The University Co-Operative Bookshop is the largest provider of educational resources in Australia with 42 branches across Australia and over 1.3 million members.

With over 40 000 products available and over 17 000 suppliers, the Co-Op Bookshop needs to understand its financial data, patterns and trends to provide transparent reporting information to members.

Previously, management had relied on disaggregated calculations and analysis and were forced to make important business decisions based on assumptions. The Co-Op Bookshop struggled to understand their margins, direct costs and profits at an organisational level. The internal processes for collating data were not only time consuming but also costly.

The Co-Op Bookshop came to Antares Solutions with 4 main needs:

  • Better integration of data on sales, expenses and profit margins
  • The ability to perform ad hoc financial analysis
  • To improve the efficiency and accuracy of business information
  • To enhance its business information channel and user experience

“Antares Solutions provided an executive dashboard for us linking in with our intranet and summarising our key data whilst allowing drill-down investigation. We’re very happy with it.”

– Anthony Grant, IT Manager, Co-Op Bookshop

The Solution

Antares Solutions proposed an automated data processing and executive dashboard solution based on a Microsoft SharePoint platform. This custom built application would allow the Co-Op Bookshop to better analyse financial and business data that could then be used to make well-informed business decisions. The solution also included functionality to:

  1. Provide aggregated financial information from all stores in a single database
  2. Monitor financial results, including gross profit margins and the cost of sales on an aggregated basis.
  3. Monitor stock levels to meet demand, understand patterns and manage stocktakes.
  4. Provide automation to increase information accuracy and decrease manual costs.

Benefits

The Co-op Bookshop has benefited greatly from their business intelligence dashboard that now allows decision makers to quickly and effortlessly access aggregated financial information.

Importantly, the solution provided the Co-op with a reporting platform that can now be used to produce financial reports that can be utilised for internal and external purposes.

The Co-Op Bookshop also benefited from Antares solution in the following ways:

  • Executives and managers can make decisions based on fact and not assumptions. Accurate information has led to fluent decision making.
  • Information is available to decision makers immediately, at the touch of a button.
  • Allows decision makers to monitor key financial indicators. Quick and decisive action can now be taken to combat identified issues.
  • Automation has dramatically reduced manual data processing, reporting costs and errors.
  • One single version of information truth is presented to decision makers. There is no need for separate reports, as all information can be aggregated into a single report.

Summary

Provide accurate, aggregated financial information for managers and executives.

Solution technology

  • Business Intelligence
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Dashboards
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