One Company, Many Uses: Diver Platform at Georgia Crown
“Diver allows us to get the information we need very quickly and easily without much effort,” says Alan Walker, vice president of technology at Georgia Crown. “And that’s Diver in a nutshell to me.”
Walker is the primary Diver Platform (Diver) developer at Georgia Crown, a beverage distributor based in Georgia. The company started working with Dimensional Insight in 2001; since then, he has seen the evolution of Diver as several different departments have found indispensable uses for it over the years.
“Information is key,” Walker says. “I have a ton of data out there but it doesn’t mean anything by itself. So how can I make this data more meaningful and figure out how to use it to help me run the business? I don’t know of a better way than Diver.”
About 135 people at Georgia Crown use Diver, in everything from sales to inventory to finance to human resources. In addition, the majority of the company’s wine and spirits suppliers are set up for access to Diver through supplier licenses purchased by Georgia Crown.
Walker says the speed and ease of use of Diver are two of its biggest benefits. He finds when he’s helping train new staff to use Diver they take to it quickly and become self-sufficient. Even if they don’t always exactly follow his instructions—taking three steps, for example, instead of one, to get to the same result – they’re still accomplishing tasks far quicker than they did before. “Diver is so efficient that you can be inefficient, and you’re still efficient,” he says.
Using Diver internally
Georgia Crown originally started to use Diver for sales reporting. At the start of the Diver deployment, a Dimensional Insight consultant helped Georgia Crown set up the format of sales reports. These pre-set reports are still in use at the company, but by now, almost everyone at Georgia Crown has customized Diver so they have exactly the information they need at their fingertips.
After using it for sales reporting, Georgia Crown rolled out Diver for inventory and purchasing. The company replaced previous forecasting and planning systems by putting the data they used into Diver for inventory analysis. With Diver, Georgia Crown can figure out exactly what products need to be ordered.
Following these initial successes, Georgia Crown saw how Diver would be useful in other parts of the company. Walker says most uses evolve when someone complains it is taking too long to complete a task, and they figure out how Diver can help them to do it better. For example, human resources began to use Diver for state and federal reporting, as well as for internal lists. In addition, the finance department created a cash flow analysis with Diver that the vice president of finance currently uses every day.
“The finance department was pulling reports and had to go through them and drop the data into Excel. It was taking hours for them to do something it could take minutes to do in Diver,” says Walker. “We put the cash flow analysis together, and now our finance department can’t live without it.”
“There are 24,000 accounts in our general ledger. So in the past, compiling a quarterly budget would take ten days. Now it takes only two days.”
Using Diver externally
Georgia Crown uses Diver to analyze supplier sales numbers and inventory. In addition, about 225 of Georgia Crown’s 350 suppliers have access to Diver through licenses purchased by Georgia Crown. With Diver, the suppliers can view a variety of different reports and they can see inventory laid out monthly, quarterly, by calendar year, fiscal year, or any number of other combinations.
“The suppliers are able to see how they are doing in sales, as well as how many cases and bottles have been depleted that month,” says Walker. “They can access more than 100 different reports, which they can then slice and dice as they want. Diver is a really useful tool not only for us, but also for our suppliers so they have the most current sales information available.”
In the future
Georgia Crown is anticipating upgrading to Diver’s Spectre technology in the near future due to the increased speed it will provide. In addition, Walker is always thinking of ways Georgia Crown can do business better by using Diver.
“I’m always able to say in the back of my mind, this is something that fits the use here for Diver,” says Walker. He also emphasized the importance of Diver to the company. “E-mail being down is the worst thing that can happen to our company,” he says. “But I would put Diver second to that. People live off it—it’s crucial to the lifeblood of our company.”
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Georgia Crown Distributing Co.