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Customer Story

From problem-solving designs to problem-solving analytics at MillerKnoll

MillerKnoll established an end-to-end analytics architecture to analyze disparate data, and a COE for workforce upskilling—making $300k in annual cost-of-good savings.

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MillerKnoll Key Stats

Industry: Manufacturing, Retail
Department: Supply Chain, Sales
Region: Global

annualized cost-of-goods savings

sales hours saved through automation

Employees upskilled across 6 business lines

Uncovering a solution for business problems that were previously unsolvable

You learn something new every day, or so the saying goes right? Well, did you know MillerKnoll invented the cubicle? We’ll take credit for when you drop that one at the next social gathering. It’s not just the cubicle though, MillerKnoll has been innovating and creating “problem-solving designs that are as beautiful as they are useful” for 108 years. We love that value proposition, have you ever created a beautifully crafted workflow? Some of them are frame worthy as they are insights drivers. Headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan, MillerKnoll has manufacturing facilities in the US, China, Italy and the UK, and serve customers in over 100 countries. Designers of the Aeron office chair and Eames lounge chair, MillerKnoll is no stranger to innovation, which is why the team turned to Alteryx when they needed a platform to help them solve the issue of gathering, cleansing, merging & analyzing data across multiple, disparate sources and systems in a streamlined and scalable fashion.

After being introduced to Alteryx via a colleague, Allison Lucas, Manager of Global Operations, Business Intelligence, got to work launching a pilot program across MillerKnoll. After creating one workflow which saved her 8 hours a month, Allison took the Alteryx show on the road demonstrating the possible use cases across supply chain, sales & marketing & finance. Recruiting 70 MillerKnoll teammates across the enterprise and setting up a 3- month pilot, the team built an internal COE.

Alteryx’s versatility and rich functionality allows programmers, IT analysts, statisticians, data scientists to work in tandem with citizen data scientists.

The 4 pillars of value

After engaging multiple lines of business and experiencing a successful 3-month pilot period, the MillerKnoll team knew it was time to make an investment. They approached leadership with a value-added business model outlined by 4 pillars:

  1. Reducing manual processes
  2. Solving the previously impossible
  3. Building a foundation of data integrity
  4. Cost-savings

During the pilot period, one workflow stood out to be especially valuable, allowing the MillerKnoll team to realize $60,000 in cost of goods savings after just 1 run. This output allowed the supply chain team to realize up to $300,000 dollars in savings running over a 1-year period. What seemed impossible before, became a breakthrough with Alteryx. MillerKnoll was now able to identify opportunities at distribution centers which allowed for optimization of their warehouses and better inventory management. Data from their key products was now contextually relevant which when input into their manufacturing system applications, improved efficiency, material flow and WIP inventory management. The enterprise realized value in other areas of the business such as audit and sales.

Arming the sales force with automated analytics

The MillerKnoll sales force experienced an all-too-common pain point; managing deadlines, market demands, and ensuring their goals were met while navigating a sea of disparate data to understand their client needs as well as their own performance. To alleviate this issue, Dipti Grove, Manager of Business Intelligence and Rachelle Pike, Manager, Analytics and Reporting helped establish an end-to-end analytics architecture.

The MillerKnoll sales force wanted to fully understand order backlog in order to provide better client satisfaction, funnel speed to understand if any opportunities had become stagnant, and where they stood in percentage to plan for the year to drive company growth. The analytics team banded together to create a modern data infrastructure composed of Snowflake, Alteryx and Tableau as key players in the stack. Snowflake allowed the team to uniformly gather and house data into one data lake.

Snowflake lets us add any size data and more importantly ensures scalability as our data lake grows over time

From pilot to modern technology stack

Working with Alteryx and Snowflake via ODBC, the team is able to leverage their workflows and take advantage of Snowflake’s cloud-computing capabilities by way of Alteryx’s InDB tools. Data never leaves Snowflake and the team gains the advantages of full automation. Combining Snowflake’s real-time cloud data with Alteryx’s machine learning allowed the MillerKnoll team to bring individualized data to life via Tableau. Understanding key stakeholders is key, so the MillerKnoll team uniquely embedded Salesforce into Tableau, enabling the salesforce to have access to individualized data sets, which provide them with the information and metrics that impact their daily work.

Allison Lucas
Manager of Global Operations, Business Intelligence,
MillerKnoll

Dipti Grove
Manager of Business Intelligence,
MillerKnoll
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