Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics solutions can provide retailers with a birds-eye view of the enterprise to help them make better decisions.
For organizations such as Goodwill of Central Indiana, having real-time access to data in a centralized environment is imperative to the overall health of the organization.
One of 165 Goodwill organizations in North America, the Central Indiana facility touts a variety of service divisions. In addition to a thriving thrift store business, Goodwill of Central Indiana offers disability services, job placement and coaching, and operates 10 charter high schools in the area.
“We’re one of the larger Goodwill organizations and we’re also very complex in the services we provide,” explained Kent Kramer, SVP and COO of Goodwill. “When people think a not-for-profit in central Indiana, they don’t always think about how complex the operations are.”
That is why Goodwill implemented Domo, a BI and reporting solution that is designed to streamline data visualization and make dashboards more digestible and easy to analyze.
“Data drives direction, decisions, focus and helps us put a vision on what we want to accomplish next,” said Kramer in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We always had the data, but in multiple, disparate data sources, so it was difficult to gain access to this information.”
Having real-time access to business information is especially important for the retail division of Goodwill. With 53 brick-and-mortar sites, three transportation hubs, three outlet stores and a boutique operation, the Goodwill of Central Indiana generates seven million donation and customer transactions every day.
“Even though we’re a thrift store, there are so many key metrics that are similar to mainstream retail, and our business is very metrics-driven,” Kramer said. “Donations and production are so important, and we need to consistently keep track of donation trends, or the number of people dropping off goods at our locations.”
Using Domo, Goodwill can seamlessly extract vital business information and make it more visual. Once these data rules are determined, graphs and images are updated in real time.
Keeping Tabs On Production
Prior to implementing Domo within the retail division in November 2013, “it was very time consuming to gain access to all the data we needed, and it was a very cumbersome process,” Kramer said. “Now, we can look at our entire business through a single sign-on and password, drill down and make data-driven business decisions that take our organization to the next level.”
The retail business has benefited from Domo because employees can constantly keep track of goods production, or products rotating in and out of locations. This metric, Kramer noted, is very important in the thrift store business.
“A successful thrift store is pushing goods out continuously and always rotating goods,” Kramer said. “If products don’t sell, we push them out the back door. If shoppers come in daily or twice a week, you always want them to see new things.”
More than 900,000 pieces are rotated across all locations a week, according to Kramer. “Domo has given us trend lines for the last quarter, month or even yesterday, and compares them to last year. We can see trends by correlating production and sales.”
Goodwill now has access to data analysis and predictive analytics “we never had before,” Kramer said. “We used to look into production only once or twice a year because it used to be so labor intensive.”