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March 2016

BI Case Study: Consumer Packaged Goods Analytics “From Grounds Up” at Specialty Coffee Retailer

by Plaster Group’s Business Intelligence Team Challenge Our client – a specialty Seattle coffee retailer – disengaged with its distributor, and upon doing so lost visibility into its distribution channels. Only delayed point of sales reporting remained available. Additionally, ETL processes were not optimized to efficiently manipulate data returned from non-company branded stores. When combined, these two challenges resulted in haphazard data quality and an inability for the business to produce and utilize mission-critical data necessary to make effective decisions concerning the direction of the business.

Case Study: Build Vs Buy Solution Assessment

by Plaster Group’s Business Solutions Team Assessing build vs. buy solution options for managing Philanthropic Strategic Objectives. One Process, One Tool and Better Decisions.   Challenge The Client, a large philanthropic organization, was struggling to manage its priorities and goals. Teams that needed to coordinate their work were using disparate tools to capture and report data, often using different terms with the same meaning. Additionally, the same data was being entered multiple times into different tools. Staff was frustrated with the inability to measure progress against goals.

The Elusive Search for More Time

by Lena Badicke At our last company meeting, we asked our consultants which three things they could immediately change in their lives to increase their happiness. “Spend more time exercising,” “Do more activities with my children,” “take more personal time” – see the common thread yet? In workplaces everywhere, people are desperate for more time to pursue activities that lead to self-improvement and greater fulfillment. Harvard Business Review (“HBR”) approached this elusive search for more time with a simple prescription: Stop. In a recent article entitled Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time –  by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy, HBR makes the point: “Time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story. Defined in physics as the capacity to work, energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind, and spirt. In each, energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed by establishing specific rituals – behaviors that are intentionally practiced and precisely scheduled.”

Demand Fulfillment Analytics Platform Ensures On-time Order Fulfillment

by Plaster Group’s Business Intelligence Team Challenge Our client’s BI solution lacked sufficient capabilities to determine optimal supply chain operations. Although data was available to analysts, it was stored in multiple locations and there were consistent issues in data report timing from data sources so data was neither aggregated in a cohesive manner nor delivered on time.