Case Study

Cree’s Data-Driven Journey to Insights and Real Returns

April 2, 2021

In January 2020, Icimo was acquired by Cherry Bekaert.

As the market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs, LED lighting and semiconductor solutions for wireless and power applications, Cree is uniquely positioned to transform lighting platforms into emerging technologies that enrich communities and the environment.

Cree has an extensive history of innovation. Founded in 1987, a team of researchers successfully synthesized silicon carbide (SiC), a rare naturally occurring mineral compound. With the establishment of a reliable source of SiC, Cree expanded its market segments into LED lighting systems, bulbs and chips and a portfolio of SiC-based and wide bandage SiC-on-GaN power-switching and RF devices.

With a consistent cadence of product and market growth, Cree has continued to expand its global reach. But, supporting the overall operations of a rapidly expanding global billion-dollar enterprise is no small task. Casey Tremewan, Director of Sales Operations at Cree, supports the global sales management and sales fields. Her team is tasked with identifying redundancies, reporting, forecasting and streamlining communication and processes to elevate sales and increase the bottom line. At stake? $1B+ in annual sales, the satisfaction of 25,000+ customers and the productivity of 120+ sales people globally.

Planning for Growth

With Salesforce, Oracle and a MS-SQL Server in place, Cree’s data systems were abundant but it didn’t solve the problem of data sets living in multiple systems or the latency of delivering critical data to multiple teams in need of detailed information. In 2011, Cree invested heavily in a data quality initiative. Data rules were established to standardize data collection and automation and integration points between Cree’s data systems were established to reduce the amount of redundant data sets.

A Data Driven Journey

Cree partnered with Icimo Analytics by Cherry Bekaert, a Tableau Gold Partner, to assist in their data-driven journey. Tableau was hooked into each system bringing relevant data sets together. Icimo Analytics’ team helped Cree learn the power of Tableau, designed interactive data visualizations and steered them towards building a truly meaningful offering to the sales field and management. Self-serve content was built in support of point of sale tracking, inventory metrics and customer vs goal dashboards with the aim of providing their Tableau users with both granular and high-level insights, accessible in real-time. With considerable input from Icimo Analytics, Tremewan was also able to provide the sales team with current commissions information, driving the team towards achieving corporate revenue goals.

Tremewan’s team of just 5.5 people understands the expectations that come with supporting a global sales team in a highly competitive market. “Tableau has transformed our offering to our internal customers and changed the overall level of service that we can deliver. Repeatable asks are identified, understood, built and published. Then we move on, always with a focus on automation and efficiency.

Given the size of my team, there is really no alternative,” Tremewan stated. “To that end, we have not just developed an impactful offering of analytics and reports, but our own way of working has evolved. I use Tableau to run my own small business of Sales Operations.

Tableau dashboards have been built specifically to help us to identify erroneous data, anomalous sales trends and actions that need to be taken within our backend systems so that our end users have a seamless experience,” reported Tremewan.

A Partnership of Real Returns

The partnership between Icimo Analytics and Cree has been central to all of that. “Icimo Analytics has been accessible whenever I’ve needed support, whether it be major projects or simple technical questions. The level of service is outstanding and they have inspired me and my team to think creatively as we face the constantly changing landscape of Semiconductor sales,” said Tremewan.

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