By partnering with data specialists Insight Consulting to unleash the power of Qlik, Galito’s flame-grilled its legacy reporting and turned its data into a strategic business asset

Successful South African flame-grilled chicken brand Galito’s, a business with more than 240 stores in 17 countries, set out on a journey with strategic data specialist consulting firm Insight Consulting to optimise its data value chain. The result is that only four months in, Galito’s has saved time and money, and makes accurate decisions and forecasts using reliable and real-time business data.

Qlik is an intuitive end-to-end business intelligence solution. Unlike traditional business intelligence which tends to be passive, Qlik’s visualisation and reporting drives a real-time approach of continuous intelligence. It bridges the gap between data and realising value from the data. As a specialist data partner that works with businesses to optimise their data value chain, Insight Consulting is an African Qlik partner of choice.

The legacy problem

Samuel Diedericks, Head of Finance at Galito’s Restaurant Group, says that a business like Galito’s generates huge amounts of data. “With more than 600,000 transactions a month in close to 170 stores in South Africa alone, you can imagine the amount of data.”

Diedericks says that Galito’s appreciated that its business depended on data, because every one of the 600,000 transactions had within them product, price, raw materials and much more. “We simply cannot know what is selling, what is working, what isn’t working, what trends are occurring if we cannot read the data.” The result, he says, were excel spreadsheets with millions of lines of unstructured data. “We knew the data held immense value and so we built reports that, frankly, Excel could not manage.” Sharing massive spreadsheets via email was time-consuming and inefficient, and business users were never seeing live data, but rather a snapshot in time.

Beyond this, says Diedericks, the more users interacted with the spreadsheets, the higher the chance they would break the reports, necessitating smaller reports to be converted into view-only PDF mode. The time-intensive inefficient reporting needed to change.

The intervention

Having already tried other solutions before that did not live up to expectations, with complex dashboards and no partner to guide the business, it was recommended to Galito’s that they engage Insight Consulting with a view of implementing Qlik.

“Insight Consulting is not like any partner we have engaged. They come into your business and engage deeply and ask the right questions. They make an effort to understand exactly where our data sits and what the challenges are, and then build solutions to real problems. Perhaps the most rewarding part of our engagement is that Insight Consulting not only provided the solutions we asked for, but offered solutions we had not even thought about and which have had a marked impact on the business,” says Diedericks.

The outcome

After phase one and two, which took only four months, Galito’s can understand in real time exactly what they are selling, where they are selling, the times they are selling it, and more. It can pick up trends and make informed projections that Diedericks says is within a margin of 5% of actual performance. It can manage procurement and suppliers far more accurately, and dispatch stock dynamically based on performance and projections. He says in the next few phases the business will bring its international stores into the solution and radically transform its planning around new store builds and franchise locations.

“If you appreciate that chicken has a finite life before it can no longer be used, if stock sits too long it must be destroyed at a very high cost. The opposite is also true, no stock is catastrophic for a food outlet,” says Diedericks, who adds that the projections have helped the business pre-empt and prepare for trends in buying behaviour and disruptions such as load shedding.

He says that it is not just finance that benefits from the solution. Distribution is now able to far more efficiently and effectively plan live distribution routes using business data and location data, as well as plan how much stock to dispatch to where, and whether to make use of smaller or larger trucks. Marketing can make accurate forecasts on spend versus return by analysing the live location of all billboards in relation to the location of all the stores, and read against sales performance. In other words, they can see how the billboards in certain locations are influencing buying behaviour at stores and make informed decisions.

He explains that Galito’s has a growth strategy that entails new stores, and so the solution will positively benefit projects by analysing store location, such as forecourt, street front and malls, store size and sales, as well as the most optimal geographic location to ensure best performance for new franchises.

“The most noticeable benefit has been the immense time savings. We have gone from spending a large amount of our time cleaning data and building reports, to spending our time analysing the reports to make good decisions. Another massive benefit has been the real-time nature of the analytics and the ability to show Exco and shareholders a live view of the business. The intelligence built into the solution allows us to pick up trends quickly and make accurate forecasts in sales and stock demands, among much more. Insight Consulting built mechanisms to ensure the data collected, from whichever source, is clean and accurate and so we know we can trust the insights.”

Diedericks explains that in a country such as South Africa, where there is load shedding or other disruptions, internet connectivity is a challenge. However Insight Consulting built an on-site solution that enables the data to continue flowing, which is automatically over-ridden once the internet connection returns.

The value of the partnership

“Other companies have worked with us before and brought different solutions but weren’t able to show any value. In three years they were unable to unlock the value that Insight Consulting has in just four months. Insight Consulting is different, they have made the effort to come and see us, get to know us, and learn about our business and challenges,” says Diedericks.

Insight Consulting is passionate about data and solving problems, and so part of its methodology is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the as-is situation, as well as a business’s data maturity. It then builds a plan to get the business from where it is to where it needs to be, optimising every aspect of the data value chain.

“One cannot underestimate the value of a partner that is invested in you and your business. We are talking about real contact, real relationships. When you combine this with specialists who understand how to use the technology to extract the most value from your data, you get real business value. This is exactly what Insight Consulting is doing and the results speak for themselves. It must also be said that the investment is very good value and worth every cent.”

Insight Consulting Director Upuli De Abrew says that the most successful businesses treat their data as a strategic asset.

“At Insight Consulting we work with many different organisations across various sectors, and over the years we have come to realise that successful businesses treat data as a strategic business asset. This means they have a strong data culture and optimise their data value chain. It is a great honour to partner with Galito’s on their digital journey, and we look forward to unlocking even more value in their data value chain.”