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LUSH deploys BI to boost profitability

By Retail Technology | Tuesday April 1 2014

International cosmetics retailer adopts analytics and reporting platform to support decision making based of a variety of key performance indicators

LUSH has today revealed it is using business intelligence (BI) software Qlik to drive instore profitability and deliver savings of over £1 million in stock loss.
The UK-based cosmetics company with over 900 stores in 51 countries, works with many datasets – retail data within electronic point-of-sale (EPoS) systems, supply chain and stock management, payroll and timesheet systems for staff management.

It needed a technology platform that could be used by employees at every level throughout the business to provide access to relevant sales, stock, store and staff information to improve performance. 

Working with specialist customer relationship management (CRM) consultancy and BI provider QGate, LUSH decided to deploy QlikView Business Discovery.

Gaining business insight
“We selected QlikView Business Discovery as it’s a very easy system for all of our staff to use, even with varying levels of technical experience,” said Scott Silverthorn, head of data services at LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. “As it is used by many different parts of the business, QlikView allows us to continually make insights into our company. 

“Some of the shop managers have told us they have had their most profitable year ever because QlikView has brought together the data they need to manage their sales, their stock and their staffing. By pulling it together in one place for analysis, QlikView allows them to make the right decision.”
The QlikView Business Discovery is deployed across the entire LUSH organisation. The retail accounts team uses QlikView to dig into the numbers behind the sales in each shop, to keep an eye on ledgers, petty cash and every other aspect of running the business financially. 

Increased performance visibility

The technology is also used in all the stores, so all the shop managers and employees on the shopfloor have access to QlikView Business Discovery report for updates every hour through the day with live access to their sales information, as well as their stock position so they can make the right decisions as they’re ordering in-store. 

With 70% of staff accessing QlikView every day to review sales and stock and managers monitoring performance via the live sales tool, LUSH can also promote a healthy sense of competition across retail sites.
QlikView is also used in LUSH’s manufacturing department for stock management, allowing the team to facilitate orders between the factory and the shops, and can keep an eye on stock position around the country. 

Equally, the BI software has helped LUSH to get a view of its sales and stock, which has led to improvements in forecasting and sourcing of key ingredients from ethical suppliers. This means that LUSH Cosmetics can also maintain freshness through its supply chain. 

Increased stock value savings
The LUSH payroll department also uses the technology to combine all of the data from timesheets and pay systems to get it into one report where they can view absences, staffing costs and where profits are made. 

By combining QlikView with LUSH’s stock value management systems, the company was able to make savings of over £1 million in the first two years of deployment.
“At LUSH, our colleagues are naturally very inquisitive people and giving them access to data means they can find ways to improve performance to do a better job,” added Silverthorn. “I personally live in QlikView. 

"The reporting function is so natural and intuitive that it’s easy to share with your colleagues so everyone gets the same experience. Our next goal will be to give our senior managers access to the technology, via tablets and mobile devices, where they can see at a glance how LUSH is performing.”

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