Microsoft SQL Server Sales Analysis and Reporting for L’Oréal UK

‘A low cost, user-friendly, effective and reliable solution to fulfil urgent commercial needs’

Laurence Brunet, Business Systems Consultant at L’OréalUK

Background

L’Oréal is world leader in the cosmetics industry with a portfolio of some of the best-known brands, including L’Oréal Paris, Laboratoire Garnier, Maybelline New York, Lancôme and Redken NYC.  L’Oréal UK is L’Oréal’s fourth largest subsidiary in Europe and the fifth largest worldwide. It is a significant player in the UK market, known for its dynamic programme of major product launches. The UK is the third largest market for cosmetics and toiletries in the European Union behind Germany and France.

L’Oréal wanted a tool to gather and analyse customer EPOS data in order to improve sales understanding and reporting. The existing process was consuming vast amounts of National Account Managers’ time. This was spent gathering information from numerous data sources and translating them into Excel spreadsheets which required updating weekly. This was a highly manual process that produced information in numerous formats.

Issues

The requirement was for a tool which could provide:

  • fast responses to customer queries
  • productivity and efficiency gains
  • an improved planning and decision-making process from existing data sources

The tool should be quick to access, easy to use and simple to update and support. It was critical that it should lead users to areas of the business requiring attention.  

Solution

As L’Oréal had implemented MS SQL Server elsewhere in the organisation, it was already aware of its ability to provide a single scaleable database to store the EPOS data, a mechanism to import and transform the data (DTS) and a powerful OLAP engine for Business Intelligence analysis.

L’Oréal was also aware of the affordable licence costs, which, coupled with its existing internal skills and choice of front-end tool, resulted in a low total cost of ownership.

The front-end tool for the OLAP cubes that L’Oréal selected, was ProClarity, a tool that provided both client and web-based architectures, powerful analysis tools (Decomposition Tree and Perspective), and the ability for users to simply create their own measures in an intuitive, user-friendly environment.

Thorogood input

Thorogood provided a solution tailored to L’Oréal’s exact needs:

  • L’Oréal required an automated tool for accessing and downloading EPOS data from customer web sites. Thorogood developed a standalone Visual Basic application for this purpose
  • Once L’Oréal had designed and built the model, Thorogood assisted by tuning the SQL Server relational database and creating more complex custom measures and hierarchies using MDX

Benefits to the client

L’Oréal has gained:

  • an automated tool for downloading EPOS data, so that manual work is no longer necessary
  • data provided in a standard format throughout the company

Also, National Account Managers now have instant access to sales information allowing them to respond to customer queries in minutes.

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