IBM > Case Studies > Brett Landscaping & Building Products Leverages IoT for Smarter Decision-Making

Brett Landscaping & Building Products Leverages IoT for Smarter Decision-Making

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Technology Category
  • Analytics & Modeling - Big Data Analytics
  • Sensors - Haptic Sensors
Applicable Industries
  • Buildings
  • Cement
Applicable Functions
  • Logistics & Transportation
  • Sales & Marketing
Use Cases
  • Building Automation & Control
  • Time Sensitive Networking
The Challenge
Brett Landscaping & Building Products, a significant sector of the Brett group, one of the largest independent construction and building materials groups in the UK, was facing a challenge in understanding their own profitability due to a complex revenue and cost structure. The company was forced to perform arduous spreadsheet work to gain true visibility of expenditure. The complexity of cost drivers in the construction industry made it extremely difficult for Brett to gain a clear view of its financial situation. The company was maintaining a huge and increasingly unwieldy set of spreadsheets to manage revenue analysis and costs including rebates and haulage. At 186 million records, their spreadsheet environment was unsustainable and prevented them from gaining a true understanding of the relative profitability of different activities.
About The Customer
Brett Landscaping & Building Products is a significant sector of the Brett group, one of the largest independent construction and building materials groups in the UK. The company was struggling with a complex revenue and cost structure, which made it difficult to understand their own profitability. They were maintaining a large and unwieldy set of spreadsheets to manage revenue analysis and costs, including rebates and haulage. The company also had to coordinate a complex set of factors to optimize haulage – the transport of goods between locations – to minimize costs. The company was in need of a solution that could provide a clear view of profitability across different divisions and manage the complexity of their cost structure.
The Solution
Brett engaged Assimil8, an IBM Premier Business Partner, to help it build an Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) solution to collate data from its ERP system and third-party rebate and haulage data. The company then deployed IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence analytics software, which enables rapid, automated reporting, and set up a selection of automated business-critical reports. This powerful automation solution allowed Brett to perform complex calculations of rebates, haulage costs per customer and other metrics at the touch of a button. In addition, Brett can automatically generate reports in a variety of units – such as per square metre, tonne, or bag – to deliver tailored order information to suit different customers. After receiving a high-level report, commercial analysts can examine the data in detail by drilling down into the figures, enabling them to pinpoint the root cause of any variances in sales, margins, costs, and differences between budgets and actuals faster than ever before.
Operational Impact
  • The implementation of the IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence analytics software has transformed Brett's commercial decision-making process by providing real-time insights into profitability. The solution has also enhanced cost control with more accurate management of rebates and haulage transactions. The automated reporting has unlocked huge time savings for Brett’s analyst team and given more parts of the business access to analytics. With highly accurate insight into its operational costs, Brett can strengthen its position in a competitive industry. The solution has given Brett a more accurate picture of their profitability than ever, down to a very granular level, eliminating a lot of the manual work they used to have to do. The company can now answer questions such as the impact of individual rebate agreements on profitability and whether they are optimizing their logistics parameters, leading to better outcomes.
Quantitative Benefit
  • 2 days per month saved on reporting
  • Real-time insights into profitability
  • More accurate management of rebates and haulage transactions

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