Vertex Services is a worldwide supplier of flooring products and has operations on every single continent but Antarctica. A truly global business, Vertex conducts work through a number of offices and separately owned companies in multiple countries, including Hong Kong and the US.
In 2012, Vertex was facing ongoing difficulties with its disparately stored data. Though the company was thriving in its industry, Vertex executives knew it was time to change the way the company handled data—especially when its largest client, The Home Depot, announced it would be sharing sales data with its vendors.
Excel was Vertex's primary application for analyzing and reporting data, but the tool ran up against a wall when it came to helping its users intuit underlying trends. Decision-makers often had to rely on educated guesses rather than exploring and questioning data on the fly. Full analysis was just too unwieldy a process.
When Vertex implemented Tableau in the spring of 2012, the time savings were... well, groundbreaking.
Decisions were also difficult at the time because Vertex has no centralized area for storing data. A detail as simple as a time difference between offices could create a significant lag in communicating details that impacted company decisions.
Vertex knew this would all come into play at The Home Depot's upcoming annual manager's meeting—at which hundreds of on-the-spot questions would likely be asked.
Company executives considered several options for a stronger BI tool before eventually landing on Tableau in the spring of 2012. “At the end we chose Tableau because of its ease of application, its nimbleness, and really—it is just very simple to use,” says Vertex CFO Edmund Lai.
The value of Tableau came not only from its lower implementation cost compared to competitors, but also from its ease of use for people in many different areas of the business. With data now coming together from multiple streams—and with far more employees empowered to use it—Vertex can make data-driven decisions in groundbreaking new time.
When it came time for The Home Depot meeting, Vertex presenters were able to field every question asked by the managers—and with a report that took weeks less to create than a comparable one in Excel.
While users had previously been fairly limited in their access to data, Vertex can now have inclusive discussions centered on the same data. Trends are easier to spot and much more accessible to handle. Says Lai, "With Tableau, the answer just jumps out from the data. It's almost as if it's telling us some story."
In short, Vertex has been simply floored by the time savings and ease of use that has helped it keep treading the path of success—all around the globe.
But don't take my word for it! Read the company's full story here.