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Date Published | 08.12.2021


Connect your financials, sales, service and operations with Dynamics 365 Business Central.

You can’t interrogate a piece of paper. Business managers in a fast-moving wholesale environment need timely, interactive and actionable information to stay on top of business performance. Here’s how Western Beverages (Heineken Group) did just that!

To know, on a daily basis that the margin is holding up across almost two million lines of pricing, and more importantly when and where it is not, is the bread and butter of this company.

Heineken Brewery
Ciaran Dooley, Regional Sales Manager

Western Beverages wanted to provide managers with daily interactive reports covering sales, purchasing, stock and distribution.

Western Beverages is a wholesale company formed in 2011 through the amalgamation of Western Beverages, West Cork Bottling Co and Nash Beverages. Wholly owned by Heineken Group, its product range includes soft drinks, beer, cider, wines, spirits, and bar supplies. Operating from five sites, the company has over 3,000 customers across Ireland.

  • Central analysis cube which produces daily reports for senior management.

  • Cognos Analytics has given the company insight into it’s business performance. Reports emailed every morning allow Western’s management team to review at a glance key company macro-measures right up to close of business the previous day and measure against key metrics such as case sales performance against target and last year, on-time delivery, stock shortage and average margin per case.

  • Consolidated purchasing from five units into one centralised purchasing department – benefiting from increased economies of scale.

  • Full daily visibility and drill-down of KPIs such as month-to-date sales and margin vs the same period last year and/or vs targets.

The Solution

IBM Cognos Analytics, with a reporting application designed and built specifically to the Group’s needs. Data from the sales application in all branches is stored in a central analysis cube which produces daily reports for senior management.

“Rather than a fixed report, with pre-determined fields, what managers really wanted was a mini-dashboard. Now every morning at 8am, they are automatically e-mailed key macro-information detailing sales, distribution and purchasing performance versus target and last year. Managers then have the power to interactively drill information and get to the micro-root of reported variances and red alerts,” says Kieran McMahon, IT Manager at Western Beverages.

“There’s no doubt, in a challenging environment where margins are getting increasingly tighter, key indicators and daily upto-date data is infinitely more important than at a time where sales and margins are growing. Daily information and analysis along with user’s ability to micro-manage through drill-down is increasingly important now in order to stay ahead of the curve.”

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