The requirement: Scaleable, webbased and locally supported BI
Royal Nooteboom Group has a flat organization, which means there is no room for all sorts of managers. Everyone takes responsibility for their own work and the doors are always open. Employees can drop into the office of the managing director or production manager just as easily as talking to any other colleague.
As a direct consequence of the crisis it was the IT department that took their responsibility and rose to the occasion. The old way of reporting, analyzing and reporting did not offer Nooteboom the required insight and information to drive their business through these turbulent times. All the reports and analysis was based on Excel. Besides the great upside of Excel in terms of flexibility and short learning curve, in the day to day work it proved to be laborious, error sensitive and really obstructed the path towards more consistency. As the crisis hit Nooteboom they were compelled to make a change.
It was Albert de Boer, the IT Manager at Nooteboom, who took it upon himself to find a low cost tool that would allow his team to quickly implement a new information system based on their current ERP environment. A tool that would be easy to work with. Thinking ahead, he envisioned the business intelligence tool to be able to scale, be web based and locally supported.
De Boer: “Simply put, I just started out with Google. Soon enough I came up with Pentaho, Jaspersoft, Jedox and a couple of others. Installing the software and trying to find my way around the various tools already led to a preference within days. Encouraged by our first findings our state of mind was very much: let’s just do it. See how far we can get on our own. This was our attitude throughout the whole project and still is. It paid off in terms of not being dependent on external help and obviously the costs“.
With just a minor investment in training the IT team took a simple and effective approach: quickwins. De Boer: “At Nooteboom we are really close to the business. We understand what their goals and needs are. This has clearly helped to identify the most valuable applications of the tool. With the required functionality in mind we extracted the required data from our Progress database and demonstrated the first prototype to our colleagues within a month. Mind you, we were still minding all of our usual responsibilities“.
The result: Integration of Excel, web and iPad
The feedback the IT department received from their colleagues was very positive. However, the temptation to just carry on and implement more applications was retained. De Boer: “we knew that if we would proceed with Jedox there would be no turning back. Our findings were positive too but none the less, we reconsidered our nice to have/ need to have - checklist all over again. One of the good things that came from that is that we realized, Jedox had more to offer than we initially thought. Better said, their web and iPad interface had made really good progress. Amazing to see that Jedox has managed to almost seamlessly integrate three types of interfaces: Excel, web and iPad. As our company required the use of iPads it’s a great advantage you only have to design the application in web and have the iPad ready to go. Also, we really like the batch PDF reporting throughout the organization. Based on this reconsideration we decided to go for the Jedox Suite and team with Celcus, one of their local partners, for support“.
The value of implementing Jedox at Nooteboom is great. The two most important drivers were to create consistency and availability of data, KPI’s, reports and analysis. De Boer: “Consistency and access to information is the kind of value that you should not have to put a figure on: it is simply a need to have. But yes, by automating and improving our processes we have also been able to save a lot of time. Not just in our own department but also in the business: we have fully got rid of discussions to do with definitions and the quality of data.
We’ve proved the fact that a good and fast performance management platform doesn’t have to be expensive. Our out of pocket costs have been less than €25.000 for software and consultancy. And, the yearly costs may very well be in the range of €3.000 - €5.000. Given that fact it is fair to say we have saved 1 FTE in costs with the prototype already, so the return on investment was already made.“