Qlik facilitates profitable business decisions for local South African retailer Fair Price

Leveraging the suite of products provided by real-time data integration and analytics solutions provider Qlik, local furniture and appliance retailer Fair Price has been able to turn a loss-making business unit into a profitable area of the company.

Fair Price has been a supplier of furniture and appliances since 1999, through a national network of 100 stores, 11 warehouses and two manufacturing sites.

The proper use of business intelligence (BI) tools allows for data integration, conversational analytics – the process of assessing customers’ conversations to gather insights about their behaviour – and the conversion of raw data into knowledge, a point to which Fair Price is now able to attest.

This is according to Fair Price Group Services Manager Mohammed Hansa, who explains: “Prior to the rollout of the Qlik solution, Fair Price was using a bespoke-built software solution. Through this software, we had built up a rich data set without really being able to leverage it on the reporting side. Our existing BI reporting tool used an Excel-based front end, which was quite time-consuming to customise and did not allow us to get meaningful visualisations done.

“Whenever we required powerful graphic and front-end display from our internal team, we had to use additional resources to build what we needed. We therefore decided to look for a partner with whom we could collaborate, to allow us to make use of a more flexible, easy-to-use tool with which we could build purposeful reports.”

Closing the data versus activity gaps

Hansa explains that the Qlik offering was a solid fit to meet Fair Price’s requirements because it had the back-end cube data transformation layer, and front-end interface in one.

“Importantly,” he adds, “we were fortunate to have strong resources in place from our support vendor, Insight Consulting. We began working with them in 2019, and when the business – like others all over the world – had to navigate the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Insight Consulting was able to assist us with our direction and help us to steer our business, moving through and beyond the pandemic.

“My advice to any company looking to implement business intelligence tools is to choose the right vendor to support you – and certainly Fair Price has found this in Insight Consulting.”

As a result, Fair Price has seen a number of benefits.

“Initially the big win was when we were able to make subtle price adjustments to a loss-making business unit, turning it around to make a profit. We have now implemented Qlik across many other parts of our business to allow each staff member to become aware of and track their areas of accountability.”

Insight Consulting: ‘An exciting Qlik partner for Fair Price’

Having been a Qlik partner for nearly 16 years, Insight Consulting chose Qlik as its data platform because its products work seamlessly together to support the entire information value chain.

Shanna Jardim, Senior Business Intelligence Consultant at Insight Consulting, clarifies: “Insight Consulting works with businesses to formulate and deliver on data strategies at all levels of the organisation. We are not simply a Qlik supplier, but rather a partner to our customer, helping them with their data journey across the data value chain, through ongoing service.

“It is interesting and rewarding to work with Fair Price: there are obviously multiple transactions happening daily, including dealing with both cash sales as well as lay-by sales. These many daily transactions develop many data points, which when analysed via Qlik, can yield many valuable insights.”

When Insight Consulting first partnered with Fair Price to implement its Qlik solution in 2019, the company wanted to be able to see dimensions and measurements that it hadn’t previously been able to retrieve in real time.

Jardim explains: “Qlik is able to pull the data in very quickly, and the decision was taken for us to begin our Qlik implementation with Fair Price’s sales and delivery areas. Initially, there were just two users and today this has ballooned to around 120.”

Fair Price is currently using Qlik across its national sales and finance departments, as well as within branches, factories and warehouses, allowing employees access to near real-time information on data such as the assembling of furniture in progress or complete, sales tracking, or how many reconciliations have been completed on any day.

Jardim notes that there is a high level of data literacy within Fair Price as a company overall: “The Fair Price culture is one that is already data-driven, with business decisions being made off data, so we didn’t need to introduce the concept of data literacy. We have found that Fair Price staff members are constantly developing and creating new insights – they are using Qlik very effectively, and indeed maximising its possibilities.”

She adds that Fair Price employees are also evolving their Qlik thinking on an ongoing basis, and that it is exciting to work with them.

Concludes Hansa, “We’re now using Qlik right across the Fair Price business, pulling information from multiple data sources across many servers into one easy-to-use dashboard, and have seen greater visibility, streamlined processes, cost savings, innovative decision making and other business benefits since implementation. It certainly assists with our day-to-day operations and is an important part of the suite of products used to run our business.”

//Staff writer

To read the original article on ITNews Africa, please click here.

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