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SaaS BI helps boost Welch's efficiency, data retention

Welch's uses business intelligence Software as a Service to retain data during an ERP implementation and gain operational efficiencies and savings.

Faced with losing key transportation operations and cost data when a new ERP system was put in, Welch Foods Inc. turned to business intelligence Software as a Service (SaaS) to retain the data while not burdening employees with another major project.

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"At the time we couldn't manage another project or further disrupt employees, so we made [SaaS BI] part of the larger ERP implementation, and it has turned out to be an extremely valuable tool," said Bill Coyne, director of purchasing and logistics at Concord, Mass.-based Welch. "It gave us much more visibility into [transportation] costs."

The new ERP system did not have the same reporting capabilities as the disparate systems Welch's previously had in place. To ensure continued access to old and new data, Welch's decided to use a SaaS BI offering from Oco Inc., based in Waltham, Mass.

At the time
we couldn't manage another project or further disrupt employees, so we made [SaaS BI] part of the larger ERP [project].

Bill Coyne
director of purchasing and logisticsWelch Foods Inc.
"We're now able to analyze our order and shipment patterns, load the trucks more evenly or heavily to capacity, and we've added other cost savings and efficiencies into our overall [transportation] operations," Coyne said.

Oco's business intelligence reporting capabilities reduced the time it took to gather the data needed for reverse transportations auctions -- in which transportation providers bid on delivery contracts -- from a week to a half hour.

Every data element from every customer order is electronically transmitted to Oco every night. And as the company makes a shipment, all the related data, from the bill of lading to the time frame in which a freight bill needs to be paid, is also sent to Oco nightly. "We really don't have to expand again in the future," Coyne said. "Every imaginable bit of data we want, we can extract now from the data warehouse. We can slice and dice it by operations, geographies, customer shipping or many combinations and put it together in a report in 10 or 15 minutes."

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Christina Torode, Senior News Writer.

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