Business Intelligence at De Vries en Verburg
The Dutch developing contractor De Vries en Verburg recently made a move to a data-driven organization. Read their story about why they choose BIRDS.
De Vries en Verburg started rolling out BIRDS fairly soon after the start of the implementation of 4PS Construct. We used to work with a small accounting program with lots of customized reports around it. A lot of Excel work, which of course makes it extremely error-sensitive. It was also very intensive in terms of version management. With the transition to 4PS and BIRDS with Power BI we have made it a lot more reliable', says Van der Spek. Colleague Jan Muit, controller, adds: 'We wanted to work towards an information system where we could be sure that reports were correct and complete and also delivered the right information to the relevant employees on time.
Muit continues: 'The beauty of the BIRDS solution is that we ourselves do not need in-depth knowledge of the 4PS database. In that sense it is a "plug-and-play" solution where the data from 4PS Construct is prepared in BIRDS and we can then easily create reports in Power BI ourselves. We have divided these into five areas. These include Projects, Service and Maintenance and Projects. We can then assign them to the people in the organization who need and can use them. In this way, those involved within De Vries en Verburg always have the data at hand to make well-considered decisions or to quickly see where they need to intervene.
Now that BIRDS has been implemented and the first users have been trained, the aim is for more and more people to start working with Power BI. Van der Spek says: "The core users are extremely enthusiastic. They are eager to transfer their knowledge to the rest of the organization. So the adoption is going very well. We have an Office 365 environment that includes Teams. This is a relevant source of information for us and Power BI is now an important part of it. This allows us to share our reports directly with our directors, managers and project leaders. According to Muit, rolling out BI across the entire organization is easier because Power BI is a multi-device solution. 'The beauty of Power BI is that it is location and platform independent. So we can access the data with any device - laptop, iPad or phone. That makes a great contribution to the development of management information at De Vries en Verburg'.
After the technical implementation, the team of core users at De Vries en Verburg received training to master BIRDS and Power BI. 'First, Hillstar completed the implementation and then took us through the dashboards and the BIRDS solution. This gave us a good understanding of 'who gets what responsibility'. That's also how we put together the SLA with Hillstar' says Muit.
BIRDS for 4PS Construct provides a standard set of reports within the 4PS environment. In order to get a more complete picture of the organization, multiple sources are then often brought together in BIRDS. There, all data is shaped in such a way that it can be easily visualized within Power BI. At De Vries en Verburg they are also working on a step to bring together more data. Van der Spek says: 'We also want to link BIRDS to our HRM environment. This will enable us to provide a single overview of financial, operational and HRM-related information to the board of directors, management and project leaders.
The second part is the opening up of HOOMCTRL via Power BI. The communication with private customers who buy a home (buyer's assistance) largely runs via 4PS' HOOMCTRL. That gives us a lot of information that we can analyze, such as the choices people make, additional work, material choices, and so on. That gives us useful information and feedback for new projects'. Muit adds: 'On the other hand, we expect that the broad implementation in the organization will also generate more and more questions from colleagues and that we will also be able to provide them with more and more information'.
The implementation at De Vries en Verburg is a good example of a modern construction organization that is driven by data. This way of working is supported by the standard Power BI reports that are automatically populated via BIRDS. BIRDS is a solution that collects data from different sources, cleans them up and prepares them for visualization. Because this fits 1 to 1 on the 4PS database, BIRDS provides a complete set of deployable reports in Power BI after a short implementation. As a user you have immediate access to 4PS reports such as Projects, Trajectories, Service & Maintenance and Equipment. But also Sales, Purchase, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, General Ledger and Inventory are included as standard.