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Eveready powers sales with visual analytics

Sunil Shah | April 7, 2015
After just seven months of using a visual analytical tool, Eveready increased sales by about Rs 15 crore, lowered inventory costs by Rs 10 crore, and achieved over 500 percent RoI.

It's a quiet lane, just off Kolkata's busy Ballygunge Circular Road, and the working day's just got underway at Eveready's corporate office. It's getting to 9:30 in the morning, and there's a calmness about the office; as employees walk in, they stop to have a silent moment with a large idol of Lord Balaji in the reception. There's something restful in the air.

But the quiet belies big changes taking place within the 109-year-old company that's synonymous with batteries.

As the battery-market gets more crowded, often by Chinese goods, Eveready's already driven a plan to diversify into lighting products. According to media reports, batteries bring in about 60 percent of Eveready's business today, a figure Eveready's expects will fall to 45 percent, as the lighting business picks up.

The shift's getting traction: Today, a Google search of Eveready doesn't throw up pictures of batteries — but of lighting products.

That's not the only area change is taking place at Eveready. At the end of a long hall, on the first floor of its corporate headquarters, Eveready's IT department is using a new tool to drive growth and efficiency: Visual analytics.

Visual Analytics Powers Crores in Sales

Visual analytics is fairly new at Eveready. Its first tryst with the technology started in May 2014, when the company's IT department, led by CIO Arup Choudhury, used Tableau to give the business the ability to get to more insights — faster.

One of the first uses of visual analytics was, predictably, sales. Choudhury says they used Tableau to find out which of the company's 3,000-plus distributors hadn't made a recent purchase, or was buying below a threshold amount. That's data's made it easier for sales staff to figure out which customers they should work more closely with.

That was only the beginning. Applying visual analytics to more sales data, says Choudhury, began to unearth insights Eveready would never have probably got to using regular, non-visual analytics. "A whole host of new insights started appearing. Insights that were hidden under layers and layers of data suddenly become visible, right in front of our eyes," remembers Choudhury. 

One of these insights included a list of customers (distributors) that weren't buying at least three of Eveready's seven product categories. Eveready makes more than batteries, it has interests in tea, lights, and power banks, among others.

"As a thumb rule, we want our customers to buy at least three product categories. So we looked (with Tableau) for customers who were not. Now, that's very difficult to do using a tabular (non-visual) format," says Choudhury.

It's also the sort of insight that will go a long way in driving the company's product diversification goals.


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