Distribution Market Advantage System
Does More with Less
Headquartered in Schaumburg, IL, Distribution Market Advantage (DMA) is a national foodservice distribution system whose shareholders are prominent regional foodservice distributors. The distributors joined forces to provide foodservice operators with the pricing, distribution and technological advantages of a national organization, and the service priority of a local business. DMA customers include Chili’s, Macaroni Grill, Potbelly Sandwich Works and PF Chang’s China Bistro.
DMA’s distributors include Ben E. Keith Foods, Conco Food Service, Food Services of America, Gordon Food Service, HPC Foodservice, Hawkeye Foodservice Distribution, IFH, Jacmar, Maines Paper & Foodservice, Nicholas & Company, Inc., Reinhart FoodService, Shamrock Foods Company and Systems Services of America.
A great deal of transactional data gets generated throughout DMA’s supply chain each day. DMA’s 50 plus customers and distributors needed visibility into the supply chain, but the company’s existing data warehouse fell short of an end user’s need to access relevant data for daily decision making. The company did not have the resources to develop or maintain an in-house business intelligence solution.
“We were essentially using Microsoft Access to create reports by combining intricate product cross reference files with a fast moving river of invoice transactions. It was tedious, time consuming, error prone and non-scalable,” said Jim Szatkowski, VP Technical and Data Services for DMA.
What DMA needed was an on-demand BA solution that could:
Handle massive amounts of transactional data in near real-time
Enable customers to take analytics into their own hands
Be fast and easy to deploy while lowering operating costs
Scale as the business grows
DMA uses PivotLink to take large volumes of transactional data from its data warehouse and enables its 50 plus customers and distributors to securely access the data required to run their businesses.
“We are a cooperative of 12 companies competing with national broadline distribution companies," said Szatkowski. "We give customers a competitive advantage by providing deep visibility into their data, advanced analytic capabilities that are easy to use and cool tools like the Google gadget."
"Once they see our data presented in the PivotLink application, they quickly realize that DMA has industry leading tools," added Szatkowski. "PivotLink is very intuitive to use which quickly won over our users, so adoption wasn’t an issue. Easy access to data is critical in building a data-driven enterprise.”
The company also leverages PivotLink internally. DMA’s sales budgets are combined with daily transaction data to provide a near real-time understanding of performance against budget and forecast from the highest summary to the most granular detail.
“Combining data from our price verification tool to quickly identify exceptions between our customer’s negotiated manufacturer agreements and the prices held in our systems, helps to ensure we are invoicing our customers correctly," said Szatkowski.
With near real-time visibility, DMA can make more informed decisions to optimize each point in the supply chain, such as identifying ways to take non value added costs out of the process.
"Unplanned deliveries are costly, so a group comprised of a customer, DMA staff and distributor personnel wanted to develop a report to identify where this activity was occurring,” said Szatkowski. “With PivotLink’s help, we integrated a delivery schedule with our transactional data and set up specific drill paths to allow us to see the low hanging fruit at a high level and quickly level down to the specific deliveries and product combinations. We were able to eliminate $13,000 in expenses over the past year."
With that kind of success story, users quickly understood the potential of analytics to drive performance enhancing initiatives. In turn, they asked DMA to provide additional content within PivotLink, further enabling DMA to build a culture of information accessibility, collaboration and crystal-clear visibility.
Self-service, web-based analytic and reporting tools
Secure access from any web browser, anytime
Ad-hoc reports generated in minutes rather than hours
Improved productivity for business end users
Free up IT resources for more strategic tasks