Infinity Brands is a South African process engineering organization, with expertise in developing franchise brands from existing businesses. They have a replicable franchise model that allows all types of businesses to scale effectively. Their strength lies in being able to go into a business, break down and document its processes, re-engineer those processes to add as much automation as possible, and transform these businesses to scale.
Infinity Brands is a lean organization, but the data team supports the requirements of over 1000 people considering all the businesses it manages. Nkululeko Nxumalo is the CTO of Infinity Brands as well as the technical head for all the companies supported by Infinity Brands. This is a challenging task as every single business has a different set-up and model. The challenge for Nkululeko lies in consolidating and centralizing all of this disparate, non-uniform data. This data is then used as a single source for BI reporting that allows them to keep track of all their businesses.
Initially, Infinity Brands was using a traditional ERP system to monitor their client’s business processes. However, with the modernization of the data stack and the movement towards the cloud, Infinity Brands decided to switch to a cloud-based ERP system to keep up to date. This switch came with its own set of challenges.
Making the switch from traditional to cloud-based
Infinity Brands uses a cloud-based ERP system called CIN7 Omni to monitor all their clients’ business processes, which is integrated into SQL, where it then powers custom BI reporting. With the shift to the cloud, they faced the challenge of going through API documentation and building and maintaining pipelines, as CIN7 Omni is a third-party SaaS tool without direct access to the application data.
The team went on the lookout for a tool that would help them solve this issue quickly and smoothly. Their main concern was to find a platform that would keep up with their frequent data ingestions, as they update their reports twice a day. They wanted to ensure their data was synchronized and accurate, with no need to spend time on building pipelines or fixing issues.
Hevo Data: an evident solution for their needs
Among all the tools evaluated by Infinity Brands the tool that ticked all the boxes for Nkululeko was Hevo Data.
My experience on Hevo Data has been a very pleasurable one, and I’d recommend my peers to use it for similar use cases. Another positive aspect has been the support we’ve received- there has never been a time when we reached out and did not get the support we needed.
After having used Hevo Data for over a year, the team has been able to leverage the time saved and clarity achieved using the tool to accomplish several process improvements.
Using data to create a replicable model for success
One of the biggest ways for Infinity Brands to measure success is through their success tracking mechanism. This is a list of processes and compliance requirements that each franchise has to make sure that they reach on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Every time there's a touch point that needs to be reflected in the success tracker, the data gets pulled into a Power BI report via SQL. The executive committee is then able to analyze the tracker and generate insights into the actual operations of every one of these retail stores.
Infinity Brands uses this data to perform 3 types of analysis-
• Customer group analysis- monitoring group sales stats daily. Stores can now see how their counterparts are performing in terms of sales.
• Product sales analysis- analyzing product sales data across all 41 stores and reporting back on top selling product categories, bottom selling product categories and gross profit by product category.
• Salesperson stats overview- each individual salesperson’s data is analyzed and shared across the group to show top performers and the relation to product, area and gross profit.
The next step for the executive team is to perform benchmarking. By looking at the same data set for all the companies they manage, they can reach a median performance metric and understand why exactly the top-performing stores work. Then, by taking the knowledge generated by these reports, they decide on the most important metrics for all their companies and replicate success at all levels.
Thanks to these well-established data-driven operations, the brand ACDC Express which is managed by Infinity Brands, has seen a 63.92% growth over the past year.
Additionally, the integration between the ERP and MS SQL using Hevo Data has enabled Infinity Brands to develop a business statistics site using Python and PowerBI. Through this, they have reported over R500M ($26M) back to their clients in group turnover in just 12 months!
By leveraging the power of their vast data across companies, across industries, and across business models, Infinity Brands can take truly data-driven decisions to create success. Hevo Data is proud to increase data availability, accuracy, and accessibility to empower the same!