Serax develops and distributes interior decoration, lifestyle products, tableware and lighting. The representatives go out on the road to a large network of stores daily. With BrightAnalytics, they have recently started preparing their sales calls themselves. The platform gives them everything at hand: current data per customer, collection and even international results.
With Axel, the second generation of Van Den Bossche is currently at the helm of Serax. At the start, their mother made unique flower pots and ceramics for florists and garden centres. Some 15 years ago, the first crockery was added to the range. “Actually, pottery and crockery are close to each other,” believes Finance Manager Annemarie Bogaert of Serax. “The materials and shapes are similar. From this idea, our range has continued to grow. Today, there is also cutlery, decoration and since recently, the lighting fixtures.”
In October 2017, with Buysse & Partners, a new investor came on board in the family business. From there, the demand grew for simple and clear reporting. “Buysse & Partners had experience with BrightAnalytics as a financial tool and recommended the platform for our holding company,” says Annemarie Bogaert. “This was a relief for me. Previously, I prepared consolidated figures via balance sheets, annual accounts and Excel lists. Since we have several entities within our group, those consolidations took up too much time.”
The financial possibilities of BrightAnalytics are certainly being exploited at Serax. Especially in the operational pillar, though, the employees found a valuable tool on the shop floor – and on the job as well. Commercial Director Sebastien Van Der Elst: “Through this single platform, our representatives have all the necessary background knowledge for their customer visits at hand. In ten minutes, they analyze the entire history of any merchant at Serax.” Previously, the office staff analyzed the figures for each customer from various databases. Now, with a few clicks on the screen, the representatives can draw their own interesting conclusions: “On the level of a country, customer, designer or vendor to evaluate their own results. For example, they can see which collections are doing well and which less so. As such, our representatives also know where their customers need a boost or what fits with their successful offerings,” Van Der Elst says. The marketing department uses BrightAnalytics to quickly detect so-called slow movers, a part of the range that is more difficult to find in the stores, with targeted marketing campaigns as a result.
In addition to providing a guide for meetings, BrightAnalytics is also used at Serax to eliminate prejudices and incorrect assumptions in figures and in clear visuals. “Just think of collections like Pascal Naessens’, which is doing very well. Some customers are convinced that people only buy this collection because of the name. The figures also show sales success abroad, where Pascale Naessens is not known. The collection is clearly successful because of the looks. With one graph, we can wipe that prejudice off the table”, illustrates Annemarie Bogaert.
While the sales and marketing team continue to integrate BrightAnalytics into their daily toolbox, Serax stays ambitious. “With our recent lighting line, we are continuing to grow into total projects. That’s where the future lies. So next year there may well be a third pillar, that of the project market.”