Marco Brinkers, Commercial Manager
How did you solve your reporting issues before choosing BI4Dynamics Business Intelligence solution?
‘This is what it’s basically about: acquiring management information from your ERP system. In our case, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. We used Reporting Services to do that, a tool provided with the Microsoft SQL database. We had a few people in the organization capable of working with it, who made all sorts of reports.’
So you abandoned this practice?
‘Reporting Services did a good enough job on its own, but we felt that we ran into limitations, because our managers and representatives were not able to get the specific information they needed. Reporting Services did a good enough job on its own, but we felt that we ran into limitations, because our managers and representatives were not able to get the specific information they needed.’
What was the reason to choose BI4Dynamics?
‘For several years now we have a good relationship with our Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation partner, SBA Business Solutions. They work closely together with Hillstar in the area of Business Intelligence. The solution Hillstar provided goes above and beyond what Reporting Services did, and it fulfilled our wishes nicely. Starting with ease of use, which is much better.’
Could you give more specific examples?
‘We followed the so-called data warehouse approach on our iPad. We are staying on top of the current state of all business affairs, using reliable reports and dashboards, having the possibility to easily drill down from the highest level e.g. customer to the lowest level e.g. document. Thanks to BI4Dynamics we have an insight into a customer behavior, including list of purchased items, opened receivables, margins, etc. Our representatives have a fully equipped portal on their iPad.’
Do your customers also benefit from the Business Intelligence solution?
‘The customer gets live information about things like ordering behaviour, return rates and product performance in the branche. If it shows a reduction in sales across the whole industry, the customer knows the cause does not lie with them. This is how we offer truly added value.’
How do customers react to this?
‘The response has been very positive, they are even quite impressed. We are able to analyse that past year with the customer and discuss the forecast for next year. We can also discuss down to item level what customers do with us, which is very convenient.’
And the cooperation with Hillstar?
‘It may sound like a cliché, but that cooperation was very good. We were able to present our wishes to them and they knew exactly how to handle them. We did not have to flesh out anything ourselves. They work together closely with our implementation partner, SBA Business Solutions, and they have extensive knowledge of our ERP software, so they know where to get data. Not to mention they were able to set up this environment at a reasonable price.’