While the average person may not often think about steel pails, companies manufacturing materials that don’t easily store on shelves or in boxes are well aware that the container they use has a major impact on the health of their business.
Cleveland Steel Container has served those customers by making quality steel pails and delivering them on time since 1963. Throughout their tremendous growth, their quality has never wavered. But CSC knew they didn’t have easy access to the insights that would further improve their customer service and
Why a previous data warehouse project didn’t deliver
CSC undertook an earlier data warehouse project and was disappointed when it didn’t provide the value they sought. They knew they needed a system to properly house, treat, and analyze data to support their growth and sought to connect with the right partner to help them get there.
Somewhat surprisingly, the legacy system that was their main data source wasn’t the problem—fully functional, it could be optimized to meet their needs. But that system’s woven layers of patchworked rules and solutions—with little documentation about how they were built and why they were wanted in the first place—hadn’t been addressed during the first data warehouse project.
Purpose and intent amplify analytics insights
Without clarity of purpose and intent, the impact of data analysis is watered down. Data for data’s sake doesn’t help anyone. But solving specific accounting discrepancies, seeking particular ways to view customer behavior, and targeting exact operational processes to glean insights to make them more efficient are clear, measurable examples of analytics intents.
When we partnered with CSC, we helped them go back and uncover the original intent behind the layers of nested logic in their legacy system data source. A deep dive with company stakeholders revealed what metrics were important to them and enabled us to remove and rebuild existing rules while adding new ones in a well-documented, sustainable way that supported CSC’s current state as well as their projected growth.
Adapting and evolving as more insights are revealed
While knowing which aspects of their business CSC wanted to understand better was essential to begin the process, it was important to lay a foundation that would enable them to pivot, adapt, and evolve as those understandings led to new questions. That’s the very definition of a sustainable data solution.
For example, scrap steel data previously was available only on a monthly basis—that’s a real impediment to being able to make adjustments for something that so heavily impacts margins. Now scrap steel data updates daily.
With their cloud-based data warehouse as a single source of truth, CSC now has access to a wealth of accurate, timely information to inform business decisions.