Background

VANILLA Solutions have recently completed a major Qlik upgrade for Whitworths, the UK’s leading supplier of dried fruits, nuts and seeds.

Whitworths are based in Northamptonshire and recently celebrated their 130th birthday.

The company had been using IFS as their main ERP software, with QlikView to provide business intelligence and reports.

However, when Jonathan Hayes, Head of Commercial/Operations and Finance at Whitworths, returned to the company after four years away, QlikView was unsupported and action was required to gain a supported solution that would also improve business intelligence.

  • The Benefits of Qlik Sense

    He spoke to his IT team about a solution, and they spoke to Vanilla Solutions who presented the benefits of Qlik Sense.

    “Vanilla demonstrated the tool to us, and we could see that Qlik Sense had everything we needed, the functionality and flexibility with all the data provided in an easy to read graphical format. It was also so intuitive and my view was that it would help us move the company forward,” said Jonathan.

    Delighted with what they’d been shown, Whitworths asked Vanilla to proceed.

    “Vanilla organised the transfer of data and dashboards from QlikView into Qlik Sense while at the same time started training 40 users – five as super-users. I’m not particularly techie, but I could see straight away how good and how flexible Qlik Sense is and within the first week of going live I was writing reports and generating reports. It allowed me to create real and valuable business analysis reports from IFS,” explained Jonathan.

    “I’ve been mightily impressed with it, it’s a great piece of software. It’s transformed the information and accuracy of information we have at our fingertips,” he added.

    “We’ve been able to build new hierarchy structures, introduce a new calendar, extract proper dashboards for cost, volume and sale of goods and we’re currently building discount tables which will be so important to us. And another plus has been the speed of these reports – they’re basically in real time.

  • Significant Improvement to Business Reporting

    “This is just stage one, I can see so many other potential benefits. IFS can produce so much information and data that we’ve just not been able to access properly before. So we’re looking to extract more and more data into the Qlik Sense environment. The possibilities are endless, particularly with customer information and medium and long-term forecasts.

    “Qlik Sense and Vanilla Solutions have made a significant improvement difference to our business reporting.”

    He would certainly recommend Vanilla Solutions: “Everyone we’ve dealt with at Vanilla have been knowledgeable, friendly, approachable and intelligent. They did everything they said they would when they said they would, stuck to deadlines rigidly and were very professional.”

    So professional that Whitworths also signed a support contract.“I know we’re in safe hands,” concluded Jonathan.

  • Self-service Business Intelligence

    Jason Belcher, Director at Vanilla Solutions, added: “It is good to see that Whitworths are already starting to see the benefits of upgrading to Qlik Sense. The features really do support self-service business intelligence, and with the training we’ve provided as part of the project, we’ve seen Jonathan and his team start developing their own visualisations within the tool, with no further input required from Vanilla.

    “Our aim with any project is to create strong, independent users who are able to take what we deliver and continue to improve it. This is certainly happening at Whitworths and we are pleased to be part of that success.”