Family Owned Analytics

BizCubed has had the good fortune to work with the some iconic family owned and driven organisations.  From Teys Brothers to DeBortoli Wines to Boost Juice.  I was sitting down with the team from another family owned company and the work that we had done with other, similar companies came up.  One thing that I realised was that the actual projects themselves were very wide-ranging, but there were some similarities.

One thing that was clear from the beginning with all of these customers was that they were looking for a cost effective solution at scale.  They wanted to be able to get started quickly at low cost, and understand exactly how the pricing model would work as their organisation grew and the implementation got larger.

A key decision point is how well the solution solves the problems facing organisation today and how effectively it will be able to be adapted for future challenges.  For example, at DeBortolis, the initial use case was reporting and data warehousing, but one of the main decision factor was the flexibility to add plugins so that the platform could be adapted to future use cases.  Over the years, they have developed plugins for PALO (JEDOX) and Open Erp (ODOO).  Additionally, they have expanded the usage beyond just the initial use case to application extension and legacy application modernisation.  What they have done is use the Pentaho platform to broker data between modern tablet applications and their legacy MRP platform.  Doing this provided 2 benefits, the first was to provide a modern mobile interface to their sales and production teams, but it also isolated the MRP platform so that when (if) they decides to migrate to a more modern MRP/ERP platform the change program is primarily a technical one of replacing the back-end – the front-end interface can stay the same.  This loose coupling – enabled by Pentaho – will make their future legacy application investments more cost-effective and lower risk.

Family owned businesses have typically experienced first-hand the challenges associated with growing a business.  These challenges include cashflow constraints and the very real pain and cost of outgrowing initial solutions.  As we’ve worked with Boost, the strategy is to expand past the original Boost brand to other brands (there are 2 other brands deployed on the same system).  Additionally, they are constantly adding stores and want to amortise their investment across the additional stores that are added.  In the solution that we’ve built with them there is no additional cost as they add stores – or even as they add brands.  This scalable usage model means that as they grow their solution becomes more and more cost effective.  This model means that they reap the majority of the benefits of their growth.

When analytics are deployed correctly the appetite for the information and the outputs of the platform are almost unlimited.  Scaling the solution past the initial use case is often limited due to licensing and software constraints.  With it’s no per user licencing and full extensibility the Pentaho platform typically grows past its initial implementation very quickly.  When working with our customer Teys Australia they found that there was an opportunity to role an analytics solution to the factory floor.  With no limits, we were able to role this capability very quickly and it delivered significant value to the bottom line of the organisation.  This frictionless deployment of analytics capability means that the value of the investment can scale without limits.

The final thing we’ve experienced with family owned businesses – is that once they start, they tend to urgently work to achieve the scale that will allow them to see the significant value that is possible with the platform.

If you’d like to achieve significant results that are smart, cost effective and scalable, work with us and we can help you achieve them with urgency.

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