Business Intelligence bij VB-Airsuspension
This is a story about how data can help you to manage a 300% growth within 3 years. Welcome to VB-Airsuspension, a manufacturer and seller of (air) suspension systems for light commercial vehicles.
To grow from 40 to 140 employees within two and a half years, you have to keep a grip on processes, sales and finances. VB-Airsuspension has grown rapidly and invested heavily in its ERP system. However, unraveling information from their ERP system (Microsoft Dynamics AX) was not so easy. When I first started working here, I wanted to see a report on the financial state of the company. The bookkeeper at the time told me that he had taken the course but had forgotten how to do it. That's when I thought, this has to change," says General Manager, Gerald Molenveld.
VB-Airsuspension develops, produces and sells (air) suspension systems for light commercial vehicles. Last year, they sold over 18,000 systems. From their headquarters in Varsseveld, they serve the entire world and have now become the global market leader.
Do you know the value created per production employee? At VB-Airsuspension they can see exactly how much value is added by each employee. By using this information in an action-oriented way, managers in a company are able to make employees work much more productively. There are all kinds of techniques for making people more productive, but it starts with measuring. By adjusting your workflow, for example, you can immediately see what effect that has on productivity.
All the departments within VB-Airsuspension work with Microsoft Dynamics AX. The processes are all neatly recorded in it. Steffan Knippenborg, Corporate Controller at VB-Airsuspension: "When I wanted to see which customers had been overdue for a long time, it took a while for it to come out of the system, and there was a risk of errors. We came into contact with BIRDS. With their intermediate layer to bring data together, we no longer have to keep linking all kinds of Excel sheets together. Our data is cleaned up in the Data Warehouse. We now immediately see where fields in our ERP system have not been filled in, for example.
At the back end, BIRDS prepares everything so that we can simply and quickly make visualizations or look at the visualizations we have already made. We now know for sure that the data there is correct and up-to-date. Everyone gets the data from one source. So we have now clearly described the definitions, so that everyone is looking at the same numbers'. The semantic layer that VB-Airsuspension uses to view its data is called a Data Warehouse and ensures that all relationships between the various data sources are already established.
Sales and finance now have direct access to our company data with Power BI. The forecast for 2019 has also been created with Power BI. In this way, the daily overviews are ready in Power BI in an attractive layout and Knippenborg works with Excel to make ad hoc reports or look at the P&L, for example. You then have all the company data available in one place and still have the freedom to make some calculations.
The production process at VB-Airsuspension sometimes takes two to two and a half years from mixing the raw materials to spring. Due to the high demand, it is important to use production as effectively as possible. We supply our products to Daimler AG, among others, who use them in their vehicles. Delivering late is prohibited and therefore cannot happen.
In addition to a long production process, VB-Airsuspension sells products in 45 countries. Through the aftermarket channel, they serve dealers worldwide. These dealers must all be trained to install the products according to VB-Airsuspension's standards.
↑ 350% in < 3 years
↑ 400% in 10 years