Bulova Taps WebFOCUS for BI
October 8, 2013 Alex Woodie
The watchmaker Bulova has built a business intelligence application using the WebFOCUS tools from Information Builders, the software company announced last week.
From its headquarters in Queens, New York, Bulova oversees the design, manufacturing, and delivery of luxury watches, clocks, and other timepieces. The 138-year-old subsidiary of the Citizen Watch Co., and is part of the largest watchmaker in the world.
Bulova has been an IBM i shop for years. Its core ERP system is the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne application from Oracle. Other applications that Bulova has run on the IBM i platform include Manhattan Associates‘ PkMS warehouse management system and the TrustedLink EDI software from GXS (formerly Inovis).
The company’s new WebFOCUS-based BI environment replaces a manual report delivery system that relied heavily on paper. Instead of mailing quarterly reports to regional sales managers and senior sales executives, Bulova now enables these decision makers to consume sales information from Web-based dashboards they can access from PCs, laptops, and iPads.
“The value WebFOCUS has brought to our organization is tremendous,” Brij Misra, a senior analyst at Bulova, says in an Information Builders press release. “Prior to implementing the technology, our sales reps were receiving quarterly sales reports in hard copy. If they needed more frequent information about invoices, orders, or other sales-related matters, they were forced to rely on the IT department. Now with WebFOCUS, they have immediate access to actionable information, whenever they need it. Not only has this helped us to transform our sales activities, it has made many of our other departments, from accounting to IT, more productive as well.”
The dashboards that Bulova built with WebFOCUS allow users to filter information by brands, products/styles, customers, and other criteria, or view information by location or time period. Executives can view activity at the global, regional, or district level, then drill down to see the details behind trends. In addition, they can view costing and profit information for the company as a whole, as well as its individual brands, Information Builders says.
Since building dashboards for sales, Bulova has used WebFOCUS to roll out additional dashboards for the finance and purchasing departments. It has also enhanced the company’s POS reporting environment by automating previously manual data entry processes, says Information Builders, which is also based in New York City.
In addition to WebFOCUS (which runs natively on the IBM i platform), Bulova is using the WebFOCUS ReportCaster product for exception reporting. ReportCaster keeps key stakeholders informed by notifying them when price changes occur, merchandise is not available, items are placed on backorder, or orders are cancelled because merchandise has shipped late.
Information Builders says these alerts are automatically triggered when certain status codes are entered into the company’s JD Edwards systems, or when certain data values fall outside of specified thresholds.