Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be a Diver? How about a Diver who then becomes a member of the Dimensional Insight team? Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of our valuable employees who did just that.
Mike Brockway is Dimensional Insight’s consulting director for beverage alcohol and supply chain in South Florida. He is also the developer of our Program Advisor and Pricing Advisor applications. Here’s a conversation I had with Mike on his experience as a Dimensional Insight customer and his perspective on the beverage alcohol industry.
What is your position at Dimensional Insight, and what do you do in that role?
I am the consulting director at Dimensional Insight and am responsible for most of Dimensional Insight’s supply chain consulting efforts. I manage employees, projects, and tasks in our Coral Springs, Florida office. My role ranges from consulting to training and support for customers.
A typical day in this role includes providing customer support for Program Advisor and Pricing Advisor, the applications we support. I also communicate with various clients discussing their projects. Also, each week the Florida team meets to cover all projects, and we have design sessions for Program Advisor and Pricing Advisor.
How did you come to that role?
Shortly after Dimensional Insight hired me, Fred [Powers] decided to open a consulting office in Florida and asked me to run it. We have been in operation for about 5 years now.
Prior to working at Dimensional Insight, you worked at Southern Wine and Spirits and used Diver. What was your experience working with Dimensional Insight from the customer side? What tools did you work with? Why did you choose to use Dimensional Insight’s product instead of others on the market?
From the customer side, I remember always thinking that Dimensional Insight was an awesome company. I had a great experiencing working with their sales representatives. I could really tell from the customer side that Dimensional Insight values its customers.
While I worked at Southern Wine and Spirits, we focused on our ERP development using RPG coding and Natural coding. I also led a team building and supporting many client/server applications using PowerBuilder as a development tool. We chose Dimensional Insight’s product over others on the market because it was better and faster. It was easy to use and you could make cool reports. You had the ability to dive into data and transform it into usable, valuable information.
What type of clients do you work with?
I primarily work with clients within the goods and services industry, mainly supply chain. I work with both beverage alcohol suppliers and distributors.
What is one interesting way you have seen customers use Diver?
Two interesting ways come to mind. One way is to produce standard report markers from a DiveBook. A DiveBook can either be built for internal users (managers, sales reps, sales executives) or for external users (suppliers). It really helps you organize your various reports, such as depletion reports and retail sales reports, and place them into meaningful categories.
Another unique way of using Diver is to produce a set of canned PDF reports during nightly update processing. That way, the next morning when a user logs into the system, he or she can see the updated PDF reports. Many times, there are “key” reports that management needs to look at every single day. And sometimes, the managers are not in the office, but still need to see the daily numbers. In these cases, the key reports are automatically generated and emailed out to key managers each night so that they can review at their leisure.
I understand you developed our Program Advisor and Pricing Advisor applications. Can you describe the challenges that led to the development of those applications? And how is Dimensional Insight currently addressing those challenges as well as those in the wine & spirits business?
For Program Advisor, every distributor tracks sales and performance. Many times, distributors are given goals (monthly, quarterly, annually) from their suppliers across most of their brands. So, distributors spend an inordinate amount of time calculating/assigning goals, tracking actual sales, and reporting program results back to their suppliers and internal stakeholders. An average distributor can have around 2,000+ brands and can average 500-1000 programs per month. So, typically, there are teams of people in the business who spend many weeks each month doing all this stuff. Program Advisor takes most of this work away and does it automatically, leaving time for analysts to better utilize their skill sets.
For Pricing Advisor, every supplier controls and manages all its products’ pricings. Larger suppliers can have thousands of products. Most suppliers today manage their pricing in spreadsheets that are scattered across the organization and across multiple states. Therefore, there is no central repository, and it becomes very difficult to obtain what the current pricing is or determine price changes over time. Like Program Advisor, Pricing Advisor takes most of the calculations away and places it in a centralized location for the company. The application also does a “what if” analysis to determine the potential impact of price changes before suppliers make them.
There is intense competition in the wine & spirits business. The industry functions as an “almost business on-demand” meaning that an order placed today is expected to be delivered tomorrow. There is zero acceptance for downtime. Additionally, the processing windows in the business are becoming smaller and smaller because a lot of system processing and updating now takes place during the night. So for the wine and spirits industry, the optimum application from a business intelligence perspective must be something that can pull the required data and run quickly. Diver Platform meets this requirement and provides so much more.
Tell us about the culture of the South Florida office
There are currently 8 people working here. Our office is professional, multi-ethnic, and team-oriented. We work hard yet are casual. I work with a great team in a great area.
Tell us about yourself. What do you like to do in your free time?
I’ve been in IT management for over 20 years. I have 28 years of IT/programming experience. I’ve been in the business intelligence/supply chain business for 24 years, and prior to that was in the healthcare field for 12 years.
I love my family. I’ve been married to my wonderful wife for 38 years and have 5 children and 6 grandchildren. I love playing the piano/keyboards, and I play for my church on Sundays and various events. I also love football, basketball, and baseball.