Data analytics services, Data integration
Vyaire Medical Gets Global Sales, Inventory, and Forecasting Insights with Amazon QuickSight
Headquartered in suburban Chicago, Vyaire Medical is a global company that provides breathing solutions through every stage of life. Created by the merger of several companies over its 65-year history, Vyaire boasts a catalog of 27,000 respiratory care products and more than 350,000 customers. It also had a complex data management and analytics environment that included more than 13 enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, multiple customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, and a complicated web of reporting solutions.
Having worked with Wavicle Data Solutions to build an AWS cloud data platform to consolidate data from its enterprise systems, such as ERP, CRM, etc. into an Amazon Redshift data warehouse, Vyaire teamed with Wavicle again to centralize its suite of reporting applications with a focus on Amazon QuickSight, a cloud-scale business intelligence service.
The challenge: data silos, manual processes, and spreadsheets
Vyaire’s reporting environment consisted of multiple siloed reporting and dashboarding tools as well as an overwhelming reliance on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Executives estimate that more than 70% of reports were created manually as spreadsheets. The effort required to gather data for these reports was time-consuming and often meant reports were delayed and sometimes impossible to create. Even a comprehensive view of global sales was difficult to achieve.
Executives wanted a more holistic approach to tracking key metrics that drive business decisions. They wanted to have more insight into their sales and margins, introduce new products, recognize key growth opportunities, and track competitors. But without a “common source of truth,” Vyaire found it increasingly difficult to retrieve the consistent, timely information they needed.
Solution: a single source of truth – consolidating a disparate reporting environment
Amazon QuickSight is a clear fit for AWS environment
“We had multiple popular BI tools in the landscape, which wasn’t a good fit from an interoperability and cost standpoint, hence we looked specifically at offerings from AWS. Vyaire’s analytics platform is built using AWS cloud-native services, so based on our expertise across industry-leading BI tools, we picked QuickSight as our corporate standard BI tool,” said Nirmala Kandra, Director of Enterprise Data Management at Vyaire.
“As a leader for Analytics, I need to make sure the BI tool is well-rounded from a usability, presentation, and performance standpoint” she added. “We needed a solid BI tool for business users that has user-friendly navigation and the best presentation for any level of users from executives to point-and-click. These are some of the criteria that led us to Amazon QuickSight.”
Nirmala and her team partnered with Wavicle to initiate a pilot project to migrate existing reporting tools and spreadsheets to Amazon QuickSight reports/dashboards.
“We relied on Wavicle’s expertise for our QuickSight deployment while ramping up our internal team,” said Nirmala. “They were front and center along with our BI team, working with the business to understand their requirements.”
The plan was to start slowly, winning over key business users who could act as champions for a broader rollout over time. Then COVID-19 happened and demand for ventilators skyrocketed exponentially. The QuickSight deployment took on a new dimension.
Supporting pandemic-driven spike in demand for life-saving solutions
Vyaire had to ramp up production by tens of thousands of ventilators very quickly. That meant increasing their supply of raw materials and partnering with third-party manufacturers and facilities to meet the demand. Suddenly, Vyaire’s entire manufacturing supply chain required access to metrics and KPIs to track raw materials, production, quality, and forecast.
With QuickSight, we were able to quickly develop dashboards that provide these important metrics, even developing machine learning models to predict the likelihood of failures and improve quality. We integrated QuickSight with Vyaire’s ERP sources, Amazon Redshift data warehouse, and third-party databases to ensure all supply chain data was consolidated for easy and near real-time tracking.
The result is a one-stop unified portal to view all business requirements with a single admin console view that provides access to various business streams, including revenue, order management, and finance. From this portal, subject matter experts can create and configure their ad-hoc dashboards. It includes a customer/material master search feature and machine learning-enabled predictive modeling to forecast variance for business needs. A file upload feature allows users to upload files categorized by Amazon S3 buckets, and a report catalog helps users understand the dashboard KPI information.
Outcomes: widespread adoption, faster insights
Thanks to the timing of their QuickSight deployment, Vyaire achieved breakthrough levels of performance, efficiency, and scalability to meet the urgent spike in production demand. They provided the business with a lot of data in a short time, which ultimately enabled them to increase production by 2,000% and first pass yield grew from 37% to 85-90%.
“Without the alignment between our manufacturing side and QuickSight support, we couldn’t have accomplished what we did,” Nirmala said.
Once Vyaire’s organization saw the power of QuickSight to supply the KPIs and analytics they needed to manage their business, the broader adoption of QuickSight accelerated and the company has seen many benefits, including:
- Achieved cost savings of 50% due to having an integrated Amazon tech stack with user-based pricing
- Reduced the development time for new reports or dashboards by months
- Retired the use of legacy analytics/business intelligence tools and manual reporting
From the executive board to manufacturing and sales, all areas of Vyaire now have fast, accurate insights across the business, including sales, inventory, production planning, and forecasting. For example:
- The forecast, once based on Excel spreadsheets is now an artificial intelligence-driven tool that helps predict and monitor the forecast for all product lines
- A suite of marketing and sales dashboards geared to three tiers of users provide insights into pricing, revenue, margins, competition, and sales
- A suite of manufacturing and inventory dashboards provide insights that help track inventory, supplies, and shipments, to plan more accurately for production output
- A suite of sales commission tools allows sales representatives to track the territory and customer performance and identify upsell opportunities
“We wanted to roll out Amazon QuickSight in a phased approach over 12 months but the need for data during the pandemic was through the roof, which forced us to pivot our strategy from 12 months to a few weeks to meet our business demands.”