Effective Planning Process In Power BI & Excel
American Tire Distributors Replaces Excel and Legacy CPM Applications with Acterys & Power BI for its Planning and Analytics Processes
Manual Efforts Reduced
Data Accuracy Improvement
License Cost Savings
American Tire Distributors (ATD) is the largest independent distributor with 140 distribution centers and mixing warehouses across the US and Canada, employing over 5000 workers and having annual revenue of $3bn.
The tire distribution giant was looking to streamline its planning processes that originally involved working with spreadsheets and two specialized, expensive silo solutions.
ATD managed reporting through Excel spreadsheets that contained different levels of details and lacked standardization because they came from various distribution centers and warehouses. Mangers struggled with consolidating data about historical labor rates, productivity rates, and other factors, which heavily impacted their labor planning and forecasting accuracy.
The company wanted more flexibility in building financial and predictive models and a single platform that could easily support its data architecture built on MS SQL Server. It sought a holistic solution that could seamlessly connect data from multiple distribution centers, standardize it, and leverage Power BI’s visualization capabilities for reporting based on business intelligence and analytics. In addition, the ADT team wanted the solution to lift Power BI’s limitations and avoid using DAX language while incorporating AI and machine learning capabilities for faster time-to-insight.
After extensively evaluating several XP&A solutions in the market, ATD chose Acterys for its extremely fast implementation, unique integrations with Power BI to match its analytics standard, as well as the lowest total cost of ownership.
The platform offers powerful write-back capabilities and a highly intuitive data modeling module for building customized reports and visuals. Since Acterys supports all the familiar environments, like Power BI, SQL, and SSAS, the learning curve for the team was short, and they readily became acquainted with the solution after the training.
Using Acterys, ATD has built a robust labor planning application on Power BI that is standardized, easy to configure and roll out, ensures quick execution, and offers all the functionality its users need to handle the diverse data feeds. Since Acterys comes equipped with AI and machine learning capabilities to support various financial reporting models, the team saved significant time and effort which would have otherwise been spent on writing long python scripts and rigorous testing.
According to ATD’s VP Planning & Analytics, Acterys’ true power lies in its ability to build relational models fast without any coding, enabling standard finance teams to create reports and visualizations based on multi-dimensional models without spending hours on end.
With Acterys, the standardization itself has saved the company hundreds of hours, as it’s been a big driver of productivity within the team. Today, over 400 users are working with Acterys to handle ATD’s planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting processes with ease and speed. ATD is using the product for not only planning and budgeting but also for non-financial use cases.
As the product is based on ATD’s existing IT infrastructure standards, the in-house resources readily adapted to the new application and later provided higher productivity rates. In addition to this, Acterys brought significant cost savings from using a single platform and avoiding license costs for other legacy CPM solutions, providing far lower TCO than any of the alternatives considered.
Finance Innovation in the Retail & Distribution Industry
“With Acterys and Power BI we were able to implement a process that’s built on our standard infrastructure, that was easy to roll out with a minimal learning curve and all the functionality required available out of the box. A quick execution with a lot of value.”
VP Planning Analytics