A few years ago, Mother’s Market & Kitchen, a multi-store organic and specialty foods grocery and foodservice chain, was struggling to organize and take advantage of important pieces of their business data. “It was just so frustrating operating blindly,” said Chuck Kirk, Chief Financial Officer.
“When I first started, we didn’t have Salient’s solution up and running and so we were usually waiting a week, or for someone to do a manual analysis,” said Chris Williams, Chief Merchandising Officer.
“In the past, we’d have to run individual movement reports on all items, which is obviously very time consuming and requires an additional person doing that,” said Costa Mesa Store Manager, Eric Katz.
The manual, time-intensive nature of compiling data from disparate systems is a common headache in today’s business world.
“I would have to go into each individual POS system for each store,” said Vanessa Shelton, Foodservice Coordinator. “I would collect all the data, and then put it on an Excel sheet, or do something manually,” she continued.
With disparate systems holding a wealth of information, Chief Information Officer Wayne Miller made it a priority to tie things together.
“Seeing the disparate systems that I had created or helped create in this environment…I wanted to try and tie together the different components,” he said.
For Mother’s Market, this meant attempting to bring together the backend systems that handle item management and transactional-based activities. And then tying those same systems in with the data being gathered by their labor management system, and accounting system as well.
When you look at each individual part, they all work well, but you only get a small view of what you’re seeing. I needed to find a solution that was not cookie-cutter in the sense that it only works for one thing, but that was more constructed in a way that was ready-made largely in a retail environment. When I happened onto Salient, I was like ‘Oh, this is a great thing!’Wayne Miller
Chief Information Officer
The ability to bring disparate systems together under one roof has greatly changed the way that Mother’s Market is able to interact with their business data. For Shelton, the once manually intensive process that involved entering the point-of-sale systems for all nine stores takes a small fraction of the time.
“I’ve learned to do it really quickly in Salient,” she said, “with all nine stores together, I can do it in five minutes and pull all of the sales information for however long I want.”
Katz put it simply, “now everything is done at the click of a button.”
With disparate systems tied together, and the ability to find answers much faster using Salient’s solution, Mother’s Market has progressively learned to answer their business questions and find answers for questions they didn’t know they had.
It has a great impact on my day. On a daily basis now I can drill down on sales, I can drill down on margin to the item level and see trends this year versus last year. And that’s really how we manage the business.Chuck Kirk
Chief Financial Officer
Miller noted that being able to view the traditional sales and margin information is important, but there are benefits to not knowing what you’re looking for.
“Sometimes you know exactly what you want. If you’re looking for specifically your transactions, your margin, your lift on a particular promotion. You want to see your customer spends, customer responses. Those are all pretty common. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for. And through the ad hoc side, you go down this rabbit hole, it’s like ‘Oh wow,’” said Miller.
Both use cases have been valuable for Mother’s Market’s Rachel Basmaciyan.
As Inventory Project Manager, Basmaciyan investigates inventory dashboards daily, looking for overstocked departments or insufficient inventories across the Mother’s Market stores.
Other times when creating dashboards, Basmaciyan can take advantage of the intuitive, ad hoc reporting that Salient’s solution allows.
Sometimes when creating dashboards, it will give me an indication of something that’s going on that I had no idea was happening. Then I can take that information, take that dashboard, and go to anybody in the organization and give them a heads up on it and say ‘Hey, here’s something going on in our inventory that maybe we didn’t realize and we need to be proactive about.’Rachel Basmaciyan
Inventory Project Manager
The ability to become proactive in the face of their business data has changed the way Mother’s Market & Kitchen is able to manage their business.
CFO Chuck Kirk mentions the specific example of shrink, an inventory reduction that can be due to a variety of issues.
“We have never been able to manage shrink or look at shrink because we didn’t have the detail to do that,” said Kirk. “Now we can do that measurement and we can say, ‘hey, our produce shrink, for instance, is high relative to the industry, so now we’re going to go out and try and develop standard operating procedures to deal with that shrink.”
With Salient’s solution intact, Mother’s Market & Kitchen looks to proactively and progressively improve their business.
Miller says, “Are you trying to consolidate your information from disparate systems? Are you interested in sales-based, margin-based, transactional-based information? Then Salient is an awesome answer.”