Australian iconic history

With a history reaching back to 1895, Norco is synonymous with dairy. The dairy-based cooperative which is 100% owned by 160 dairy farmers, however, is much more. Today, it employs over 600 people and operates under three business divisions - Norco Foods, Norco Rural and Agribusiness.

Business need

Given the competitive and volatile nature of the dairy and agricultural industry in Australia, Norco has had to constantly seek business efficiency and drive cost control. As one of Norco’s chief accountants, Craig Bateman knew exactly where to focus on finding profit leakage within the business.

Bateman says, “Optimal management of pricing and inventory are critical to the bottom line. Identifying obsolete and slow moving stock, for example, can be a cash flow killer for any business.”

According to Bateman, Norco was also struggling with collating reports and performing the relevant data analysis to identify profit leakages. Norco staff were employing various spreadsheet software to extract and analyse data, but these solutions proved complex and time-consuming.

The need to identify profit leakages quickly within the business prompted Batemanto contact Markinson Business Software Solutions, a leading ERP software vendor and developer of MomentumPro.

Business intelligence

For 10 years, Norco has been reaping the benefits of using MomentumPro for inventory management and financial control. To fully leverage the wealth of data in their existing system and to increase the speed of reporting, Norco identified the need for a Business Intelligence tool such as QlikView.

Plugging the profit leaks

Bateman says, QlikView was exactly the dynamic tool they needed to enable Norco to find profit leakages and to improve stock performance. Because it flawlessly integrates with MomentumPro, which is the system already embedded within the business, the solution was a natural fit for the organisation.

With a 10 year relationship in place Markinson had demonstrated that they knew the Norco business well. Bateman commented, “Markinson’s consultants took the time and attention to detail needed to understand our business and to implement QlikView for a number of different analysis tasks.”

With QlikView deployed, Norco’s management team could see the level of insight and power that QlikView was able to deliver.

When asked what impact QlikView has made on the business, Bateman says,

“Prior to using QlikView, reports were manually consolidated using Excel – a process that took hours and often days. With QlikView in place, Norco recoups more than 10 hours, each and every time a price variance report is generated. When it comes to generating a price override report, it would normally take two days to compile manually. QlikView provides us with the data almost in real-time.”

“Today, the company can generate reports in seconds or minutes instead of hours and days. The time saved can be used to expand the business in other ways.”

Bateman further adds, “With reports being generated in a timely manner and with such
ease, we’ve been able to identify problem areas more quickly and take swift action on the issues. QlikView allows us to make smarter and faster decisions.”

Next steps

The journey has not ended for Norco. Bateman continues to find ways for Norco to extend its MomentumPro software investment and is evaluating options to fully leverage the extensive functionality of the system. “Mobility, WebOnline and TaskCentre are three additional modules we are exploring to further enhance MomentumPro.”