MicroPort CRM gets a new perspective on data to increase upsell opportunities and revenues with Tableau

Enterprise-wide data visibility enables smarter business decisions to achieve strategic goals

Automated reporting frees users from tedious tasks and ensures high levels of accuracy

With old reporting systems, users spent 80% of their time manipulating and crossing data and only 20% analyzing it. Now, ratios have been completely reversed

Global medical devices company, MicroPort CRM, is on a mission to prolong and improve the lives of patients everywhere. It believes in mastering the small details to achieve big things, and that means close collaboration with the medical community, seamless operations across international markets, and designing innovative solutions across multiple fields, such as orthopaedics, cardiovascular health, electro-physiology, and vascular intervention. We spoke to IT Project Leader, Anne-Claude Barbary about MicroPort CRM's Tableau rollout and the early users who’ve become avid Tableau fans.

What were your data visualisation challenges at MicroPort CRM?

Competition in the healthcare industry is fierce. Today, being able to benefit from the most precise indicators in real-time makes it possible to be reactive and to anticipate market trends. In a current context, with its share of uncertainty, benefiting from a powerful data visualization and analytics tool is a differentiating criterion in the market.

We were using several tools including spreadsheets and a business intelligence solution to perform data analysis, but we lacked a central platform to bring that information together and drill down into our business pain points at different levels. While we could manually consolidate most of our data, it didn’t give us a complete picture and key information was missing. Users were also complaining that the existing tool was complex to use and had limited visualisation capabilities. If they ran a query they’d have to manually extract and massage the data, which was tedious and prone to human error.

Why did you choose Tableau as your single source of the truth?

We chose Tableau to support a core data modelling project with the aim of consolidating and gathering enterprise-wide information into a central repository. We rolled it out to a few nominated stakeholders in other departments to help them fluidly visualise and explore company data and share those insights with their team. Tableau connects with a wide range of data sources, including databases, servers, data sheets, and cloud applications. Because data is stored securely in the cloud and accessible via a single web interface, it’s much easier to give users access to data anywhere and from any device, and we didn’t need any specific hardware or configuration to get started. We’re really happy with Tableau, it’s between 10-100 times faster than other solutions on the market, and you can sort, highlight, drill down, or filter data from a central, user friendly dashboard really quickly and easily.

Our champion in the finance department, Guillaume Charles, commented, “Tableau will be a great improvement for all stakeholders across the company. It’s accessible anytime, anywhere with both standard and personalised reports. In the finance team we now have total confidence that we’re working with the most accurate figures and it helps us reconcile sales, be it market or regional, more efficiently, so we can drill down into the sales mix, gross margin, and volume of units sold.”

How are you supporting user adoption?

Our implementation partner, DXC, was instrumental in providing training for the team and creating dashboards we could use to base future use cases on. We also created a video to educate users on what Tableau can do for them and nominated champions to test the solution and film a short testimonial. We launched a starter pack of reports to help people access the information that’s interesting and relevant for them, and taught users how to adapt and modify these reports or create new dashboards to empower each department to be more independent. This was a big shift in how we managed data at MicroPort CRM, so we’re making sure the communication lines are open and that we’ve been proactive about making the IT team available to support people who are less confident with technology.

We're really happy with Tableau, it’s between 10-100 times faster than other solutions on the market, and you can sort, highlight, drill down, or filter data from a central, user friendly dashboard really quickly and easily.

How has Tableau helped you to maximise efficiency and improve collaboration?

Built in features such as the ability to adapt existing dashboards are really powerful to help us stay agile and uncover new perspectives from existing data. You can change the geography, add extra data, or calculate new ratios to keep querying the data until you’ve found the information you’re looking for. Then you can create a new dashboard with the relevant data to share with the rest of the team, using permissions to control who has access. Tableau has a visual richness, including more than 20 graphical forms and customisable reports, but because of its live connection to our data source it will always display the most up to date and reliable information.

A great example of how Tableau supports collaboration with data across departments was highlighted by our Manufacturing Controlling Director, Stephane Oules, who uses Tableau to automate reports on SAP inventories, which saves a lot of time every month and has eliminated manual errors. He’s also created an inventories dashboard in collaboration with the supply chain and finance teams. “The inventory report is used to calculate inventory reserves so we have a sensible point of calculation to enter inventory reserve compliance for each legal entity and the dashboard gives us a unique, controlled, and reconciled database to track inventory per geographical area on a weekly or monthly basis. These dashboards allow anyone to drill down per product category, location type, or by expiration risk, and by improving inventory management we can reduce the amount of stock we have to scrap because it’s past its expiration date.”

What insights has Tableau helped you uncover so far?

A great example of the impact of Tableau was reported by our Global Product Manager for Leads, Bastienne Cabestan. She explained, “To track the sale of leads – that is, the cables used to connect devices – we have to evaluate the lead to port radio, which is the number of ports on MicroPort devices that are connected to MicroPort leads as opposed to cables from another brand. Our goal is to reach 100% lead to port ratio, which would mean all of our devices are connected with MicroPort leads. Thanks to Tableau, we’ve created an interactive dashboard to report on lead sales and support ratios, which can be tailored to specific products.”

For example, the team is tracking the adoption of the Vega lead, which works with MicroPort CRM pacemakers, and thanks to the user-friendly dashboards it can easily share insights with the sales operations and country marketing teams, who don’t have a deep understanding of tech. This in turn will give those teams insights into opportunities to sell more Vega leads to customers who have purchased pacemakers, so we’re already seeing how Tableau can help the whole business to be more efficient and make smarter decisions based on real data.