Real-Time Data Delivers Proshop a Daily Dose of Perspective

Navigating from outdated maps is difficult and risky. You may know the direction, but realize too late whether you’re on the right track. That was the urgent feeling that led Proshop to search for effective data analysis tools.

"Before, we made several decisions based on gut feelings and had to rely on simple, manual standard extraction of data," said Proshop CEO Morten Duch.  "Now, we have a complete, detailed overview in real time. We have a common starting point to talk and act from. It vastly improves our decision making process and helps raise awareness among key people in our sales and purchasing department about what our world looks like right now.  In our industry you cannot afford to be three weeks behind."
Every morning, Duch opens the solution from TimeXtender to view and evaluate stats and data from the last 24 hours.

Systematic response now possible
Proshop sells 120,000 different items in their web shop to customers in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany.  Everything from computers, juice presses, and razors, to robot vacuum cleaners and rice cookers. Pricing is automated with a fixed minimum margin for each product group.

"Now we quickly discover if sales fall in a given group or if the profit margin is under pressure, and we can respond immediately. Before we got the automated BI solution TimeXtender, we did not have a way of systematically taking action like this," explained Duch.

Proshop has several hundred thousand business customers as well as Happii and Merlin, targeting retail customers. In Proshop’s sales and purchasing department TimeXtender has also initiated changes.

"The seller and the buyers now have common starting points to base conversation on. For example, we can pinpoint when some of our major customers change shopping patterns. We will call them and discuss what is happening and why based on our new data,” said Duch.

Data overview is impetus for optimization and growth
Delivery time is an important parameter of competition in the international market. Proshop operates within. Picking up smaller warehouse items is done with a very large robot, and employees  work hard to meet  tight deadlines. Many orders are delivered the same day in selected areas or from day to day. That made Proshop pull their inventory data into TimeXtender as well, enabling them to detect trends in the inbound portion of the flow of goods.

“Customers are by definition impatient. They often spend one to two months examining and considering which product and which model they should buy. But once they decide, they do not want to wait for delivery. Whether the product can be delivered today or tomorrow or whether they can pick it up the same day, plays a crucial role in which web shop gets the order. That is why we optimize and automate everything possible. Down to the small practical level coding shortcut keys so our employees save more clicks," explained Duch.

Local shipping strengthens market share
Proshop recently established a shipping facility in Copenhagen based on TimeXtender data showing that geography even in a small country like Denmark makes a difference in sales volume. Local delivery strengthens the market share within a certain radius of the point of delivery.

"Now we also use TimeXtender to closely follow whether the investments in our new delivery center in Copenhagen has the desired effect," said Proshop’s CEO.

Proshop just entered the German market where the company uses TimeXtender to compare sales patterns in the different countries and quickly respond to fluctuations.

"We analyze trends and examine; for example, customer loyalty. We can then transfer these learnings from one market to another while adapting to the differences between markets,” says Morten Duch.

Significant savings on monthly reporting
The management team and the board of Proshop have also felt the effect of TimeXtender. Monthly reports can now be generated quickly and with greater detail.

Before Proshop got TimeXtender the finance department struggled with an SQL database that contained increasing amounts of useful data. But it was too expensive and too slow to work with.

"We spent expensive consulting hours to retrieve information from the system. Now, TimeXtender automatically downloads all SQL data to a data warehouse from which Excel retrieves all data. It's quick and easy," said Duch.

It’s not only consultants that Proshop saves money on:

"Without the TimeXtender solution, I would also have to hire more employees in the finance department, and yet it would be impossible to manually create the real-time view of movements and trends in our business. Without TimeXtender there are simply numbers, we cannot see.

"Our own programmer has been trained by TimeXtender, so we can make adjustments and specific data extracts. It means a lot to us that we have control over this tool, as it is much easier and faster to do it internally. Overall, TimeXtender has proven to be a very professional business intelligence and data warehouse automation solution," concluded Duch.
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