When buying cosmetics, many customers turn to consultants for advice on which products will suit them best. Salespeople are critical to commercial success, so accurate HR planning is a must-have.
To rise above complexity, Natura Cosméticos automated vital tasks such as HR planning with IBM® Planning Analytics, formerly IBM Cognos TM1, accelerating time-to-insight to enable enhanced decision-making.
Increasessales by helping managers see which areas would benefit most from new hires
Acceleratesreporting from days to minutes, pumping rich insight into the business
50% savingon manual work expected, freeing up staff
Business challenge story
Striving for perfection
Natura Cosméticos, a leading cosmetic company, focuses on making people look and feel great. This vision has resonated with customers, propelling the company to massive sales growth and a strong market position across Latin America and beyond. At the heart of its success are the company’s sales consultants, who provide tailored advice to each customer regarding which products will suit their tastes, skin, hair and lifestyle.
Nadia Bertoncini, Coordinator of Governance, Projects and HR Analytics for Latin America at Natura Cosméticos, explains: “To this day, face-to-face sales remains our core channel. As the business blossomed, we expanded our operations – hiring new staff and entering new markets. In total, we now have approximately two million sales consultants across Latin America.
“One of our largest division operations in Argentina was given the task of managing HR planning and payroll budgets for all businesses across Latin America. This was an important challenge, because choosing the right people and putting them in the right places helps us maximize sales.”
For years, the company had managed payroll budgets manually, using separate spreadsheets for each country’s operations. To create an enterprise-wide payroll budget, staff in Argentina had to collect input from managers in each country. Since the spreadsheets lacked a standardized template, the analysts in Argentina had to compile the information manually. As a result, HR planning was slow and the risk of errors was significant.
“Managers often come to us asking for metrics and information to help them decide which regions or business units would benefit most from investment in additional staff,” continues Nadia Bertoncini. “Because we relied on manual processes, it took us a long time to prepare the data. As sales continued to grow, the number of employees was set to rise even further, making HR planning even more complex and time-consuming. To give business agility a vital boost, we needed a way to accelerate HR planning and reduce the risk of errors.”
Cleansing complexity and toning the processes
Natura Cosméticos chose to deploy IBM Planning Analytics, an enterprise planning solution, and enlisted KMG, an IBM Business Partner, for support during the implementation. To perform detailed queries, the company also takes advantage of IBM Cognos® Analytics. The solution has been implemented regionally in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
“We selected IBM Planning Analytics because it is a cutting-edge enterprise planning solution featuring powerful analytics capabilities, which enables us to make sense of the masses of complex HR information,” remarks Nadia Bertoncini. “What’s more, the solution paves the way for us to take advantage of IBM Watson Analytics for speed-of-thought queries. On top of that, IBM Planning Analytics is available as a cloud service, so we could get started quickly and scale the solution as our business grows.
“The KMG consultants have a wealth of experience in modeling HR demand and implementing IBM Analytics solutions. Overall, we were very happy with the service that we received. The KMG team listened carefully to our needs and provided us with expert advice and excellent support during the deployment.”
Unveiling eye-opening insight
Now, whenever Natura Cosméticos decides to create a new payroll budget, stakeholders across Latin America submit their plans directly using a web interface in IBM Planning Analytics. As a result, the team in Argentina spends less time collecting, checking and collating the data, so they have more time to scrutinize the results and assess variations between different regions, countries and divisions using Cognos Analytics.
“Introducing IBM Analytics has dramatically accelerated HR planning and reduced the risk of error,” explains Nadia Bertoncini. “With the time savings unlocked from automation, we can perform detailed analysis – for example, looking at how hiring new people in each country or line of business would impact sales, costs and profitability. With deeper analysis based on higher-quality data, managers can make better decisions about whether to hire additional personnel, and where to deploy them to maximize sales. What’s more, we expect to achieve a 50-percent cut in manual work, freeing up employees’ time.
“We are also much better-placed to answer questions on-the-fly. For example, regional managers from different lines of business often ask us for the cost of payroll for employees in their team. Previously, it took around one person-day to assemble that information – now, we can generate those reports in less than 20 minutes. As a result, managers can adapt faster to change, making decisions based on up-to-date information.”
Critically, by reducing its dependence on manual work, Natura Cosméticos will be able to keep planning with speed and agility even as the business grows.
Building on its success, Natura Cosméticos is now working to enhance and broaden its analyses. For example, in HR planning, the company aims to examine when employees are most likely to take their leave allowances, so that it can better prepare for peaks and troughs in demand. To support the sales department, analysts plan to investigate the volume and type of sales coming through each channel, so that it can shift the focus of each channel accordingly.
Nadia Bertoncini adds: “IBM Planning Analytics offers us the insights we need to allocate our resources most effectively, and we look forward to seeing the benefits of using it across more areas of the company. Ultimately, the solution is helping us provide better support to the entire business – not just the HR team.”
To help managers understand figures and make better-informed decisions even faster, Natura Cosméticos plans to create eye-catching data visualizations, such as charts and graphs, using the IBM Planning Analytics for Excel spreadsheet interface.
In the future, the company intends to take advantage of IBM Watson Analytics™, part of the IBM Planning Analytics offering. As a result, analysts will be able to study important indicators for HR – such as employee turnover – quickly and in greater detail, helping Natura Cosméticos find effective methods to keep staff engaged.
Nadia Bertoncini concludes: “Our business is based on people. IBM Analytics is helping us manage that critical asset much more efficiently and effectively than ever before.”
Founded in 1979, Natura Cosméticos has grown to become one of the leading cosmetics companies in Latin America. Headquartered in Brazil, the company has branches in seven Latin American countries and a small operation in France.
- Cognos Analytics
- Cognos Business Intelligence
- Planning Analytics
- Retail: Digital Operations
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IBM Analytics offers one of the world's deepest and broadest analytics platform, domain and industry solutions that deliver new value to businesses, governments and individuals. For more information about how IBM Analytics helps to transform industries and professions with data, visit ibm.com/analytics. Follow us on Twitter at @IBMAnalytics, on our blog at ibmbigdatahub.com and join the conversation #IBMAnalytics.
KMG is an IBM Business Partner specializing in IBM Analytics solutions. Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the company supports clients throughout North and Latin America. To learn more about KMG, please visit: kmganalytics.com.
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