Virgin Entertainment Group: Getting Schedules in Sync with Customers
By putting products and personnel where customers need them, sales get a boost
Computerworld - When Nick Mason of the legendary '70s rock group Pink Floyd showed up for a signing at Virgin Entertainment Group Inc.'s Megastore on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, store managers fed the famed drummer updated sales figures for his latest book every 15 minutes by extracting data from the company's business intelligence system. That's just one example of a major change at Virgin made possible by BI. Specifically, Sunset Strip employees can use instantly available BI data to make on-the-spot decisions -- for example, strategically shifting stacks of Mason's books and CDs and quickly placing orders for dwindling supplies.
Corporate executives at the entertainment giant were looking for more than a mere BI dashboard to serve up analyses on revenue and generate other data points to feed quarterly reports. Instead, they gave Virgin's IT staff the green light to design Crescendo, a system named for its ability to track dynamic waves in sales and identify other operational trends.
Marching orders, however, called for a BI workhorse tool that would provide analytical data that Virgin store managers could use in real situations. For instance, Crescendo often drives the physical placement of hot CDs or T-shirts in local stores. The system also churns out analyses of sales data that store managers use to schedule associates who walk the floors. Sometimes, BI even dictates when these workers should take their lunch breaks.
Robert Fort, IT director at Virgin Entertainment
Image Credit: Joe Toreno
"However, traffic data doesn't mean anything at all on its own," Fort says. The company quickly moved from using BI just to compose snapshots of traffic patterns and began shoveling more trending data continuously to those directly in charge of each store.
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