Upon recognising that reporting was becoming an issue for Duerr’s, CPiO introduced its Financial Accountant to QlikView, a powerful Business Intelligence tool which consolidates relevant data from multiple sources into a single application.
The oldest family-owned jam maker in England, F. Duerr & Sons Limited based in Wythenshawe, Manchester has been making quality preserves to family recipes for 133 years, passed down through five generations. In 1989, it began peanut butter production and is now the UK’s biggest producer, manufacturing 100,000 jars per day.
Duerr’s has over 200 employees covering two manufacturing plants that supply most major supermarket brands and it also provides the fillings for well-known baked cake brands.
A customer of leading Sage Strategic partner CPiO since 2009, Duerr’s has run a 99% fail proof system supported by Sage ERP 1000. Sage is used for stock, works order and bill of materials from the cooking and filling of jars to loading goods onto pallets; bar coding and warehouse management is controlled by Datalinx, which is seamlessly integrated into the Sage ERP 1000 system.
Neil Jackson, Financial Accountant at Duerr’s explains, “We’d been using a bespoke programme for reporting for 3 to 4 years and the development and maintenance costs were spiralling, the system was getting flaky and slowing down and things were going wrong. I could see there was potentially a major problem looming and it was making me nervous.”
Upon recognising that reporting was becoming an issue for Duerr’s, CPiO introduced Neil Jackson to QlikView, a powerful Business Intelligence tool which consolidates relevant data from multiple sources into a single application.
Alan Cobbald, Technical Director at CPiO spent a day with Neil taking the time to understand Duerr’s forecasting requirements. It was a matter of gleaning all the knowledge that Neil had about the company and its processes and creating an application in QlikView to bring all of that information together. The CPiO QlikView team’s enthusiasm for the product rubbed off on Neil and he could see immediately that QlikView could offer a more robust, established product which has strong support and long term investment in its development. This gave Neil confidence in the products longevity. Within 3 hours CPiO had replicated in QlikView what their bespoke system provided. It showed all of the history and updated data under the same controls. Neil explains, “Within a day, I was convinced that this was the best way forward.”
Due to the seasonality of Duerr’s business, historical data is used in QlikView to generate a simulated forecast allowing them to better plan for any fluctuations in sales Neil became so enthusiastic about QlikView as he realised its potential, “The possibilities are endless, we went on to develop another QlikView app and the product really took off. We took all of the forecasts on sales and costs to measure them against budgets and benchmarked how we were doing. We could easily identify problem areas and detect inaccuracies in the sales forecasts. In turn this meant that we had far better performance management.”
The sales reporting tool that held all of the sales and customer data has since been replaced by QlikView too. As time went on and QlikView’s capabilities became more apparent, Duerr’s realised that it had historically been restricted by how much data they could bring in. Where data could previously only be accessed at 3 levels, QlikView was limitless. Logistics and delivery costs can be factored into the cost of the product; this can be defined within the radius of a geographical area. Duerr’s can now see how much it costs to deliver the goods by customer.
Richard Duerr, Sales Director is a huge fan of the tool and is incredibly impressed by how easy it is to use. Neil explains, “Richard uses QlikView every day and pulls at least 4 reports a day. He can see what sales have been made to what customer by which of the sales team. Richard knows what he’s drilling down to are true, live figures. It’s very simple to use and has the flexibility to work the way each individual does. He loves it.”
With over 1,500 recipes in the business Duerr’s manages its materials resource planning (MRP) through QlikView. Neil talked to CPiO about gathering information around costings and explained, “I wanted to have a bill of material and a costing for each of the products, factoring in labour costs. CPiO wrote a programme for a 5 level bill of materials (BOM), it was the first time this had ever been done – a costing system based on the recipe or bill of materials and costs on stock cards. I keep the BOM for each product up to date and QlikView updates daily. It’s saved me so much time and made my job so much easier; I can now interrogate QlikView and get the information instantly; it used to take me two days to get the information. I can compare month on month to see any changes and get a breakdown. I’m really pleased with that one.”
Neil says, “It’s hard to quantify how much QlikView has saved the business, but having all this information to hand has saved a massive amount of time by aggregating millions of lines of data.”
It’s not only the finance and sales teams using QlikView at Duerr’s, the company now has over 50 QlikView applications deployed to date. There are no boundaries on where they can take the system. Using QlikView for Intrastat has meant that Duerr’s can report to HMRC on the movement of goods between Member States of the European Union. The procurement process has become more organised; by having a 12 month forecast of what’s needed Duerr’s can source suppliers in plenty of time for production and negotiate harder on price.
A great supporter of QlikView, Neil concludes, “The more you do with QlikView, the more you know it can do. I’m constantly impressed with where it can take me, it’s so easy to change and so flexible.”