Embracing change is challenging for most businesses. In today’s market, tackling this challenge is not only advisable, it is imperative to compete and innovate.
National Vision Inc. (NVI), the fastest growing and fourth largest optical retailer in the country, understands this all too well. Having grown from a $300 million company ten years ago to over $1 billion today, the company knows harnessing data is the key to understanding customers and achieving excellence.
NVI has over 900 retail locations, including America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Eyeglass World, Vision Center, Vista Optical and Optical Center. They employ more than 9,000 employees, and their growth plan includes opening 75 new retail locations annually.
Bold visions like that do not become reality overnight.
Ten years ago, NVI faced a problem: Because it had grown through acquisitions and mergers, the company inherited several disparate data systems. Pulling financial and customer information from the different systems was labor- intensive and slow.
The issue was highlighted in 2005, when Berkshire Partners acquired NVI and America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses and merged the companies. The business grew, but data uniformity was a challenge.
Luckily, the company was led by a tech-savvy management team who knew that if the company was to run more efficiently and respond to change faster, they needed to unify their information to understand who their customers were, where they were shopping and what they were purchasing.
In other words, NVI needed 360°, real-time visibility into sales and customer interactions throughout the geographically distributed enterprise.
To improve communications and empower better decision-making, management wanted metrics to be online and available to everyone regardless of location. For that, NVI needed a better approach and an upgraded technology platform to move data to a central location and then distribute relevant information to employees. In short, they needed a data warehouse solution that would be useful to everyone.
Aware how complex the endeavor was, NVI turned to Protiviti to create an enterprise warehouse where all data could exist together and “speak the same language.”
NVI also needed visualization tools — dashboards and reports — that would make it simple for employees anywhere to analyze company metrics, such as sales numbers and product sales trends, over the internet.
It was clear to both NVI and Protiviti that to truly understand its data environment and build a better solution, the company couldn’t simply purchase a tool or hire a consultant short-term. Instead, NVI made a long-term investment in Protiviti as a strategic partner to help build a top-to-bottom data management organization that would level the existing obstacles and propel the company into the hypergrowth it envisioned.