Jebsen Group: Bridging the Gap Towards Digital Transformation - Alteryx
Customer Story

Jebsen Group: Bridging the Gap Towards Digital Transformation

 

Jebsen Group Key Stats


Industry: Investment and Distribution

Department: BI/Analytics/Data Science, Finance, Information Technology, Supply Chain, Operations, Sales and Service, FP&A

Region: Hong Kong

Days to Seconds

to run automated data processes

1 month

to deliver new use cases

8

core team members supporting 1,000s of employees

 

Connecting customers from the East with the West’s biggest brands

Describing itself as “a bridge connecting the East and the West,” the Jebsen Group has a nearly 130-year pedigree as a brand builder and investor across Greater China. Working with an extensive portfolio of clients, Jebsen supports six core business lines: Beverage, Consumer, Motors, Logistics, Jebsen Capital, and other Group functions. The Group provides market access across Hong Kong and Mainland China for 200 of the world’s biggest brands, including Porsche, Blue Girl, and Casio.

As you might expect, this wide range of brands and business interests produces huge amounts of data every day — and requires a significant IT infrastructure to back it up. There are over 100 data-generating applications in regular use across the Group, supported by digital solutions from the Group Information Technology (GIT) team, headed up by Nancy Tang.

“My team supports both the Hong Kong and China regional offices, across all lines of business,” explains Tang, who is Head of Digital Solutions and Business Process. “We have developers, solution architects, and business analysts working together on systems and applications.”

In 2019, the GIT team launched “Project Mar”, a large-scale review of Jebsen’s core business processes and data insight procedures to find more efficient and effective ways to run the organization — and get more non-technical workers involved in business intelligence and solutions-building.

 

We knew we needed to drill down into new types of analytics, drawing data from different sources and delivering insight via a single platform — Alteryx allowed us to do that.

Nancy Tang, Head of Digital Solutions and Business Process, Group Information Technology

Jebsen Group

 

Consolidating mismatched data from 100 sources

Working with Alteryx Premier Partner NCS NEXT, the GIT team implemented Alteryx. Initially, the platform functioned primarily as a data blending tool to help the team reconcile different types of data from over 100 applications, spanning finance, supply chain, sales, and more. Transactions, contracts, KPIs, mapping files, budgets, and more all needed to be matched up to create a full picture of the business’ performance and requirements.

The first use case started with a prototype for the accounting team, designed to reduce the amount of manual work involved in data preparation and reconciliation. Alteryx compares Jebsen’s bank account records to accounting entries in its Oracle ERP system, creating a spreadsheet that highlights any exceptions for the team to check. End to end, this process could take days using manual comparison methods — but now, it’s completed in minutes, allowing the accounting team to focus on the figures with full confidence that its sources are accurate.

“After this initial use case, we realized that Alteryx is a very powerful tool for ETL too,” says Tang. “There’s a huge range of pre-built connectors, so we can link up all our applications and consolidate our data.”

The GIT team collaborates with stakeholders across the business to identify repetitive manual processes in Jebsen’s finance, logistics, customer services, and other core functions. By targeting these time-consuming tasks, individuals are able to save hours in their workweek, which quickly adds up to huge time savings across the group.

As Tang explains: “Everyone is familiar with working in spreadsheets. But when there are a lot of worksheets, and each one contains multiple formula, it can take hours or days to try and trace any issues and understand how it all works. With Alteryx, we can make everything transparent, figuring out any discrepancies or problems within an hour.”

Before, it could take several months for the GIT team to be able to deliver a new use case with traditional data handling and development methods. But with Alteryx, a prototype can be ready in just two weeks; in less than a month, the team can take a process from ideation to MVP, then onto fine tuning and training.

 

3 Reasons the Jebsen Group Chose Alteryx:

01

Powerful extract, transform, and load tools to consolidate data in a single view

02

Pre-built connectors bring together data from nearly every cloud and on-premise data source

03

Low-code capabilities give ownership to non-technical business users

 

Simple workflows manage the most complex of data tasks

The GIT team creates so much value from Alteryx thanks, in part, to its simplicity. With very low coding needed to set up a workflow, getting up to speed on the platform is fast — and creating new processes is even faster. And once the workflow is up and running, it can immediately deliver value to the business, with very little manual intervention, dramatically reducing each team’s time-to-insight.

Users save hours in data preparation, as the workflow automatically connects to multiple data sources as needed, applies pre-defined business logic, and highlights any data quality issues, all in minutes — or even seconds in some cases. This also cuts out the ever-present risk of human error, ensuring every piece of data used is accurate. Alteryx workflows now regularly handle critical, highly sensitive company data in a totally secure environment.

As Tang and her team introduce more and more Alteryx use cases to users, they’re receiving crucial support from NCS NEXT: building workflows in Alteryx, setting up integrations with other systems and troubleshooting projects as they evolve. This allows the team to create even more sophisticated solutions to support the various lines of business.

“We have Alteryx consultants stationed within Jebsen,” explains Kelvin Law, Solution Consultant at NCS NEXT. “They help the Group Information Technology team design and deliver new use cases faster, and help them understand all the capabilities of the Alteryx platform.”

The GIT team also takes advantage of Alteryx Community resources to ensure Jebsen is getting the most out of the platform. “If there’s a functionality that’s new to us, it’s so easy to find Alteryx resources that can provide tips or insight,” says Tang.

 

We’re always looking for new ways to deliver solutions to our end users in a timely manner. These days, users won’t accept a year-long timeline for a deliverable. The powerful workflows and analytics engine in Alteryx will help us bridge that gap, providing new solutions rapidly.

Nancy Tang, Head of Digital Solutions and Business Process, Group Information Technology

Jebsen Group

 

From descriptive to prescriptive with more advanced analysis

In 2021, the GIT team launched a new initiative to create a single data warehouse for Jebsen. There is a key component in Tang’s ongoing plan to use Alteryx as a “calculation engine,” as she describes it, putting advanced analysis into the hands of business users across Jebsen and encouraging them to maximize the insights they get out of the Group’s data.

“We want to move away from simple business intelligence to a more machine learning and AI-driven perspective,” says Tang. “BI is largely based on historical data and some external market data — that’s not enough to support our long-term growth. We want to use predictive analytics to make more informed decisions, as well as reviewing past data for operational efficiency on regular basis.”

Alteryx connects to a broader digital transformation journey at the Group too. “We strive for constant innovation,” says Tang. “Cutting-edge technology is key for our mission to continue building market success for our clients and provide premium products to our customers — and Alteryx is part of that.”

 

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