Ideaca Knowledge Services

Provide a brief description of the Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative?

BayerCropScience – Project Phoenix: Bayer CropScience (BCS) is a leader in crop production for the agricultural industry. As a leading manufacturer of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, seed treatments and canola seed, BCS supplies seed and crop protection to more than 60,000 Canadians. The challenge for BCS was that data collection, processing and rebate fulfillments were handled by an outsourced Point of Sale (POS) group. This third-party POS service took the information from retailers using different systems; fed the information into the POS and created a rebate cheque for each farmer. Some of the challenges BCS faced from this process included: • Slow and inaccurate processing of data submitted • Onerous data submission processes for independent retailers • Lack of visibility into market intelligence data • Delayed turnaround of annual rebate fulfillment setup Solution The Ideaca team created a data management solution for Bayer CropScience to facilitate the payment of rebates back to farmers buying BCS products. The solution is a combination of a Master Data Management (MDM), Custom Application and Reporting solution to support their rebate application process. The BCS rebate application process (Custom Application) allows individual and groups of farmers to sign up for and receive their respective rebates. BCS supports a variety of rebate programs; each of which has a unique set of rebate calculations that change every year. The rebate calculation can be quite complex and must consider purchase combinations from a variety of products, minimum purchases requirements, conversion and rebate rates and manual adjustments. Therefore, a dynamically configurable rebate calculation process was developed to support the current year’s programs and allow for ad hoc program analysis without having to re-develop their programs each year.

Describe what makes this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative original or innovative.How is this over and above the accepted norm?

The requirements for the solution were highly intricate: • In order to fulfill the Bayer rebate programs, Bayer required proof of purchase from growers. The proof of purchases are provided electronically to Bayer by the retailer on behalf of the grower customers. This data needs to be collected, standardized to Bayer SKU’s and unique grower accounts. • Grower data collection through the line companies flows into the third party application system and data collection from the independents needed to be enhanced to allow for complete information of the grower and product sales. • Since Bayer or its agent then calculated rebates based on this data and sent cheques out to grower customers, the Rebate programs development time needed be shorter and enable the use of scenario-based tests that would enable Marketing to “test” their rebate initiatives based on historical data. • Bayer required that statistics, data mining and other tools be employed to use this gathered information to market better to its customers. • The closer integration of Bayer’s sales team CRM tool to grower and retailer customers via Bayer’s website, including the systems integration with the sales data collection system, the rebate fulfillment system and the reporting tool. Ideaca was able to devise an integrated BI solution that delivered on each of Bayer’s requirements. This solution was over and above the accepted norm due to the infrastructure dependencies, the integration with 3rd party products and the complex calculations entailed for the rebate program.

Describe the improvement this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative made to the customer’s sales or revenues. What changed?

After the implementation was complete, Bayer was expecting between 50 and 500 rebate requests through this system, however they received over 5000. Because of the scalability of this solution, BCS was able to manage the capacity and volume of these requests, which were due to one of the worst growing seasons to date.

Describe the improvement this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative made to the customer’s efficiency. What changed?

Benefits Ideaca’s solution enabled BCS to manage POS data as well as calculate and distribute rebate program entitlements in-house. BCS now has direct visibility and control over data quality and was also able to fund the cost of the project with the savings realized from the significant reduction of third party services. Some additional benefits include: • Reduced future development effort • More accurate rebate calculations • Increased planning and analysis capability • Timely and integrated data

How did this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative improve the customer’s ability to serve its internal and/or external clients?

The solution improved the customer’s ability to: • End customer data collection through independent retailers needs to be more responsive to the myriad of possible data sources and format possibilities. The data submission process was onerous cited by many retailers as the reason data submission was slow and inaccurate. • Quickly and accurately process the submitted data by BCS to standardize/match retailer sales data into BCS standard SKU’s and matching of grower accounts. • Provide visibility of Market intelligence data to Marketing and various other users in BCS through reporting services/BI solution. • Provide flexible programming of the rebate logic to allow fast turnaround of annual rebate fulfillment set-up. • Integrate BCS front end tools such as CRM and the BCS website.

In what ways does this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative go above and beyond industry norms and expectations?

The solution provided goes beyond industry norms and expectations as it continues to exist as a “living and growing” application – that the calculations need to be adjusted each year due to the impact of environmental factors. The solution is a representation of the direct linkage of farmers to data which drives BCS’ business performance.

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