Balkan Services implemented a Business Intelligence (BI) system in the innovative grocery chain EDEA.

The company, with a history that began nearly 30 years ago, today runs five modern outlets - a hypermarket in Ruse, two supermarkets in Shumen and one each in Razgrad and Hitrino. Until 2017, the stores operated under a different brand, and five years ago the EDEA brand was founded.

In parallel with the growth of the chain's business, the information in the available Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system grew significantly in volume, and a single report took 4-5 hours to load. Historical reports became even slower to generate; for example, regular quarterly checks required a whole week for one person. In addition to time, these reports were costly to EDEA and errors were quite frequent.

"It has been a major effort for me to correct these data discrepancies. I had to search for days and find them months back in time," says EDEA's Chief accountant Michaela Todorova.

The company discovered the solution to these problems in the BI platform Qlik Sense, developed by the software company Qlik., one of our long-term partners.

"The reason we approached Balkan Services was because they offered Qlik Sense, which was important to us, but even more important was that we had a history with this consulting company. We have implemented previous successful projects and have a good partnership relationship", shared the Chain's CEO Ramadan Ramadan.

Prior to starting work on the BI project with EDEA, the Balkan Services team successfully implemented a BI project with EGE Group. Both companies are under the same ownership.


The BI project in EDEA was completed in 7 months

Initially, the two teams held several meetings to define EDEA's business needs. Based on these and on the experience gained from previous projects with retail outlets, the Balkan Services team prepared a proposal with the appropriate analysis and reports for EDEA's business.

The challenge in the implementation of the project, which was successfully integrated into the system, was the analysis of inventories and their flows.

"We performed a sophisticated integration through which the BI software we implemented at EDEA extracts data from the company's ERP system. It imports data from the POS terminals of the stores", says Kristina Krastanova, Project Manager at Balkan Services.

The implemented system is actively used by the management of EDEA, also by the Sales and Accounting departments.

For the Accounting department, net sales revenue per item, respectively cost price are among the key metrics that are monitored on a daily basis in Qlik Sense.

"Even before the system accounts for all deliveries, I can correct the data. And that saves me a lot of work," notes Michaela Todorova. She adds that the indicators of number of customers and average bill are also very important for hypermarkets, and through the BI system they can be easily and quickly compared with past periods, and also by days of the week.


The immediate benefits of Qlik implementation

The new BI system significantly reduces reporting time and gives the company the confidence to take bolder steps towards planning.

The BI software gives EDEA's IT department autonomy. The Business Intelligence solution is also helpful in analyzing the stock in the stores, as the nomenclature is constantly growing.

"The BI system allows us to easily check in which store what items are sold. This way we know exactly what we want from the goods offered by our suppliers" says Michaela Todorova.

The Balkan Services team and the EDEA team have not actually met in person, because both EGE Group and EDEA projects were implemented during the pandemic.

"The success of the project is a demonstration that when there is willingness and teamwork on both sides, situations like lockdown do not have an impact" says Kristina Krastanova.

Ramadan Ramadan confirms her words: "That was what was unique about both projects. We weren't two individual companies, with two individual teams, we worked as one." According to him, this good stacking is due to the fact that the Balkan Services team is built of good professionals that are very familiar with the capacities of the product.

"The Balkan Services team gave us very adequate solutions and answers to our questions. So, the process we went through and the work we did was carried out with ease in a friendly atmosphere", states the Executive Director of EDEA.