SAS® BI gives Oxford Global Resources an edge on the competition
With SAS Enterprise BI for Midsize Business, Oxford Global Resources created a Web-based portal that allows field managers to proactively spot business trends. Data that was once reported quarterly is now available daily. The company also has a worldwide – rather than just a regional – view of staffing trends.
Locating hard-to-find technical expertise in the information technology and engineering fields is Oxford Global Resources' specialty. The industry is highly competitive, and knowing what type of consultant to recruit and which companies to market to is critical. Based in Beverly, MA, the company has 21 US offices, two in Europe, $200 million in annual revenue and more than 400 employees.
Oxford has gained an edge for years by using SAS to create reports. But senior management wanted to get the information to their field managers faster. "We were using SAS to develop a lot of trend reports and that helped us grow into certain areas much more quickly than we would otherwise be able to,'' said Scott Beyer, Vice President, Strategy & Marketing.
But while quarterly reporting seemed fine five years ago, in today's rapidly changing global environment, the company wanted to spot trends faster – and with more global insight. "The issue was that our recruiters and account managers only saw opportunities in the context of individual offices and didn't recognize notable trends across the full company," Beyer says. "For us to increase our competitiveness, we needed a better way to put key office and individual performance information at our managers' fingertips in a timely fashion."
With its positive previous experience with SAS, the company sought out a SAS reseller to develop a BI solution to initially roll out to 25 pilot staffers. "It quickly escalated beyond that,'' says Joseph Cofone, Data Mining Analyst at Oxford. "We asked the original group of users if we should push availability to more users in our regional offices and their response was, 'Yes, yes, absolutely.''' Today, 125 staff members are accessing the portal regularly, tracking their daily operations as well as consulting skill trends in different economic sectors.
"The real benefit from SAS BI has been an improvement in our ability to see what the operational issues are and address them as they are occurring, instead of waiting until a quarterly meeting. As a result, we are able to be more proactive and responsive to our clients." Oxford's account managers, recruiters and others in the field are now able to access key performance data as it relates to the company, to an office and even to an individual.
"We're a very results-driven organization so we now look at certain key performance indicators every day. Pushing this information out of headquarters and down to the front lines has made our people more accountable and focused on high-priority activities that really drive the business,'' Beyer says. "For a company of our size, in a highly competitive industry, these applications are vital.''
Oxford uses a customer relationship management (CRM) system but wanted to do more with it. With SAS BI and the SAS data warehouse, the company is storing snapshots of key data coming from the CRM system every day. "That is one key advance that the SAS system has – it can go back to the historical data,'' Beyer says.
Oxford has been pleased with the support it has received from SAS resellers. SAS supports a global network of resellers to bring BI, analytics and other SAS solutions to small and midsize businesses.
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Oxford Global Resources
Oxford wanted a single version of the truth for management reporting and wanted its staff to be able to spot trends daily, rather than quarterly.
SAS® Enterprise BI for Midsize Business allowed Oxford to provide a Web-based portal to more than 100 staff members with daily updates of activity in each office and around the globe. The reports supplemented existing regional quarterly reports.
Oxford can react more quickly to the needs of its clients and capitalize on emerging trends within sectors.
“The real benefit from SAS BI has been an improvement in our ability to see what the operational issues are and address them as they are occurring instead of waiting until a quarterly meeting. As a result, we are able to be more proactive and responsive to our clients.”
Vice President, Marketing & Strategy