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Case Study

Enterprise data solution improves data visibility and governance for outdoor equipment manufacturer

Learn how Baker Tilly’s digital team delivered a unified data warehouse and data model architecture, providing American Outdoor Brands with a single source of truth for reporting and analytics.
Hiker at top of mountain overlooks open valley
Case Study

Enterprise data solution improves data visibility and governance for outdoor equipment manufacturer

Learn how Baker Tilly’s digital team delivered a unified data warehouse and data model architecture, providing American Outdoor Brands with a single source of truth for reporting and analytics.

Client Background

American Outdoor Brands (AOB) was founded in 1992 and is an industry leading manufacturer of outdoor sports and recreation products, with 21 brands of outdoor equipment and accessories for rugged outdoor enthusiasts. With just over 300 employees, they are headquartered in Missouri.

The business challenge

American Outdoor Brands had completed its spin-off from its parent company and was in the process of implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 as their new ERP system. They also had data in two legacy transactional systems that were being retired – Sage and SAP. AOB needed help building an enterprise data solution that included an analytical model that allowed them to look both back in time and forward into the present day-to-day business operations across all three systems.

During an initial assessment phase, Baker Tilly’s digital team learned about the need to ingest and model legacy data from Sage and SAP, and to combine it with data from Dynamics 365. In the current state, it was difficult to find where data was stored, understand naming conventions and organize the different item numbers and customer identification schemes across disparate systems.

Use cases dictated that the data needed to be structured into a user-friendly data model that provided a holistic picture of sales, purchasing and inventory management across different customers, products, product categories and time ranges. AOB also wanted to deliver self-service analytical capabilities in Power BI for business users. Lastly, they wanted to ensure access to operational analytics from day one of the solution go-live.

I love what we have done here.
Jan Richard, Demand Planning & Analytics Manager

Strategy and solution

Baker Tilly’s primary objective was to deliver a fully unified data warehouse and data model architecture that merged the data from Dynamics 365, SAP and Sage systems, providing a single source of truth for reporting and analytics.

The solution was developed using an all-Azure architecture to provide for ease of scaling, low maintenance, simplified integration, streamlined connection to Power BI and cost effectiveness.

Baker Tilly leveraged an automated metadata driven code development framework to fast-track solution creation and allow for simplified ongoing maintenance and updating of code. Baker Tilly also implemented a structured DevOps process to manage the deployment of changes to the solution.

The benefits of the new solution included:

  • Unified disparate data into a single enterprise data model, providing a single source of truth.
  • The enterprise data solution makes prepared data available from a common repository, saving processing time and reducing manual steps.
  • Power BI reporting empowers AOB to make data-driven decisions.
  • Timely access to information enables proactive responses to changing market conditions and operational challenges.
  • Easier to view and analyze product cost trends, cost of goods sold, quantity ordered and shipped, and customer retention and turnover.
  • Improved data governance by translating difficult naming conventions into familiar business terminology in the analytical model.
  • Ability to view historical trends in the legacy systems and compare them to what is happening in the business today in D365.
  • There are now around 140 internal active users, which will increase over time as the company grows and scales.

American Outdoor Brands noted our strategic, collaborative approach, which drove innovation and knowledge transfer and positioned them for ongoing sustainability. They continue to review new data sources and additional metrics that they will consider adding to the solution in the future. Lastly, American Outdoor Brands and Baker Tilly are now building a ChatGPT integration to the Power BI data model to enable robust natural language query capabilities over their enterprise data model.

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