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Business Intelligence Software at SYSCO

SYSCO, the largest food distributor in North America is planning to implement a company-wide deployment of Business Intelligence Software to make better use of information generated by its operations and serve its customers better. At present, the company serves close to 420,000 customers, employs 45,000 employees and has over 100 operating companies.

Decision to be taken:
To determine how much software to purchase keeping in mind the present customer base and future growth

Major Issues and Solution:

The operating companies had dissimilar hardware and software platforms. Even when two companies had same applications, they configured them differently. This led to a lot of confusion and data about the same customer was stored differently by the different organisations. To tackle this problem, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) System was implemented in 2003. Part numbers, customer identifications, order statuses, and other information were not consistent across all parts of the corporation. To do away with this issue, SYSCO implemented a data warehouse, a large database that served as a single repository for all the financial and operational data of the operating companies.

Present Unsolved Issues:

Even with ERP and data warehouse in place, SYSCO did not have the technical expertise to analyse and monitor relevant and meaningful information out of such a voluminous amount of data. Business Intelligence Software can be implemented to address these needs.

Competitive Advantages of Business Intelligence Software for SYSCO:

Dashboards one-screen summary of important information. SYSCO executives and frontline employees can use it to take decisions swiftly Extraction Data from various sources can be combined to give a holistic picture. This can be highly useful to SYSCO to retrieve customer information Data Mining BI Software can analyse historical data and look for correlations, trends and patterns to help SYSCO achieve operational excellence Predefined Reports This will save a lot of managerial effort in skimming the data Ad hoc querying and reporting BI software can help generate reports and graphs as needed Predictive analytics It will help executives in forecasting future events and trends to chalk out the future strategy

Event Notification BI software will provide alerts to users based on predefined occurrences across all the different companies of SYSCO Distribution Executives across different companies can share their dashboards, graphs, reports and other analyses. This will help the company in achieving common goals in more efficient ways.

Minimum Number of licences Perfomance dashboards licences to 10 people at each of 83 operating companies 3 people at each operating companies and 5 corporate IT professionals would Bare Bones perfrom query analysis 1 license at each company for for reporting purposes Don't buy Customer Intelligence Analytical Module, develop in-house (Cost Saving) 15 dashboard licenses at each of the operating company 1300 basic licenses instead of 1000 in bare bones approach Buy Customer Intelligence Analytical Module (Additional Cost) Buy additional licesnces in another one year Leverage the volume discount that Business Objects is providing Buy Customer Intelligence Analytical Module as well as Supply Chain Module ( Maximum Cost up front ) 2000 basic licenses Cost effective in a sense that bulk buying will fetch more discount and firm can afford to pay entire cost up front to avail the discount

Middle of the Road

Volume Discount

1. SYSCO should go for Middle of the Road approach as it can generate better return on investments over an relatively smaller expense. 2. Customer Intelligence Analytical Module will prove to be useful in finding customer behavior patterns and selling products according to customer needs. It will also provide strategic information on the customers that we are likely to lose to our competitors. This can help in customer retention. 3. 15 Performance dashboard licenses can be used to summarise relevant business information at an operating company level. At each company, employees as well as executives will be able to view the performance data based on various parameters in an graphical and interactive way. It will lead to effective monitoring of their areas of responsibility. 4. As Business Objects implementation has not been done before in the firm, this approach will give the firm an opportunity to find the effectiveness of BI initiative in improving the overall performance of the firm, before it buys more licenses. 5. Sysco has already built a decentralized IT infrastrucute and has the data warehouse in place. Business Object licences will help it analyse the huge data in warehouse for better decision making. 6. Sysco should leverage Business objects and build an expertise in predictive analysis.