RESEARCH & RESOURCES

KYDEX, LLC Gains Faster, Easier Access to Key Information and Analysis

Commentary by George Sanchez, Director of Information Technology, KYDEX, LLC


KYDEX is a worldwide leader in specialty thermoplastic sheet manufacturing, with the unique ability to produce custom products in an extensive array of color and texture combinations for applications requiring high performance and regulatory compliance. With its lean manufacturing, formulation, and technical expertise, KYDEX has established a proven track record of delivering consistent, high-quality products in accelerated time frames.

Time for a Change

Prior to deploying Birst, KYDEX relied on a text-based ERP system for sales operations reports. After exporting data from the system, IT employees spent valuable time using spreadsheets to perform additional calculations related to each period’s billings and bookings. These static reports were distributed to decision makers, who then had to contact IT if they needed additional analysis. When the company decided to change ERP systems, it seemed an opportune time to implement a business intelligence (BI) solution as well.

“To create daily sales reports, we were exporting information from our ERP system, manually performing additional calculations, and then distributing the reports via e-mail. It was a very time-consuming process,” said George Sanchez, director of information technology for KYDEX. “We needed a BI solution that could provide basic reporting, as well as advanced analysis to help with forecasting and planning. And we needed all of that to be easily accessible by business users in real time, through online dashboards.”

A Low-Risk, Fully Functional Solution

KYDEX also required that its new BI solution be affordable and quick and easy to deploy. “We wanted something with minimal up-front costs in case it didn’t work as expected or people didn’t use it,” said Sanchez. “Given those requirements, we started looking for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution and decided to evaluate Birst when an executive from another company recommended it.”

“We chose Birst because it offers a low-risk, cost-effective way to quickly implement and easily maintain a comprehensive BI solution.” —George Sanchez, Director of Information Technology, KYDEX

After comparing several on-demand solutions, KYDEX selected Birst because of its SaaS technology, as well as its wide breadth of functionality and extensive self-service capabilities. These capabilities include a highly intuitive, Web-based user interface and ad hoc reporting and analysis, accessible via dashboards.

“We chose Birst because it offers a low-risk, cost-effective way to quickly implement and easily maintain a comprehensive BI solution,” said Sanchez. “With Birst’s SaaS technology, we don’t have to worry about installing extensive infrastructure or entirely new versions of the application when updates come along. Birst handles all of that for us, and also provides the full functionality we need.”

Increased Insight Improves Business Results

Now, using Birst, KYDEX employees can make more informed decisions with direct access to dynamic, online dashboards that provide up-to-the-minute sales-, finance-, and operations-related information, at various levels of detail. And because Birst has eliminated the need for manual calculations, the KYDEX IT team is able to repurpose the time it spent creating spreadsheets.

With Birst, KYDEX is able to easily view and compare each period’s billings and bookings and analyze sales trends based on a variety of different factors, including color or market segment. “We’re always looking for ways to proactively provide our customers with the products and colors they need,” said Sanchez. “When Birst reports that sales of a certain color class are on the rise, we know that’s where designs are headed and can ensure that we’re stocking the right colors and providing customers with brochures and sample sets that will wow them. Because of Birst, we know what our customers want before they know what they want.” By observing sales trends, KYDEX is also able to better target marketing and sales efforts, and more accurately predict future sales performance when developing budgets and sales plans.

Leveraging the ability to easily create additional reports within Birst, KYDEX plans to extend its deployment by developing key performance indicator (KPI) dashboards for all aspects of its business. “Birst is providing us with valuable information and analysis that’s helping to enhance our performance,” Sanchez said. “By creating these KPIs and monitoring them through Birst, we’re extending that insight into all areas of our business so that we can continue to better understand—and improve—our results.”


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