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May 22, 2023

Case Study: Empire Distributors Leaders Enhance Sales Planning with Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence has become an inevitable component of today's digital revolution, yet not many professionals in the world of corporate finance, FP&A, and overall organizational planning understand how these modern practices can completely transform their current processes.

For finance leaders at Empire Distributors, a Georgia-based wine and spirits distributor, areas like continuous planning, constantly updated budgets, and company-wide planning needed more than a refresh — they needed a robust solution that would allow them to plan confidently and with agility.

Enter Workday Adaptive Planning's Machine Learning capabilities.

Workday Adaptive Planning innovates with built-in Machine Learning algorithms that make planning processes easier, more streamlined, and more effective. Through anomaly detection, outlier reporting, and intelligent forecasting, organizations like Empire Distributors have seen seen incredible results that have not only allowed them to reduce manual work and streamline processes, but also gain an edge against the competition. Let's explore the success of the overall project.

Project Overview

Empire Distributors  is a wholesale beverage distributor home to over 1,600 teammates across four states: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Colorado. As a third generation family business for over 80 years, they have now earned the trust of more than 4,500 leading brands in the beverage industry by taking the success of each and every one of them very personally.

The brand is constantly investing in their distribution facilities, fleet, technology and people — making it a rapid-growth organization that requires unparalleled technology to support their ever-changing needs.

The Issue

Empire Distributors leaders were looking for a better way to forecast sales volumes and associated revenue. Their old processes were reliant on time-intensive manual forecasts that simply didn't work for a company that carries a multitude of products across many locations. They needed to be able to create more granular intersections that provided confidence in their financial decisions.

The main areas they were trying to solve for included:

  • More streamlined and accurate budgeting for individual brands at individual locations

  • Integration with Workday Adaptive Planning's sales and finance planning into a single platform

  • Less reliance on manual tasks
Our Approach

Empire Distributors underwent a Sales Planning implementation with the help of Active Cyber. As existing financial planning SKU customers with Workday Adaptive Planning, they were interested in expanding their existing capabilities to continue improving their financial operations.

Through Active Cyber's consultative approach they were able to bring in historical sales volumes for all the various products they carry, giving Empire Distributors what they needed to use Machine Learning algorithms.

Implementation Process

The Result

After ensuring the correct historical data was in place, the Empire Distributors team could run the Machine Learning-driven sales forecast for volumes for all their products, and have data that they could rely on with the option to still manually tweak or edit in instances where a product is performing unusually.

After running the Machine Learning algorithm, Empire Distributors gained:

  • Reliable sales information populated for the timeline they chose, in the forecast and budget version they chose
  • Seamless integrations to automatically send sales data into other instances, ensuring maximum transparency across platforms
  • The ability to make better informed decisions with the confidence for accurate, up-to-date data
  • Automatic integrations of tens of thousands of data intersections for sales data for a magnitude of products
Why Implement Machine Learning to Your Current Practices

Working with Workday Adaptive Planning and Active Cyber will add value to all your departments across organizational planning. Implementing new technological innovations is imperative to an organization’s success, and the Machine Learning capabilities that Empire Distributors now enjoy will allow you to empower your team by freeing them to do more value-add analysis. 

Be like Empire Distributors and don’t wait to innovate.

Contact us today to get started.

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