Single view of data proves critical for Axminster’s response to Covid-19

Axminster Tools and Machinery, a family business with over 45 years industry experience, is a well-established UK supplier of quality tools, machinery and workshop consumables, comprising of over 17,000 product lines. To maintain their market-leader status, the company needs to continue to innovate. This requires an ever-increasing need for new data sources, further reports and dashboards. Clekt, a forward-thinking data company, was selected to work alongside Axminster’s internal IT team to provide additional expertise and experience in data science and analytics to help gain the insight needed for Axminster to remain competitive and make data-driven decisions. 

Andy Tudor, CEO at Clekt said, “Axminster, like many businesses, was unaware that it was not making the most of its most important asset – its data. The various business teams within the company were disjointed in their data management, with each team creating silos of data.”

An Independent Business Intelligence tool would provide an overview of all Axminster’s collective data. Clekt delivered the underlying technology solution and the expert resources to provide an integrated data platform to power the Business Intelligence, data analytics reports and dashboards using Looker – unlocking hidden data to bring valuable insights to life. 

The feedback from the team has been very positive and the platform has been particularly useful in the company’s response to COVID-19, allowing Axminster to shift their product focus in a timely manner. 

Damion Norcombe, Chief Information Officer at Axminster Tools and Machinery said, “The new Business Intelligence and data analytics platform has been critical in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We would not have been able to track the shift in demand and maintain the supply chain for the different product lines without it. We’ve been able to respond rapidly to changing situations and identify trends that would have previously been missed.” 

This highlights how having a single view of data can be so powerful in driving a business forward, especially during unprecedented global challenges like COVID-19. The drill down capability in the new daily sales report has allowed Axminster to track the impact of the pandemic on international sales by country and territory into which Axminster sells. Previously, this would have only been possible through a labour-intensive process and it would not have provided the information in a timely manner to take appropriate action. 

A key requirement of this project was to empower the whole business by giving everyone the ability to understand what the data was telling them. The Business Intelligence and analytics solution has demonstrated value and a positive shift in culture across multiple areas of the business and teams are now able to quickly build the reports relevant to the changing markets, without requiring technical expertise. 

Damion added, “At both a Board level and an operational level, the company is excited about future growth now we all have access to a 360-degree view of our data. There are lightbulb moments pretty much every day as we learn more and more from our data.”

Clekt can be applied to any industry and the team is equipped to help companies optimise their value potential using data. To find out more about Clekt, email Alan Morris at alan.morris@clekt.co.uk