Adoption of Pivotlink Spreads Quickly at REI
and Across its Vendor Network
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions. REI was looking for a business intelligence solution that would enable both employees and outside vendors to make more effective and profitable decisions.
The retailer’s key requirement was to give multiple groups the ability to synthesize and drill into critical performance data. Largest-volume vendors needed to analyze product performance, store managers needed to uncover trends across stores and regions and merchandising employees needed to optimize the product mix.
What REI needed was a business intelligence solution that could:
Allow multiple types of users to analyze a variety of metrics to improve operational performance
Provide powerful data analysis aimed at improving sales
Reduce IT costs and resources needed for analysis and reporting
According to John Strother, REI Director of Logistics, Inventory and Planning, “We were able to fund 80 percent of the startup costs for PivotLink with the money we were already spending on maintenance fees for our existing system. Given the extra value that PivotLink brings, the remaining 20 percent was well worth it.”
PivotLink is used by 375 REI and vendor employees for returns analysis to ensure quality assurance, in-stock analysis, comparisons and vendor scorecards. “Quality assurance is a big deal at REI,” said Strother. Due to safety issues inherent with outdoor products, REI analyzes the reasons for returns and takes them very seriously.
REI relies on PivotLink for numerous comparisons, including actual to budget, store/internet catalog sales, and store performance by square foot, department, region and season. More than 125 of REI’s largest-volume suppliers review data on returns, invoice accuracy, on-time deliveries and other valuable information.
PivotLink presents critical information in a consistent way and allows each person to slice and dice data at will. Since implementing the PivotLink Business Intelligence Platform, REI has had a nine percent increase in sales and a 1.6 percent increase in profit. Leveraging on-demand business analytics enables REI to gain an unprecedented view into historical and current sales performance, visible from the store to the executive suite.
“We’ve definitely improved our in-stock rates since reporting via PivotLink,” said Business Analyst Randy Mauk. “Now buying decisions are based on what’s selling and what’s not, instead of guesswork or loyalty to old products.”
Enabled business users to analyze and view data in any way
Rapid adoption throughout the organization, easy to use and great results
Achieved faster, more informed decisions
Reduced reliance on IT