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How Sunny Delight juices up sales with cloud-based analytics

Clint Boulton | Sept. 15, 2015
Sunny Delight’s CIO made a bold move when it was time to pick a cloud analytics service to identify deficiencies in its sales promotions and opportunities for sales growth. He let business managers make the decision.

The team evaluated 17 tools before settling on a cloud solution from startup Birst, which allows business managers with little technical know-how to view data in customizable charts and other snazzy graphics. Each department appointed one user to collaborate with IT on new features and functionality they required, including specialized interfaces and drop-down menus, to make queries easier for end users.

Analytics reveals business weaknesses, opportunities

Birst revealed deficiencies in promotions. The company learned that some promotions that shipped on weekends to retailers for a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday cost the company significantly more because freight transportation rates were higher on weekends. Moreover, because Sunny Delight's warehouses weren't typically open on weekends, it had to pay staff working 12-hour shifts overtime wages to load pallets onto trucks.

To fix this problem, the company asked its retail customers to agree to have their shipments sent between Thursday and Friday or Friday and Monday. Sunny Delight ultimately pared its transportation costs by 7 percent. The savings also rippled through its production chain, reducing overtime costs on each production from to 2 percent from 20 percent.

Sunny Delight expects to use Birst to determine whether new products are lifting sales of other products. For example, the company would like to know whether Sunny D X, a new energy drink it began marketing to teens in 2014, is impacting sales in areas it is sold, such as Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Among the questions Rogers has: Are there any bumps in sales orders from those areas? Is there a higher awareness for the Sunny Delight brand or just D X? Are store shipments increasing?

He said he hopes to work with marketing this year to identify opportunities to boost beverage sales, or introduce efficiencies in production and logistics.


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