Olympus is a global leader in precision technology, providing state-of-the art medical equipment and systems and scientific solutions. When it needed a new system for its sales pipeline reporting, Olympus Australia/New Zealand turned to the commercial team at Datacom. Together, Olympus and Datacom have created data architecture that has transformed the company’s reporting, delivering more accessible and timelier reports to enable better business decisions.

The new platform for reporting uses Microsoft Power BI on top of an underlying Azure data lake, which automates data intake from Salesforce, SAP, and NetSuite. It’s scalable, flexible, and able to be continuously improved — and the team at Olympus is loving the difference.

Smaller, mobile-enabled reports

Before developing the new architecture, Olympus was using Microsoft Excel to create many of its sales reports. Although it’s an incredibly useful programme, Excel isn’t designed to manage commercial quantities of data in a single document. Olympus’ sales success history report, for example, held six years’ worth of data in a file over 100MB in size; it wasn’t uncommon for it to crash on opening. Now the same six-year report is around 3MB, and mobile-enabled.

“You can see the reports on your phone, which wasn’t possible before. It means sales specialists who used to carry around a laptop can now just pull their phones out — this is another big advantage,” says Jay Raichura, business intelligence and analytics manager for Olympus. “The new system also means sales specialists can see where orders are immediately. When a customer wants to know where their order is, we can issue a report on the spot. The new system is easy to use and it’s saving a lot of time.”

Three Olympus employees working in front of an Olympus banner

Refreshed in hours, not weeks

Reports are now dramatically more up-to-date than they once were. Previously, Olympus’ initial sales pipeline reports were only refreshed monthly, leaving senior executives trying to make decisions based on month-old data. Now, that report is refreshed every 30 minutes so the C-suite team can see an almost instant snapshot of the sales pipeline and quickly make well-informed decisions.

Jay adds, “Sales specialists can now input their data in Salesforce and see the impact in half an hour, which is a big plus. And the overall data refresh that used to take six hours to refresh now takes around an hour — we’re really happy with these results.”

It’s also been a boost for the New Zealand team, who had been starting the day on the back foot: they received vital sales data at 9am every morning, compared with 7am for the Australian sales team. The new platform means everyone has the latest data available as soon as they want it, so nobody is operating at a disadvantage.

Setting the gold standard

More than a quarter of the 400 team members at Olympus access the sales reports, with 8000 hits in an ordinary month and higher rates at year-end. The impact on the business has been profound, and Jay’s work has been recognised with three Olympus Achievement Quarterly Awards for excellence; he was also nominated for the company’s prestigious annual awards for outstanding achievements. And not only has the project impressed the Olympus Australia team, but it took the global team by surprise as well.

“Around eight months ago the global team came to us with a proposal for a new system, and we were able to say, 'Before you start your pitch, let us show you what we have',” explains Jay. “Once they saw what we had, they said, without hesitation, that it was among the best data architecture in Asia Pacific. ‘Gold standard’ was the phrase they used.”

Unanimous approval at Olympus

The platform is constantly being improved and developed, and its scalability means Olympus can see potential to use it for supply chain, customer operations, and service centre data to name a few possibilities. Overall, Jay says it’s been a fantastic investment:

“The benefit of building this has far outweighed the cost. We recently sent out a survey asking people if they would prefer to go back to the old system, and the answer was unanimously ‘No’. Even among the sales specialists who had been there since the dial-up days; they’re all really happy with the results.”

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