Grandview Case Study

The Challenge

Bestop, the leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of soft tops for Jeeps, was having difficulty gaining a coordinated view of its business. Each division of the company had its own legacy systems and processes, making bringing information together a challenge.

To quickly enhance the value of the firm, Bestop had undergone rapid restructuring and experienced rapid expansion through the acquisition of aftermarket manufacturers that provide Jeep/SUV accessories.

Bestop’s lack of insight into daily sales outstanding (DSO), days to turn inventory (DIO), and order fulfillment was creating significant issues with order delays and cancellations that consequently impacted the Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC) KPI that is central to operational goals.

The typical approach of converting everyone to the same systems or building a traditional big data warehouse would be too costly and time consuming given the Bestop leadership’s objectives. These approaches would still leave a gap in the analytic lifecycle because it would do nothing to support how to best adjust to changing circumstances, a question critical to the success of this fast-paced firm.

The Solution

In spring of 2020, Bestop began its analytics journey with Grandview. Grandview set out to design a solution that could align the various company stakeholders. The solution would provide a comprehensive view across the divisions, as well as the business areas within them.

Taking advantage of our deep experience with IBM Cognos Analytics (CA) and IBM Planning Analytics (PA), Grandview created a holistic solution to address Bestop’s business needs and technical challenges. The solution leveraged IBM PA as the foundational component for data storage and planning operations and IBM CA as the primary UX component to deliver the information.

Using a holistic solution that leverages cognitive and planning analytics means Bestop doesn’t need to create a big data warehouse to consolidate different sources of data. PA serves two purposes because it both provides the planning components and addresses the question of how to best adjust.

To deliver critical business information to Bestop, Grandview created pages tailored to each division or business area, including the executive’s CCC summary. The CCC summary is important because it shows performance KPIs that enable the company to uncover problems with sales and delivery and adjust to overcome them.

Using a holistic solution that leverages cognitive and planning analytics means Bestop doesn’t need to create a big data warehouse to consolidate different sources of data. PA serves two purposes because it both provides the planning components and addresses the question of how to best adjust.

Grandview started with the Sales Summary because it provides a complete view along with data for each business unit. We approached Sales with 3 key design goals in mind:

1) Providing at a glance an easily understood set of information that includes the appropriate data and perspectives.

2) Giving the ability to change perspectives to easily answer questions as they arise.

3) Empowering users to see supporting detail quickly.

This Sales Summary Page provides a high-level view of all insights into performance and compares them against plans for the whole business, as well as each division.

In creating the solution, Grandview was able to combine traditional managed reporting tactics with a level of dynamism that delivered to executive management and other decision makers at Bestop the flexibility to find answers without resorting to self-service approaches. Through our Understanding at a Glance design approach, Grandview allowed Bestop to instantly compare performance against its plan and determine the reasons behind deviations.

The Benefits

With everyone seeing the same perspective, Bestop has an enhanced understanding of performance, and decision-making has become more reliable.

Now, Bestop can see year-to-date actuals compared against targets, as well as monthly performance trends. Users can change the time perspective to compare previous years or months and narrow their perspective perspective to view information on product category and item class.

For a firm going through a restructuring, these numbers are significant and will greatly accelerate the achievement of Bestop’s overall business goals. Improvement in daily sales and inventory performance show that Bestop is adjusting to accommodate its acquisitions and better meeting the demands of its customers and clients.

As the solution evolves, Grandview will create additional pages, such as one for marketing to analyze email campaigns.

Bestop has seen improvements in KPIs, including:

29%

Improvement in DSO driven by the visibility into open orders

5%

Improvement in DIO due to the overall optimization of sales information

30%

Improvement in Average Days to Pay (DPO) attributable to both factors

7%

Overall CCC improvement

About Bestop

Tom Bradley started Bestop in a small upholstery shop in Boulder, Colorado, in 1954. More than 65 years later, Bestop is the leading manufacturer of premium soft tops for Jeep Wranglers and CJs in the world and has been the sole supplier of factory soft tops for Jeep Wranglers for more than three decades running.

Bestop is located in Louisville, Colorado, not far from where it started. With more than 500 employees worldwide, Bestop manufactures a broad line of soft tops and accessories for Jeep CJ and Wrangler, plus an expanding line of Truck Accessories. All Bestop-branded soft tops are designed and manufactured in North America.

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