These days, an engagement ring can cost around $5,900. While couples often find the holiday season an opportune time to begin the matrimonial preparations, the price tag for admission is often an intimidating sight. Combine the added pressures of online retail and the skeptical attitude from curious shoppers and it's not hard to see why buyers become nervous when regarding the quality of products.
However, Blue Nile the online jewelry site is working to assuage potential online patrons with a website dedicated to informing shoppers on what they're going to purchase. When it came to helping clients keep an eye on budgeting, Blue Nile involved their Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud.
“Today, we can spend more of our time doing analysis rather than digging through a bunch of spreadsheets and tracing formulas in Excel to find the root answer to a question,” says Blue Nile senior director of financial planning and analysis Stacie Robbins. “Now that information is at our fingertips.”
The new EPM has made the budgeting process a far easier task for Robbins and her team.
“Our planning spreadsheets had lots of links and lots of files, with one file relying on another—which made them too large to send around,” Robbins continued. “We didn’t want to send these out to our business partners who help us develop a budget and the forecast and say, ‘Please fill out these 100 cells in this 20-megabyte spreadsheet.’ It just wasn't user-friendly.”
Robbins' team that deals with financial planning and analysis can easily maneuver through the EPM with automated management reporting and hierarchies that are custom to each account.
“We can zoom in or out, look at different combinations of accounts and departments, and get to specific views of our data very quickly,” says Robbins. “For example, if we see that building rent costs are up 10% year over year, we can easily go into the Excel Smart View interface, create an ad hoc query, and drill in to see which specific departments are driving that increase.”
According to Andre Woolery, Blue Nile senior director of brand marketing, “Buying an engagement ring is a non-linear process. We realized that we had to get to a certain level of personalization to help customers through.”
Information originally sourced from Forbes.