Oldcastle is a leading manufacturer of building products and materials in North America. The company supplies aggregates, asphalt, concrete, construction and paving services, as well as roofing and interior products.
Before Tableau, teams at Oldcastle had a hard time sharing their data across the organization. Without this collaboration, the company didn’t have a single source of truth that they could use to make decisions.
Today, teams publish curated data sources on Tableau Server where individuals use web authoring to ask specific questions and build their own views. In video 2, Business Analyst, Paul Lisborg and Chief Financial Officer, Ian Crabtree discuss the mold-tracking visualization—a popular visualization on Oldcastle’s server—allowing 200 production people to get instant visibility into manufacturing processes.
In video 1, Paul and Ian share how they use Tableau’s Salesforce data connector to get quick insight into product sales and margin trends. Sales representatives use Tableau dashboards to drill down into their performance data and analyze customer buying behavior.
Tableau: How has Tableau helped your business grow?
Ian Crabtree, Chief Financial Officer: What I tend to ask, and if I use two words to kind of be synonymous with Tableau, it's “what are the drivers, what are the trends, and also the outliers?”
So what I'm able to do very quickly is go across multiple data sources, see the trends of product sales, product margin, by customer, by ZIP code, by salesman, and very quickly gain insight from that data, send out some e-mails, have some communication. So be a lot more proactive in the management of our business.
Not only to arrest the decline, but also to understand an increase in sales. And basically find out what they're doing and see if we can sponsor that across the nation.
Tableau: What tool do you use to track sales data?
Paul Lisborg, Business Analyst: Salesforce is the application that our sales teams use to track their leads, their opportunities. Our web hits come into that. So it is the repository of all things sales.
Tableau: Do you find it easy to connect Tableau to your Salesforce data?
Paul: It’s a very easy data set to connect to within Tableau. And now we're able to push out these dashboards to not only the sales managers, but to each individual rep. Well, how powerful it is now that before they were looking at 78,000 SKUs. It's impossible to know what we're selling at a loss, what we're selling at good margin versus a lower margin.
Tableau: How has Tableau improved the sales process?
Paul: Now a sales rep can come into a dashboard, look to what he sold yesterday, look to how he's doing this month, look how he's doing year to date, and then he's able to drill down into…what customers are doing well? What are those customers buying? What are my margins on those items?
The salesman doesn't really care where he's getting his data, he just wants to pull up a common application, in this case Salesforce, and then drill in. And he's got Tableau—Tableau dashboards—he might not even be aware he's looking at a Tableau dashboard. But the information that he's receiving from that is much more powerful than having rows and columns of information.