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Reinventing Business: Enterprise Data Warehouse Business Opportunities for Manufacturing, Part 3

Originally published May 6, 2010

Business Improvement Opportunities

While Part 1 of this series provided the definition and scope of the enterprise data warehouse (EDW), Parts 2 – 6 address how the EDW is used to reinvent business. Thirty major business improvement opportunities are described. Collectively, they comprise revolutionary change for most manufacturers. Each opportunity is described as follows:
  • Objective describes the goal state.
  • Background describes a typical current state without an EDW.
  • New Process describes recommended processes and EDW functionality.
  • Leadership summarizes management focus required to achieve the results.
  • Results are business improvement opportunity financial benefit potentials as a percent of revenue for a “typical” manufacturer. These should be modified based on current information system capabilities, current costs, and opportunities appropriate to the specific business and industry.
Two common methods for evaluating investments are ROI (return on investment) and NPV (net present value). Some companies use both. In either case, business improvement opportunities (returns) should include both cost reductions and incremental profit margin on increased revenue expectations. Because an EDW is strategic, use of a five-year scope for the investment calculations is recommended. A time-phased financial analysis, recognizing the implementation timing and benefits of each phase, should be used.

Because the cost of implementing an EDW depends on company specifics, notably the number of source systems, this series does not include ROI estimates. But, best practice EDWs have been proven to provide exceptional ROIs.

EDW implementation cost estimates should be based on net added cost beyond spending for the current business intelligence (BI) environment. BI environments with many data marts and operational data stores are expensive. During EDW implementation, spending on data marts and operational data stores should be minimized so the net added cost is less than the total EDW cost. An EDW does not require re-engineering of operational processes, so it is substantially easier, faster, and less expensive than enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects.

Net present value calculations state future costs and benefits in terms of today’s money, using an appropriate annual cost of money to reduce future cash flow values to today’s value. This enables direct comparison of ongoing benefits with one-time investments, such as an EDW implementation. To simplify the concept, NPV for each opportunity is included in Part 8. The stated five-year NPV is four times the annual benefit, using a simple and conservative valuation. This represents roughly an 8% annual cost of money for the next five years. Using a lower value of money or longer time horizon will increase NPV.

Part 2 of this series described 7 business improvement opportunities in the enterprise. This installment will continue with a description of 10 business improvement opportunities in marketing and sales.

Marketing and Sales

The ten business improvement opportunities described in this section primarily impact marketing and sales organizations.

1. Marketing Effectiveness

Objective:
Marketing programs including advertising, promotions, price changes, rebates, allowances, and trade funds are well-planned, well-executed, profitable, and add value to customer relationships. Results of marketing programs are tracked on a timely basis.

Background:
In manufacturing companies, marketing programs are often not well conceived, planned, or coordinated with supply chain management, resulting in limited results, or even negative results. These poor results may be exacerbated by the lack of timely, exception-based feedback during the programs.

Non-existent, inaccurate, or unreliable demand forecasts for marketing programs may result in poor supply planning, stock-outs and backlogs. Stock-outs can result in lost customers and/or reduced customer satisfaction and loyalty. Poorly conceived programs can have a significant negative effect on margins when total volume increase, if any, does not offset increased costs or investment requirements. Erratic demand patterns require excess capacity and increased investments in manufacturing and inventory.

New Process:
The EDW provides visibility of total impacts of marketing programs, enabling cross-functional coordination and improved management of programs. Program plans in the EDW support advance supply chain planning. During the program, actual daily or weekly order (demand) and invoice (sales) results are compared to program forecasts. Order visibility, in addition to sales visibility, is critical to manage out-of-stock or backorder situations when orders are being received but no sales billed. Promotions are monitored, with exception reporting of those not meeting forecast or those resulting in excess cannibalization of other products. Financial analysis determines positive and negative financial impacts, including margins for all impacted products, net increased market share, supply chain investments, liquidation of excess inventories, etc. Supply chain analysis evaluates supply chain impacts including effect on service, customer satisfaction, returns, etc.

For consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, where allowances to retailers may be 10% of revenue, trade fund management is improved with visibility of total purchases, incremental threshold analysis, and analysis of year-to-date versus last-year-to-date promotional funding. Regional test program effectiveness is more accurately measured with results in the market test areas being compared to those in control areas – at a detailed level on a daily basis.

Related analyses include:
  • Product promotions that did not meet plan by period, by customer location.
  • Promotions creating excess cannibalization of related product sales.
  • Impact of advertising campaigns: in total, by region, and by customer.
  • Impact of programs on revenue and profitability: for the category and the company.
In addition to transactional data, good analysis requires marketing program data including identification of associated advertising and promotional costs, special pricing, allowances, relevant time period, regions, and forecasted volume impacts by product and SKU.

Leadership:
Business unit executives take responsibility for the total impact of marketing programs on operational results. Cross-functional communication and decision making among marketing, sales, finance, and supply chain areas is required when planning programs. Comprehensive daily or weekly monitoring of results versus forecasts is implemented, with exception reporting and drill-down access to line item detail, including order unit demand, invoiced revenue, and backlogs. Items that may be cannibalized are identified and tracked. Both positive and negative impacts for all programs are evaluated. Total financial impact analysis assures that programs are well-conceived and yield substantial net value to the entire enterprise. Ineffective programs are fixed or eliminated. Full understanding of promotional impacts often results in substantial reductions in their use.

Results:
If marketing programs affect 10% of sales with a 25% profit margin, and that margin is improved 10%, the bottom line is improved by .25% of revenue. Further value stems from better customer service, improved satisfaction, fewer lost customers, and less cost impact on supply chain operations. [For a CPG company with trade funds representing 10% of revenue, a 2.5% savings in trade fund costs contributes .25% of revenue to the bottom line.]

2. Marketing Communications

Objective:
Marketing communications cost is reduced and effectiveness improved by using the EDW to integrate and share product information inside and outside the company by providing market-focused product information to subsidiaries, channel partners (wholesalers, distributors, dealers, and retailers), customers, and the public. The company presents one face to the customer and becomes easy to do business with.

Background:
Marketing communications include advertising, promotional material, product documents, catalogs, brochures, price pages, websites, training material, and other product information for channel partner and customer databases. Market-focused product information (sometimes called “master data”) includes descriptions, characteristics, packaging hierarchies and dimensions, Global Trade Item Numbers, documents, manuals, images, training materials, ordering quantities, prices, and product line hierarchies. Information content may be related to individual SKUs or to groups of products.

Product commercialization processes are generally not well integrated across business units. Marketing communications processes are often decentralized and inconsistent, with much of the content created by outsourced advertising and graphic arts vendors. Vendors may retain ownership of the content and charge manufacturers for each reuse. Content is often re-invented country by country – a slow and expensive process.

New Process:
Product development and commercialization processes feed all product information into the EDW, where it is integrated at least daily. Current information from product development, manufacturing, legal, and marketing sources is integrated and made available for internal sales and marketing, subsidiaries, channel partners, customers and the public. The EDW becomes the repository for sharing all global and local product information.

Documents, photographs, and other multimedia are digital and treated like any other data, with multimedia sources feeding the EDW. (Some multimedia may be stored on a separate file server, but should be indexed and integrated with structured data in the EDW.) Market center managers maintain relationships between structured and multimedia content in the EDW. They also control product hierarchies (taxonomies or categories) and related content specific to each market, distribution channel, and country.

Publishing systems enable immediate creation of catalogs, price pages, brochures and advertising by selecting format templates and content from the EDW. Paper distribution is minimized. For some large manufacturers, the market-focused responsibility enables integration across business units, enabling the one face objective.

Public information is accessible on the Internet directly from the EDW or from an Internet server fed by the EDW. Customer and channel-specific information is delivered via secured Internet sites and other electronic media. The channel-specific information enables Internet-based online commerce with channel partner or customer portals and ordering capabilities across business units.

Call centers and sales have access to documents and other product information with the ability to fax or email information from the EDW immediately. The EDW tracks information distribution for marketing or sales follow-up.

Channel partner product information maintenance processes are automated via EDI or XML transmissions of new or changed product information. These are transmitted directly to channel partners or via industry gateways such as UCCnet. Similarly, the EDW pushes product master data to internal company and subsidiary fulfillment systems. Channel partners and subsidiaries are able to eliminate time-consuming manual product database maintenance processes.

Product information is translated and adapted to local requirements by subsidiaries, country operations, or channel partners. They access product information, translate, and modify content to meet local language and other requirements. That localized content is then maintained in the EDW within hierarchies specific to each country – in local languages. [For a global company, the database is structured to handle all languages, including Kanji and other double-byte character sets.]

Leadership:
Marketing executives lead the transition and take responsibility for changing to the data management culture. Product commercialization processes are established to collect and integrate all “structured” and “multimedia” information in the EDW in standardized formats. Market managers are assigned responsibility to organize and position the data for each specific market or channel. Electronic publishing capability enables in-sourcing of most marketing communications tasks, such as catalog and price page publishing, reducing external contract vendor costs. Photography and other multimedia to support customer training is treated like any other digital data – integrated, standardized, and accessible. All marketing communications costs are identified and managed.

Results:
If total marketing communications costs are 2% of revenue and can be reduced by 10%, the contribution to profits is .2% of revenue. For many manufacturers, the long term impact of presenting one face to the customer and becoming easier to do business with can lead to higher customer satisfaction and retention with substantially greater impact on the bottom line.

3. Customer Profitability

Objective:
Customer relationship management is based on customer profitability, rather than just revenue. Marketing, distribution, pricing, and channel strategies are based on profitability. Global purchasing agreements can be negotiated with customers if appropriate. CRM programs to increase market and customer penetration are pursued with visibility of the impact on profits. Profitability information is available for individual customer accounts, the entire customer enterprise, and by market or channel.

Background:
Companies without an EDW may only have profitability information by business unit, product line, region, and country. Without customer profitability information, sales, marketing, and distribution strategies are not rationalized. Often a significant percent of channel partners and/or end customers make little or no contribution to profit, and may even generate net losses. Some companies initiate CRM programs and increase market penetration – adding unprofitable customers and decreasing overall profitability! Improving customer profitability is a major driver of EDW implementations.

New Process:
Customer profitability is calculated from transaction detail by subtracting cost from actual revenue. Of course, net revenue should be used (gross invoice amount minus credits, deductions, rebates, allowances, etc.). Since rebates and allowances may apply across customer locations, they should preferably be allocated to the customer location and SKU for more accurate accountability. If standard manufacturing cost is used, the result is called gross margin because it does not take into account distribution, marketing, sales, and customer service costs. Gross margin information is helpful, but can result in misleading conclusions because of different customer ordering patterns and support requirements. Ideally, activity based costing (ABC) is used to determine real profitability with fully allocated costs. If ABC is not available, average distribution, marketing, sales, and customer service costs may be used, but then customer activity must be carefully analyzed to identify and avoid costly ordering patterns or excess support costs.

Analytic capabilities should include ranking channel partners or customers by profitability; classifying customers by type, channel, or market; tracking profitability trends; and interactive drill-down through the customer's organizational hierarchy to individual customer locations and accounts. If POS data from channel partners (distributors, wholesalers, dealers, etc.) is available, end customer profitability can also be analyzed.

Leadership:
Executives are assigned responsibility for monitoring and managing customer profitability for individual accounts and for the total customer or channel partner. Pricing strategies are corrected or unprofitable customers and channel partners are dropped. This process may be called “channel rationalization.” With detail visibility, problems are identified and resolved by individual customer location or store and by SKU. Correction of problems may involve avoidance of credits, deductions, rebates, returns, or allowances, in addition to pricing and discount issues.

Results:
A typical company, previously lacking visibility of channel partner or customer profitability, can reasonably expect to reduce losses or improve margin by 2% for 10% of customer sales. This results in profit improvement of .2% of revenue.

4. Customer Penetration

Objective:
“Share of customer” is maximized by realizing the total sales potential of all products and services to current customers.

Background:
Increasing penetration of current customers is typically a sales process dependent upon product knowledge of individual sales reps within the scope of their customers and area.

New Process:
Opportunities to increase customer penetration are found by a systematic program comparing the products sold to comparable channel partners (distributors, wholesalers, dealers, and retailers) or customers globally. For example, if products A, B, C, and D are sold to customer X, but only A, C, and D are sold to similar Y, then selling product B to customer Y is a customer penetration opportunity. There are likely to be thousands of such opportunities on a global basis.

Another approach to customer penetration is leveraging procurement. For example, if you buy from major companies but they don’t buy from you, you may be able to leverage your purchasing power to improve sales opportunities. Analysis requires matching customer and vendor information across business units. Legal advice is recommended, as there may be some constraints to this approach.

Visibility of end customers served indirectly through channel partners requires customer point of sale (POS) information from channel partners. For this purpose, POS data must include customer name and address. Customer data is often not available from retail POS, but is available from most distributors, wholesalers, and dealers. Data must also include order or invoice line item detail including product identification, unit quantity, and price. Channel partners can be motivated to share POS data by the opportunity to jointly improve end customer penetration. An EDW is often needed, and justified, for handling large POS data volumes.

To identify and compare similar customers or channel partners, industry classification of businesses is required. Companies with many customers will find it necessary to automate classification. This can be done by standardizing names and addresses in the EDW, using software such as Trillium with name and address standardization and verification capabilities. Standardized customer names and addresses are then matched to a database with standard industry classifications, such as Dun & Bradstreet. For example, below are industry classifications that might be used by a company selling food ingredients or packaging products to food manufacturing customers:

20 00 Food and Kindred Products
 
   20 00 A Pasta, breakfast cereal, chocolate, powders, desserts
   20 00 B Canned and preserved fruit and vegetables
   20 00 C Fats and oils
   20 00 D Frozen and refrigerated food
   20 00 E Milky and dairy products
   20 00 F Ice cream
   20 00 G Basic products (grains, products, etc.)
   20 00 H Mineral water
   20 00 I Juices, teas and health drinks
   20 00 J Alcoholic beverages (wine and spirits)
   20 00 K Soft drinks
   20 00 L Beer
   20 00 M Animal prepared feeds


Customer penetration would typically be compared within each specific classification, but could also be compared for the more general 20 00 Food and Kindred Products category.

Leadership:
Marketing or sales management is assigned responsibility for using customer penetration analyses to identify product sales opportunities for current customers. These sales opportunities are assigned to the responsible sales representatives, or more automated marketing campaigns are established to increase penetration. Detailed sales goals are set and monitored.

Results:
A 1% gain in revenue with a 25% incremental profit margin adds .25% of revenue to the bottom line.

5. Global Market Penetration

Objective:
Improved market penetration is achieved with global visibility of potential channel partners (distributors, wholesalers, dealers, and retailers) or direct business customers. Prospective channel partners and customers are found and classified using leads generated internally, or with externally-sourced business information integrated in the EDW. Prospects are efficiently and accurately targeted with appropriate product information and proposals via automated electronic campaigns or sales contacts.

Background:
Whereas customer penetration is focused on current customers or channel partners, market penetration is focused on new customers or channel partners. Many manufacturers rely primarily on internal local knowledge, rather than a systematic use of external business data, to find new customers and to penetrate new markets.

New Process:
The recommended approach is similar to that defined in the customer penetration section but, first, prospects must be identified and classified. They can come from internally generated marketing leads, sales or customer call center contacts, email contacts, Internet accesses, or by integrating business information from external sources.

For external business information sources, the Dun & Bradstreet World Base may be the most globally comprehensive source of business data, but there are competitors including Hoover’s, Thomson, OneSource and others. And there are national sources such as InfoUSA. Integrating information from these sources into the EDW enables innovative market penetration capabilities.

Prospect information in the EDW is combined with product information to create target advertising, direct mail or email campaigns, and sales call lists for field or inside sales representatives. This approach to market penetration is especially valuable for targeting emerging areas or countries where little information is available internally or where there is no established sales force or marketing organization.

Related analyses:
  • Identify all products selling to a specific market or industry anywhere globally.
  • Identify global business prospects in a market or industry who are not current customers.
Leadership:
Executives establish revenue growth responsibilities, initiatives, and goals using global prospect and analysis information to generate new customer and market growth. EDW-based applications create advertising, mailings, emails, and sales calls lists targeted to prospects.

Results:
If revenue growth is improved 2% in less developed markets with 40% of global revenue and 1% in more developed markets with 60% of global revenue, and incremental profit margin is 25%, then .35% of revenue is added to the bottom line.

6. Channel Partner Performance

Objective:
Improve manufacturer growth and profitability by improving channel partner performance.

Background:
Most businesses are internally focused, and do not proactively focus on understanding and improving channel partner performance. Channel partner performance is often constrained due to obsolete, incomplete, inaccurate and inconsistent product information in their databases, websites, and catalogs. Inefficient manual processes for maintaining product information are expensive and often not performed adequately, accurately, or in a timely manner. This results in a poor representation of your products to the end customers and brand dilution.

New Process:
Improved use of integrated information from the EDW improves channel partner performance and sales growth. Channel partner services are offered via the EDW that were not previously available. Efficient automated data exchange processes protect brand assets. Channel partner relationships are improved to the benefit of both partners and manufacturers.

First, channel partner performance is improved with current, accurate, consistent, and comprehensive product information transmitted in standard formats via EDI or XML from the EDW, as described in the marketing communications section.

A second approach to improving channel partner performance is sharing end customer and market penetration opportunities with channel partners (see the sections on customer penetration and global market penetration). Consider your channel partners to be part of your enterprise and thus EDW customers. New prospect information will increase their growth potential and improve the partnership with a “win/win” relationship. It can be accomplished by doing the analyses internally, then sharing the results with selected channel partners. Or, you may choose to give selected channel partners direct access to your EDW and support them with access and training to share the analytic applications described in the sections on customer penetration and global market penetration.

A third method of improving channel partner performance is to "hand-off" current real customers to them. This can be done from your Internet site, using the EDW, when product data is accessible to the public. When people navigating your Internet site choose to buy, you electronically hand them off to an appropriate channel partner website, with the product information they are interested in, providing an integrated buying experience. As they complete the purchase transaction online, you capture the end customer and purchase information at the same time it is entered into the channel partner website.

These “partner-friendly” actions are likely to result in partners’ willingness to share their POS data, which then opens up an additional level of opportunities to improve partner relationships and mutual business results. Supply chain performance can be improved. Joint marketing and sales relationships can be initiated. Reporting and analyses for end customer business can be shared with channel partners. Distributor territories can be rationalized. All these joint actions reduce costs and improve growth.

Related analyses:
  • Identify the top customers of each of our distributors.
  • Where are distributors competing for customers in the same areas?
  • Do multiple distributors sell to the same customers?
  • What products are most profitable for each of our distributors?
  • Measure and rank distributor margins.
Leadership:
Responsibility for channel partner management is assigned and expectations are established. In some cases, a new organization specifically responsible for channel relationships may be required. Channel partner rationalization may be necessary, resulting in discontinuance of some and strengthening of others.

Results:
If partners representing 40% of your revenue increase their sales by 2%, and your incremental profit margin is 25%, then your profitability is improved by .2% of revenue. Of course, their profitability should improve at the same time, resulting in more dedicated channel partners.

7. Global Pricing Rationalization

Objective:
With global visibility of pricing, corporate headquarters prevents subsidiary operating units from competing with each other for customers. Channel partners or customers are not able to undercut your profits by creating competition among your own operating entities. Pricing is rationalized as required by local markets, but with appropriate controls on exportation.

Background:
A global company can be its own worst enemy if subsidiaries are allowed to compete with each other for customers without visibility of the impact. This is common, and to be expected when local subsidiary or business unit managers are rewarded for results. Due to supply and demand or other market conditions, it may be profitable to have higher prices in some countries than others. But, in that case, there is a need to track customer buying activity to avoid distribution inefficiencies and lower margins that stem from internal competition for customers who shop globally.

New Process:
Recognize that many customers are intelligent global buyers. Global procurement programs aggressively target price differentials to minimize cost. As a supplier, you must be equally knowledgeable and aggressive.

Comparisons of net price in common currency units and common product units across all regions, countries, and localities will identify opportunities to avoid subsidiaries competing with each other. An exception reporting system should monitor actual invoice net price inconsistencies and customers buying from different countries to get lower prices. Salespeople motivated by revenue are very creative! Even with globally standardized list pricing, monitoring of actual invoice prices, discounts, deductions, rebates, and allowances may be required.

Leadership:
The appropriate global executive is charged with responsibility for monitoring and enforcing rational pricing. Situations where significant pricing differences exist are monitored. Where customers buy outside their country to get lower prices, appropriate action is taken to adjust distribution, sales, or pricing strategy. Business rules and processes are established and enforced to avoid destructive internal competition.

Results:
A pricing improvement of 1% on 10% of revenues will yield a profit improvement of .1% of revenue.

8. Pricing Optimization

Objective:
Pricing decisions are made to optimize profitability considering demand elasticity (the relationship of demand to price), changing costs, and global market demand versus capacity.

Background:
Pricing is often a guessing game because systems are not available to support ongoing analysis of demand elasticity. Elasticity is not a useful concept because it is not measured or understood. Guessing is seriously flawed. Also, manufacturers are often slow to reflect changing raw material availability and cost, manufacturing capacity and costs, competitive activity, and other factors into pricing decisions.

New Process:
The EDW enables testing and evaluation of the demand impact of varying prices. Pricing can be tested with different prices in test areas, or by price variations over time. These tests must be run over a fairly long period of time to avoid “stocking up” at lower prices. And, care must be taken that lower prices in a test area don’t steal “demand” from another area. In commodity markets, a little price change may have a major impact on demand, whereas for more differentiated products, there are significantly different pricing options.

In the global economy, manufacturers must become much more aware and reactive to changing raw material availability and cost, labor costs, manufacturing location alternatives, and competition. Increasing or decreasing costs change the prices at which margins are optimized. Faster pricing change reactions are driven from integrated cost, price, margin, and demand information.

Related analyses include:
  • Identify products where raw material or manufacturing costs are increasing faster than prices.
  • Identify price increases that decrease total profit. Identify price decreases that increase total profit.
  • Identify products coming from raw materials with shortages or facilities lacking capacity, where price increases should be considered.
Leadership:
Responsibility for pricing is focused, but involves cross-functional decision making. Pricing strategy and practice considers market penetration goals, margin optimization, demand elasticity, changing costs, company and industry capacity constraints, and market conditions. Timely monitoring of integrated cross-functional information leads to faster response to changing market conditions – avoiding loss of market share on the downside and improved margin on the upside.

Results:
A price improvement of 1% on 20% of revenues yields a profit improvement of .2% of revenue.

9. Contract Management

Objective:
Customer sales contracts and purchasing agreements are established and monitored effectively, assuring that all parties are meeting their responsibilities and objectives. Contract profit margins are measured and monitored.

Background:
Customer contracts and purchasing agreements are typically based on annual quantities of a market basket of products. These agreements are too often established without the information or process in place to monitor and manage them. The result is lower margins, missed volume opportunities, and lack of negotiating credibility. Further, there is often a lack of information about the contribution to revenues and profits of contracts versus standard pricing.

New Process:
Contracts and agreements should be monitored at least monthly, with exception reporting, to establish credibility with customers or channel partners and to assure everyone is working together toward common goals. Contract to-date sales are compared to prorated contract purchase requirements to assure contract volumes will be met. Contract pricing is voided for customers not meeting contract terms.

An enterprise-wide system enables global and multi-business unit contracts, thus improving cross-selling and customer penetrations. Channel partners and customers can be given access to contract conformance and detailed sales information via secured Internet applications.

Related analyses:
  • Identify any orders not priced in compliance with the contract.
  • Identify products sold to the customer outside the contract.
  • Compare contract prices to pricing for other similar customers.
  • Compare national or global pricing for a large customer: Should we integrate multiple contracts? Establish global contracts? Extend contracts to other products?
Leadership:
Clear responsibilities and processes for contracts and price agreements are defined. A negotiating process is initiated when to-date contract volumes are not on track. Corrective action is taken on any non-compliance issues. Contract profit margin targets are known and monitored, preferably using activity based costing.

Results:
If a company sells 20% of its volume via contracts or price agreements, and careful monitoring improves pricing by .5%, the profit improvement is .1% of revenue.

10. Sales Profitability and Compensation

Objective:
Sales performances versus quotas are monitored via the EDW. Performance is measured by profitability, rather than revenue only. Salespeople are compensated, at least in part, by profitability rather than revenue quotas to align sales with enterprise goals.

Background:
Salespeople are typically compensated based on revenue versus goals. Given the incentive to maximize sales regardless of profits, there is an inconsistency between sales goals and corporate goals. As a result, inefficient and cumbersome pricing approval processes often create friction with customers and slow down the sales process. Sales compensation systems are typically not fully integrated with other business intelligence (BI) systems.

New Process:
Use of the EDW to measure sales performance, by either revenues or profits, requires the ability to define and maintain sales territories in the EDW database. Sales representative responsibilities for specified geographies, customers, or products are represented by hierarchies and rules (such as specified customers or product lines within specified areas) that define each sales territory. Sales management maintains hierarchies and rules defining territories, along with the sales or profit quotas associated with each territory. Also, sales organization hierarchies are maintained to summarize results for each level of sales management.

Sales revenue is rolled up from invoice line item detail, using the territory rules or hierarchies. Sales profitability is calculated as net revenue minus cost for the territory. Net revenue includes credits, deductions, rebates, returns, allowances, etc. Activity based costing, per Part 2, is preferable to standard costing.

With territories and quotas defined in the EDW, and revenues and profitability calculated in the EDW, sales compensation systems use the EDW as a direct source to calculate appropriate incentives.

Leadership:
Executives establish some portion of sales compensation based on profitability to improve sales decisions and performance. Sales compensation is integrated with the EDW, assuring a consistent source of information. Sales territories and organizations are defined in the EDW. More pricing decisions are delegated when sales representatives are given responsibility for profit margins.

Results:
If profit margins are improved by 1% on 5% of revenue, the bottom line is improved by .05% of revenue.

Part 4 of this series will continue with EDW-enabled business improvement opportunities in finance.
  • Allen MesserliAllen Messerli
    Allen Messerli, President of Messerli Enterprise Systems LLC, specializes in enterprise data warehouse consulting, and has provided vision, direction and leadership for 400 major enterprises globally. Previously he had more than thirty years experience in a wide variety of positions at 3M, with an extensive record of successfully managing large-scale, innovative information technology solutions across supply chain, manufacturing, sales and marketing functions. 3M is a diverse global manufacturing company, with 40 business units operating in all countries and selling 500,000 products through most market channels. Al conceived, justified, architected, and directed implementation of 3M’s Global Enterprise Data Warehouse, which contributed more than $1 billion net business benefits with a very large ROI, and is now a global best practice enterprise data warehouse. He has extensive leadership experience in industry, national, and international logistics and electronic commerce organizations, and was a pioneer in electronic business and data warehousing, often speaking on these subjects around the world.

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