for each employee, with entries for every line on the paystub, and so it needed a solution that could accommodate a large volume of data.
To eliminate the long lead time in accessing information needed for daily HR processes, and to reduce the overhead associated with using IT resources to build individual reports, the client turned to ProKarma for help building an ad-hoc, self-serving reporting solution its HR and other business divisions could use.
Because the client’s data was housed in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, the ProKarma team built a data warehouse using SAP technology. ProKarma used the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform to model the data in such a way that the HR and other teams were able to ask questions of the data, such as the average age or tenure of the company’s employees.
By simply launching Web-based software, a member of the client’s team could build a report in a matter of minutes, without the need to involve IT – a truly self-service model that saves the company an estimated $150,000 per year in reduced IT expenses alone for each monthly report required. They were able to easily aggregate data across the company or a region or drill down into how much was paid to its employees on a single day. The team also created a set of customizable report templates so the client could begin using the solution quickly, with minimal effort.