Axel Heesakker, Business Information AD Benelux
What was the reason to start working with BI4Dynamics?
‘In our Axapta environment we had a solution that provided us with all the necessary information. However, the tool was not very stable and when we had specific wishes for the reports, it generated a considerable amount of extra work. Furthermore, we could not opt for certain cross sections, so we had no flexibility. We were ready for flexibility; we wanted a tool which provided users with their reporting and analysis requirements, but not binding them to standard reports.’
What are the requirements for a BI tool in your business?
‘We have a rather complex and logistic organisation with large numbers of transactions and a large database with many purchase and sales order lines, and we have to make it all work. This makes it complicated. The consultants of SBA have helped us set up the correct control from Microsoft Dynamics AX. It is vital that control is strict; we can deliver 98% of the orders and we want to keep up this delivery level. Purchasing, however, is more difficult; we deal with large European and global manufacturers. Unfortunately, they cannot always provide the high delivery reliability our clients need to support their customers. Sometimes it takes months for the articles to arrive and then perhaps only 80% of the order. So to keep up our delivery level, stock control is crucial and we must be able to monitor all order lines continuously, which is quite a task given the numbers we process. We started looking for automation tools and we found them in BI4Dynamics.’
What exactly has changed in the way of reporting?
‘Before we started working with BI4Dynamics, our employees could decide themselves which information they wanted on their screens; the disadvantage of which is that sometimes they do not necessarily have the same report as their colleagues and then you are comparing apples with oranges. This was a problem, so we made a number of standard reports that we use in the management team, for example. In addition to Excel, we started using Microstrategy as a reporting tool for several users in our organisation. A number of standard dashboards were developed for us within Microstrategy that can be accessed from your workplace. These always display the reports clearly, so that everyone uses the same information. We are very happy with this. We also use Microstrategy to be able to consult reports from external locations. In the long run, this should ensure that fewer lists are sent by email.’
What was the collaboration with Hillstar like?
‘They are extremely flexible. Their company is expanding rapidly, which means they are doing something right, and we certainly think so. They really want to go for it. If we observed that adjustments needed to be made, they took care it straight away. I must say that we worked extremely well together.’