Builders merchant Huws Gray leverages Sisense’s AI-driven platform to unlock deeper data-driven customer insights and support rapid business development
Independent builders merchant Huws Gray has leveraged Sisense, the leading AI-driven analytics cloud platform, to infuse analytics across the organisation to support plans for rapid expansion for 2022, driving operational efficiency at scale through the power of data analytics.
Before leveraging Sisense, Huws Gray was managing large volumes of data and could only analyse it manually via spreadsheets, which was time consuming and unscalable. This overload of data also created inconsistency in reporting, with staff running reports from the point-of-sale systems and finding the results would vary constantly.
The team needed a tool that would create consistency, accuracy and display the vast range of data points in a very easy to read format.
In 2020, Huws Gray turned to the AI-driven platform offered by Sisense, which has enabled Huws Gray to visualise the data they have with clear dashboards that are easy to understand. Sisense’s platform has also unlocked deeper financial insights for the company, by keeping accurate track of inflation and the cost of products.
Being an online store as well as bricks-and-mortar, having security options for its customers is essential. Sisense gives Huws Gray optimal security options such as restricting IP addresses and storing emails on a cloud drive.
Sisense also democratises the company’s data and enables automated access internally, which offers the efficiency Huws Gray needs to support scalability and business expansion, supporting the company as it adds more branches and builds bigger budgeting targets.
Mike Owen Jnr, IT Director at Huws Gray said Huws Gray needed a platform where they could share information accurately, quickly and consistently across the group to support the company’s vision for expansion.
“Traditionally Huws Gray gathered information through exports directly from the ERP system, followed by a significant amount of time spent assembling the data in Excel for onward distribution. This means that reports that might have taken an entire day to generate and put together can now be replaced by a dashboard that presents the same information to the user in a fraction of the time. Time savings of up to 90% would therefore not be an exaggeration,” Mike says.
Prior to implementing Sisense, the traditional reporting methods and time taken to assemble and disseminate the information meant the data was quite often out of date and any actions that the business took because of the data needed much closer scrutiny.
“Because the data in Sisense is much more recent, the business can make decisions with a greater degree of confidence. Also, because of the implementation process, we spent a great deal of time validating the data and we are now confident enough with the accuracy of the data in Sisense that it has replaced a plethora of other disparate reports. Confidence in the accuracy of the data has increased in basic terms by about 75%,” Mike says.
“Consistency has also easily increased by 100%. Having all departments working from the same common data model means that slight variations in the definitions between departments are eliminated. For example, looking at what should be counted as a sale and what inclusions / exclusions should be used.”
There is now better security built into Huws Gray’s reports using Sisense’s built-in data security. Branch managers can now see only sales appropriate to them in certain dashboards and Sales Reps can only see their own ledger of customers. This reduces the risk of data leakage and has helped tighten up security by over 75%.
“Our users love to drill into the data to find out the cause of anomalies and gain insights into our customers’ buying habits. Trends are identified 50% more quickly, which allows us to step in and engage with our customers much earlier than would previously be possible,” Mike explains.
The Sisense dashboards also give Huws Gray employees a quick visual guide, and speeds up the process for staff to access the information they need.
“Sisense brings simplicity to our backend. The platform is easy to understand but it is so powerful. What the platform presents to our staff is visually powerful and customisable. Anyone in our team can use it,” Mike adds.
“Sisense also helps us understand our customers better. We’re looking at new use cases for our staff to get a better grasp of their customers, manage them efficiently and sell more effectively. As we continue our expansion strategy in 2022, we’re confident Sisense’s robust, scalable platform can support us as we continue to scale.”
Paul Scholey, Vice President of International Sales at Sisense says it is exciting to see how Huws Gray has revolutionised its data-driven strategy, leveraging Sisense to support business efficiency and growth.
“Large retailers like Huws Gray need information from their data sets at an instant – and that information needs to be visually clear and easily digestible so that anyone in the organisation can understand it. We are excited that such a well-loved and home grown brand is partnering with Sisense to transform their business,” Paul said.
Founded in 1990 from a single branch in Gaerwen, Anglesey, Huws Gray has expanded over the past 30 years, through organic growth and acquisitions. They now operate from branches across North Wales, the North-West, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and East Anglia, employing over 1,800 people across the Group. Huws Gray is set to expand to 200 new locations in 2022 across England, Scotland and Wales.
Sisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organisations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense customers are breaking through the barriers of analytics adoption by going beyond the dashboard with Sisense Fusion – the highly customisable, AI-driven analytics cloud platform, that infuses intelligence at the right place and the right time, every time. More than 2,000 global companies rely on Sisense to innovate, disrupt markets and drive meaningful change in the world. Ranked as the No. 1 Business Intelligence company in terms of customer success, Sisense has also been named one of the Forbes’ Cloud 100, The World’s Best Cloud Companies, five years in a row. Visit us at www.sisense.com
About Huws Gray
Huws Gray is the UK’s largest independent builders’ merchant, supplying building materials to trade and DIY customers from over 100 locations across the UK.
Founded in 1990 from a single branch in Gaerwen, Anglesey, Huws Gray has rapidly expanded over the past 30 years, through organic growth and acquisitions. We now operate from branches across North Wales, the North-West, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and East Anglia, employing over 1,8000 colleagues across the Group.