Serax develops and distributes home decor items, lifestyle products, tableware and lighting. The Serax representatives go out to visit a large network of shops on a daily basis. They have recently started using BrightAnalytics to prepare their sales visits themselves. The platform ensures that they have everything at their fingertips: up-to-date data on each customer and collection and even international results.
We can substantiate arguments or eliminate prejudices with a single graph.
Axel Van Den Bossche belongs to the second generation to run the business. In the old days, his mother created unique flowerpots and ceramics for florists and garden centres. The first tableware was added to the range about 15 years ago. “Actually, pottery and crockery are closely related,” Serax Finance Manager Annemarie Bogaert says. "The materials and shapes are similar. With that in mind, we continued to expand our range of products. Today we also offer cutlery and home decor items and we recently also added light fixtures."
In October 2017, Buysse & Partners became a new investor of the family business. This resulted in a requirement for simple, clear reporting. “Buysse & Partners already had experience with BrightAnalytics as a financial tool and recommended the platform for our holding company,” says Annemarie Bogaert. “It was like a breath of fresh air to me. I was used to preparing the consolidated figures based on the balance sheets, the annual accounts and Excel lists. As there are several entities in our group, these consolidations took up too much time.”
Serax certainly makes good use of the financial possibilities offered by BrightAnalytics, but the employees mainly appreciated the operational pillar as a valuable tool on the shop floor and on the go. Commercial Director Sebastien Van Der Elst: “This single platform offers our representatives all the valuable background information they need for their customer visits. They can analyse a retailer’s full history with Serax in ten minutes.” Our office staff used to analyse figures from various databases for each customer. Now the representatives can draw interesting conclusions themselves with just a few clicks on the screen. They can run reports at country, customer, designer or sales rep level to evaluate their own results. They can see which collections are doing well and which are doing less well, for example. This also means that our representatives know in what areas their customers need some support and what would match their successful range,” Van Der Elst adds. BrightAnalytics makes it easy for the marketing department to detect any so-called slow movers: part of the range that is generating little demand in the shops. This results in targeted marketing campaigns.
BrightAnalytics serves as a guide for meetings, but Serax also uses it to eliminate prejudices and false assumptions with figures and clear visuals. “One example is the Pascal Naessens collection, which is doing very well. Some customers are convinced that people only buy that collection because of Pascal Naessens’s celebrity status in Belgium. However, our figures show that it is also successful abroad, where people don’t know who she is. The collection is clearly popular because of its looks. We can we eliminate that prejudice with a single graph,” Annemarie Bogaert illustrates.
The advantages of BrightAnalytics according to Serax
Quick consolidation of figures
One-click monitoring of specific customers
Up-to-date data for sales visit preparation
Specific figures and reports to counter prejudices
Fast detection of slow movers for targeted marketing campaigns
Growing towards a project market
As the sales and marketing team integrates BrightAnalytics further into its daily toolbox, Serax continues its ambitious market approach. “Our recent lighting line was another move towards overall projects. That is where the future lies, so next year there may be a third pillar: the project market.”