How Toustone helped a leading agri-food company recognise the ‘why’, not just the ‘what’ of its business performance.

About Rivalea

Rivalea is a leading Australian agri-food business that processes and distributes around 17% of the country’s premium pork products. The company also supplies a range of animal nutrition products for livestock producers.

The Challenge

Rivalea is one of Australia’s leading agri-food businesses, located in Corowa, on the New South Wales bank of the Murray River. The company’s unique, highly-integrated production, processing and distribution system enables it to offer a range of premium pork products to major retailers, wholesalers, food service companies, and export customers; along with a range of animal nutrition products for livestock producers.

Several years ago, Rivalea decided to implement a company-wide enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. While the chosen solution delivered reporting functionality, General Manager for Sales and Marketing, Mark McKenzie, found the group needed a better and faster understanding of business performance.

He wanted to see business analytics as well as reporting, so the company decided to investigate business intelligence (BI) platforms. After reviewing a few options, Rivalea opted to go with the Toustone Cloud BI solution.

“We knew we didn’t have the inhouse resource within the group,” said McKenzie, “so we needed some guidance and we felt we couldn’t go wrong with Toustone. It helps that they are local, as we know we can rely on their ongoing support”.

The Solution

The pork production and processing game is complex and there are various ways to measure profitability and performance, which can be based on farms, carcasses or various low and high-value cuts. Because of seasonality, the business relies heavily on forecasting and measures performance against projections.

Rivalea utilises Yellowfin’s reporting capability to monitor sales through key product and customer channels, enabling the sales team to spot sales issues and take corrective action before targets are missed. That report information is also used to identify the activities of high-value customers and ensure they are closely managed to optimise the relationship, and equally to identify lost or slipping customers so they can be targeted. While accurate and easy-to-digest reporting is useful, it’s only part of the picture as far as McKenzie is concerned.

For him, the focus is on accountability – at both a functional and individual level. If sales data doesn’t match forecasts, the business and those responsible need to know quickly if it relates to a sales issue or a production issue, so that actions can be implemented.

The Toustone Cloud BI solution delivers a degree of analysis that enables better business decisions because it means McKenzie and his team can take corrective action as soon as a problem is identified. Its intuitive and easy-to-use interface also means that any person inside the organisation can drill down into reports and data to answer any queries that may arise.

Many of the team have cross-functional responsibilities, so having access to real-time accurate data, presented in an easy- to-digest visual format allows them to better understand the business on a day-to-day basis. That accountability extends across sales and expenditure, with key sales and marketing personnel having access to timely expense reporting versus budget, specific to their cost centre, ensuring the process is properly managed and that available budget is being utilised.

The automated email broadcasting function delivers daily sales data reports directly to sales reps, account managers, and senior staff, even via their mobile phones. This means that they can take corrective action immediately if issues are identified. The system facilitates better customer relations, as Rivalea uses Yellowfin in conjunction with the ERP to report quality issues such as monitoring the fat depth and weight profile of products sold to key customers. Quickly accessing this information helps ensure compliance to the defined threshold and allows measurement of trends over time.

McKenzie sees the implementation as an ongoing project and will continue to ‘turn on’ additional functionality as required, to gain further insights into business performance. Planned future applications include identifying where products are being sold as a lower-value offering but are within tolerance of a more premium offering — such as certified products being sold as standard — enabling any loss of premium revenue to be quickly identified and rectification carried out. The Toustone solution delivers enterprise-level standards of security, performance, and reliability. It not only puts accurate information into the hands of those who need it but also provides Rivalea with the business intelligence to recognise the ‘why,’ not just the ‘what’ of its performance.

Key business outcomes

  • Fully automated daily sales reporting broadcasts
  • Sales team accurate see sales performance data against targets
  • Easy identification of high-value customers and slipping/lost clients
  • Streamlined the budget spending monitoring and analysis process
  • Ensured available budget is utilised
  • Quality compliance through fat-depth and weight-profile analysis

“For us, it’s not about reporting – plenty of solutions offer reporting. What we needed was a solid analysis tool that gave our sales and marketing people absolute ownership and accountability. It’s about growth, forecasting and performance against budget. The analysis capability lets us get in and find out the ‘why’, so we can work out the ‘what’s next.”

Mark McKenzieGeneral Manager Sales & Marketing at Rivalea