Customer since 2019
Rituals steers with data platform
At Rituals, the customer experience is central. With the help of Inergy, a robust data platform has been built. Martijn Willems, Director Control & Analytics at Rituals, and Joost Henskens, COO at Inergy, on the collaboration between the two companies.
It is a beautiful spring day when Martijn and Joost meet in front of the Rituals store on the Spuistraat in The Hague. Although the stores are currently only open to customers who have reserved a time slot in advance, there are quite a few people walking around on this Wednesday afternoon. Passers-by calmly wait while the photographer shoots the pictures. In the meantime, both men are having a relaxed chat. They know each other from before the collaboration between Inergy and Rituals.
Migrating to the cloud
It was Martijn who phoned Joost to ask what Inergy could do for a number of major data issues Rituals was facing at the time. "I made that call when, after an internal brainstorming session with a few people, we concluded that our current data environment did not offer the space and flexibility we needed to do what we wanted to do with the data at our disposal," Martijn explains.
"We decided to do things differently. The environment in which we were working until then had to change in order to future-proof our management with data. We wanted to migrate our data models to the cloud. I asked Joost how Inergy viewed our data issues and whether they could help us with this Business Intelligence vision. From then on, everything was set in motion."
A leap of faith
Martijn explains exactly why he decided to work with Inergy at the time. "The people I work with are often more important to me than the label they are attached to. The mentality or attitude, whatever you want to call it, of people within a company usually says so much about how they operate.
The first question I asked Joost about what we were up against at Rituals, they couldn't answer immediately from Inergy. I could have looked for another party, but I trusted Inergy. I knew that they understand customer-oriented thinking and the retail world. No small talk, but honest answers. That was exactly what we were looking for within Rituals. We started our collaboration with some small projects focused on Power Apps and data science solutions.
At first we wanted to see how they would turn out. In the end, both Inergy and we were enthusiastic about the approach. We expressed our confidence and decided to start with the big project: the migration. Together we then jumped into the deep end," says Martijn.
A data-driven organization
In December 2020, the data platform went live. Many hours of development preceded that. "The Business Intelligence (BI), platform that Rituals was previously using was outdated and had a slow underlying structure," Joost explains. "To ensure that Rituals can improve data-driven business performance, we built an entirely new structure."
"The company has huge amounts of data, of course we want to get as much added value out of that as possible. With the Power BI platform now in place we manage to steer continuously, even at the store level." Martijn adds: "In dashboards we can read all transactions. This means that we have almost real-time information about how sales are doing. Not only of all our stores together, but also per region or even per store.
Our customers, of course, get first priority. We are there to serve them. But in addition, we are constantly looking at how we can manage our stores even better and share insights with store managers."
Grip on current events
"The world was naturally turned upside down when we first went into lockdown in March 2020. In these strange times, it's even nicer to have a grip on current events. Rituals can steer well: what do we do with inventory? How do we set up distribution? The online channel has exploded in a positive sense," says Joost. Now that the data platform is complete, Rituals can implement new initiatives more quickly.
"We were already working on several omni-channel solutions, but due to the necessary closure of our stores due to corona measures, we rolled out this concept ahead of schedule. We are sailing on the insights that the data platform gives us," Martijn informs.
With the new data platform, Rituals can move forward. "Together we have built a future-proof system that can handle our growth. In the environment from which we now work, this can be done much faster and more effectively than before," says Martijn. "Actually, the fun work is just beginning now. The platform is in place. We are going to link the data together and do the enrichment that we so badly want to do."
"The data scientists can apply all kinds of advanced techniques to the data models that are interconnected. Our goal is to make strategic choices based on the insights we get from the data platform. This requires that we share the insights we gain as quickly as possible with all our people."
The gentlemen are very pleased with the cooperation between the two parties. "For us, Inergy is really a trusted partner," Martijn emphasizes. "Together we embarked on this great adventure. We have already achieved wonderful results.
And in the future? We are eager to expand our data-driven approach even further within the organization." Joost adds, "We are incredibly proud of such a great customer as Rituals. We are happy to continue the beautiful cooperation in this way."
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