KraftMaid Achieves Business Agility With “Sales Focus”


PRODUCT MANUFACTURER:  Relational Solutions, Inc.  24601 Center Ridge Rd., Suite 110, Westlake, OH  44145

Phone:  440-899-3296    Fax :  440-808-0645


PRODUCT NAME:  “Sales Focus”


REVIEWER:  Tom Naples, MIS Director and Bill Rippey, Marketing Analyst


BACKGROUND:  KraftMaid Cabinetry is the nation's leading manufacturer of built-to-order cabinets for the kitchen, bath and throughout the entire home.  Offering outstanding quality and extensive selection of door styles, finishes, decorative and functional storage features.


HARDWARE PLATFORMS:  Dual processor Intel running SQL Server


PROBLEM SOLVED:  Could not get information to sales managers in a timely manner.  Not able to get store level detail.  Not able to easily integrate competitive and budget data with sales data.


PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY:  Great.  We may be using the BlueSky Vision Cubes later.


STRENGTHS:  The strengths of the product are considerable. It gives us access to information in a way that was never before possible.  It is extremely easy to use so the learning curve is minimal.  Also, we looked at other query tools and they were extremely expensive for only the interface.  For less than the cost of the query tool alone, Relational Solutions built the data warehouse and included the BlueSky Business Intelligence Portal.  It was a venture that might have been cost-prohibitive. 


WEAKNESSES:  It’s great for publishing any type of document, but there is currently no versioning of the documents.


SELECTION CRITERIA:  Functionality, ease of use, completeness and price.  Not only was BlueSky’s functionality expansive, but we were extremely impressed by the underlying architecture that pulled the data from the sources into another database for querying.  BlueSky Analyzer then allowed us to query the database without affecting the performance of the transactional system.  The underlying database is designed to optimize query performance.  Finally, price was very important.  In implementing an application that’s intended to help you understand and manage your business better, it makes no sense to implement something that is going to take you years to regain your investment.  In addition, the Excel integration made it easy to use.  Relational Solutions’ BlueSky Business Intelligence Portal was extremely cost effective.  Other vendors quoted us prices 3 times as much for the user interface alone!  And even at that, they wouldn’t allow us to have unlimited users.  Relational Solutions was truly interested in the value they brought to KraftMaid.  They tried hard and succeeded in providing significant value to KraftMaid with BlueSky.


DELIVERABLES:  The application can easily be customized for every company so some of the reports we get will vary from the reports of other companies.  We are able to get price information and quantity information on product categories, sub-categories and items. We can look at sales by region, by rep, by customer, by product, by year, by month, by quarter, by day, etc.  We can trend sales over time.  We can easily compare sales of product X last quarter to sales of product Y.  Or compare sales of product X last month to the same month last year.  We can see the quantity sold in category A, quarter to quarter.  We can see sales for “Joe Smith” last week at the click of a button. Information that used to take weeks (if we could get it at all) now takes minutes.


VENDOR SUPPORT:  Relational Solutions not only lived up to the commitment of the contract, but we’ve been extremely impressed by their responsiveness to questions. We run a lean and efficient department and Relational Solutions is willing to send support out to help us at no charge.  Occasionally, they even help us solve problems unrelated to BlueSky.  In addition, they were very helpful training the users and answering our technical calls.


DOCUMENTATION:  The product is very easy to use. The actual server runs on its own.  The analyze tool has a nice cheat sheet for users to follow.


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