When the wheels of IT must never be out of operation
LauRie designs and sells fashion wear to over 20 countries, and since they have a large focus on optimising their business, they have been working on statistics and performance measurements for many years. But without a actual Business Intelligence solution, the company was not getting enough out of its data.
For that reason, and with the assistance of IT Relation, LauRie has developed a Microsoft-based solution on the background of Excel, SharePoint and SQL Server, making it easy and extremely affordable to work professionally with Business Intelligence (BI).
"We have always worked on key figures and follow-up on key figures, but it was difficult to get a really good overview when we had all sorts of manually produced spreadsheets on our hands," says Jonas Bruun Nørgreen, Administration and Finance Manager at LauRie. In the time interval between the production of the reports and the physical reports the information might have been outdated. At the same time we also lacked the ability to make the reports more available within the company, so that everyone could benefit from them."
The presentation in SharePoint means, that we will get some easy-to-read and engaging dashboards.
— Jonas Bruun Nørgreen, Administration and Finance Manager at LauRie
Simple presentations with SharePoint
The solution was that IT Relation established a data warehouse with automated extractions of all relevant data from the company’s ERP system (Microsoft Dynamics). In addition, they built a “cube” as a way to organise data, making it simple and fast for LauRie to work with the analyses and charts they would like the system to display. As an example it could be the turnover in certain countries, quarters and weeks, or it might be the sales of a particular style. The data is presented in SharePoint and for this reason it can be distributed to all the employees who can benefit from keeping up with the progress and the development.
Employees can more easily work towards the same goal
"The presentation in SharePoint has the effect that we will have some very readable and engaging dashboards, "explains Jonas Bruun Nørgreen." It is our intention to have some big screens around the company, so that both sellers, storehouse workers and other employees can always see the selected reports which are interesting for them. It is important for our employees to know what it takes to make everyone work in the same direction, and it will be much easier with the BI solution we have developed in collaboration with IT Relation."
The only limit is your imagination
"The most important information deals with orders of the day, how much we sell, and where we are in terms of our budget," continues Jonas Bruun Nørgreen. "But we can also create displays of the top 10 customers, the best-selling styles, debtor days, inventory days – well, anything. The only limit is your imagination. As a matter of fact our financial system has always held all this information, but now they have become accessible to us in an easy way."
More cost-efficient than standard systems
When LauRie decided to work more professionally with BI that before, they had their eyes on various standard solutions, yet they chose the solution from IT Relation. Jonas Bruun Nørgreen explains: "Standard systems are rather expensive, but with IT Relation’s solution, we only had to pay for the time spend on creating a data warehouse and a cube based directly on our financial management system. We already had all the numbers – we just had to get them out of the financial management system in the right way."
With some flair for Excel, reporting is easy
"The way that Excel has evolved, you can now create really good solutions which resemble the expensive systems down the road," continues Jonas Bruun Nørgreen. "A number of BI functionalities have been added which make it possible to work with completely updated data, so that we are constantly looking at the correct reports. Excel links directly down to the key figures that are relevant to us, and from the data we can even create graphs, diagrams and other displays. If you have some flair for Excel and have a few hours of training from IT Relation, it is very easy to do, and therefore I do not need to contact IT Relation when I get an idea for a new type of report I would like to create."
Great understanding of data processing
"We knew IT Relation in advance because their sister company Front-data hosts all of our IT, and because IT Relation had carried out some other projects for us. For that reason we also knew that they have a really great understanding of data and that they are good at processing them. Although I knew in advance which key figures I wanted to work with, I would not have had an earthly chance to create the solution IT Relation has created, but today I can work by myself using the cube they made. To cut a long story short they have made sure that our BI work has become both flexible and intelligent," concludes Jonas Bruun Nørgreen.