June 17, 2020

Case Paper Overcomes Analytics Challenges to Improve Its Business

Terri White

Topic:   Industry Focus

Paper converter and merchant Case Paper updated its entrepreneurial operating system (EOS) with the ibi analytics platform, helping them serve the printing and packaging industry in U.S. domestic markets, as well as Canada, Mexico, and South America. Case Paper keeps an extensive inventory of more than 75,000 tons of product inside 1.25 million square feet of storage space. Its state-of-the-art operation for converting, warehousing, shipping, and logistics runs in several locations across North America.

The company adheres to the EOS methodology of management, which combines principles of leadership, management, and accountability to help businesses reach their full potential. “To accomplish the goals of EOS, we needed to deliver high-level views of information to our executive group, so they could identify and address problems in a timely manner,” said Jill McDonough, corporate director of Support Services at Case Paper.

But getting usable, relevant information from the company’s DB2 databases, running on IBM System i – as well as from other sources – proved to be a challenge. After years of relying on Excel to address reporting needs, Case Paper sought a more efficient process of making vital information readily available. The company partnered with technology consulting firm BDK to address BI and analytics requirements, while streamlining the management of the IBM System i environment and aiding in the growing amount of programming work.

BDK recommended the ibi platform and built a series of interactive analytic apps that empower business users to obtain quick answers to critical questions – which allow Case Paper executives to track KPIs in inventory, purchasing, sales, and other important areas of the business.

Users select parameters, apply filters, drill-down to more detail, or select from various output formats to meet their specific information needs. The insights provided by these apps can run on a scheduled or event-driven basis, or automatically burst to specific users.

One of the biggest benefits of analytics is a sharp increase in productivity. “Putting together a budget at the beginning of each month was extremely harrowing,” explained McDonough. “I ran hundreds of individual inventory reports just to get the numbers I needed.” Once those inventory reports were done, she then ran separate sales and financial reports. “The entire process took four or five days,” she added. “One ibi app replaces hundreds of those reports. I access and manipulate the data and complete my budget in just a few short hours.”

Now relevant, real-time data is easily accessible to all users, giving them quick answers to critical questions and enabling the company to grow and keep pace with a rapidly changing market.