Pacific Brands markets iconic brands throughout the Asia Pacific and the UK, including Bonds, Jockey, Dunlop and Sheridan. Over 5000 employees drive growth, with sales over $1.2 billion.
Pacific Brands now use Jedox broadly. Models include Retail Sales and Key Metrics, DIFOT, assortment planning, and in-month gross margin tracking.
In the past, Pacific Brands had invested in Cognos for reporting. They needed more speed on key reports, and the BI team needed flexibility and agility.
In this interview, I speak with Pacific Brands IT Service Manager John Starkowski about Jedox, and how they have streamlined reporting and planning.
Sam Perrin, Jedox: What were you using before Jedox, and what were some of the requirements which prompted you to look for a different solution?
Pacific Brands IT Service Manager John Starkowski: We were using Cognos Report Studio and for us it was the speed of development and user experience that prompted a change. Cognos is very rich in reporting functionality but speed became a key issue for us. The other requirement was the ability to easily capture off-system data into reports and the planning capability of Jedox allowed us to capture data interactively. Our business cycle at the time also meant that whatever toolset we chose had to be affordable. Jedox ticked all those boxes.
Sam Perrin: How did you come across Jedox?
John Starkowski: I attended a seminar, and Jedox intrigued me the first time I saw it. Jedox had a roadshow the next year so I came out again. We did a proof of concept, which gave us the indication that reporting and planning with Jedox could satisfy our wide range of requirements.
Sam Perrin: So you went with Jedox for the increase in speed and flexibility of reporting?
John Starkowski: Yes, particularly for the more interactive reports with multiple filters.
Sam Perrin: Did you benchmark Jedox against other products?
John Starkowski: We looked at all sorts of products including Yellowfin, Qlikview, TM1 and a few others as well. Each of these had excellent qualities but the particular balance of functionality and value were the reasons we chose Jedox. We picked up Jedox as a reporting tool but at the same time recognized that we were also going to get value from its planning capability, which it does well.
Sam Perrin: And how have you found working with Jedox?
John Starkowski: Jedox gives us all sorts of advantages. You can obviously do planning, with splashing and related functionality. And in terms of reporting, you can quickly build reports once you have developed the skill set.
The Jedox Architecture overall is good and Jedox continues to invest in new releases which regularly deliver new capabilities.
The reports have been very well received. We have the flexibility to cover just about any requirement other than generating massive lists of data, and we use other approaches for that. With good design principals, reports are functional and fast. The users genuinely like Jedox reports. From a development perspective, I think the integration manager is excellent and the ability to use Modeller and Paste View to quickly access your data is terrific.
In terms of planning, the ability to quickly set up planning systems that are fast and flexible is important to us.
Sam Perrin: How has your experience been with Jedox?
John Starkowski: Very good. As far as an organisation to deal with, they’ve been helpful and responsive. I mainly deal with Chris Mentor (Jedox VP –ANZ), and he’s been excellent.
Sam Perrin: Going forward now, how do you see Pac Brands’ future with Jedox?
John Starkowski: Onward and upwards. We’ll continue developing more reporting and planning applications to satisfy the growing business needs. We now have a critical mass of Jedox solutions in the business and there is a growing recognition of the advantages of shifting from Excel based ‘spreadmarts’ to on-system integrated solutions.