Leading cosmetics manufacturer uses Cognos planning solution
to get closer to retail giants.
Cognos (Nasdaq: COGN; TSX: CSN), the world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions,announced today that Lâ€™OrÃ©al UK has implemented Cognos Planning to automate existing spreadsheet-based business processes and improve reporting efficiencies.
The worldâ€™s leading cosmetics manufacturer, working with Cognos partner BI Inform, chose Cognos Planning to drive the development of joint business plans for major retailers that sell its range of Lâ€™OrÃ©al Paris, Garnier and Maybelline products.
Lâ€™OrÃ©al UKâ€™s national accounts team, which works with retailers including Tesco, Asda, Boots and Morrisons, is using Cognos to improve planning and forecasting visibility. By taking customersâ€™ electronic point of sale (EPOS) data, the national accounts team can develop unit, sales and profit margin projections including built-in key performance indictors that are tailored to each customerâ€™s requirements. In addition, scenario modeling can be used to forecast the success of customer promotions or Lâ€™OrÃ©al-led promotions and track how seasonal variations may impact sales and profits.
Previously, Lâ€™OrÃ©al had been using spreadsheets but, given the range of products and level of sales in the UK, these had become difficult to manage and highly administrative intensive. As a result, account managers spent the majority of their time reconciling manual analysis.
â€œThe spreadsheets that the national accounts team had been using prior to the rollout of Cognos Planning had become gargantuan,â€ explained Keith Mattocks, project leader, Sales and Marketing IT at Lâ€™OrÃ©al UK. â€œNot only that, every time a new scenario needed to be created, our account managers had to start again from scratch. This meant spending hours reworking the spreadsheets and inputting new data.â€
â€œCognosâ€™ initial demonstration of what its technology could do literally sold it on the spot,â€ Mattocks continued. â€œWe can now demonstrate to customers the effect of various different scenarios much more quickly than before, in minutes rather than hours. This gives them the information they need to make vital decisions in the fast moving retail sector.â€
â€œLâ€™OrÃ©al is well respected for its technological innovation and its approach to working with its major retail partners is no different,â€ said Dave Laverty, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer, Cognos. â€œThis is a classic story of a company struggling with spreadsheets and turning to Cognos to provide a secure, spreadsheet-like environment that is robust for the enterprise.â€
Lâ€™OrÃ©al, working with BI Inform, took the classic project route, developing the technology spec from the ground up. Following an initial review of the business need, workshops were held with potential users to set the project requirements ensuring a solution was developed to meet their needs.
The rollout of the Cognos application began in October 2006 and was completed by the end of the year.