Finn-Tack gets Quick and Easy BI with TimeXtender

As a fast-growing company, Finn-Tack implemented TimeXtender in 2006. Today, the solution quickly provides an overview and control – and because of high usability it allows for decisions to be based on data in all departments.

A Data Warehouse Automation solution that gives you a complete report on current sales divided in items, region, category and by individual sales people for optimized purchase and production. Or a report on e-commerce with the number of visitors, conversion rate and sold items for better future planning of campaigns and outlets. And all reports are developed and maintained by employees who are not IT-experts but rather economic analysts; people who know which specific data is valuable for the business. That is the reality for Oy Finn-Tack Ltd. with TimeXtender.

Need for an overview

Until 2003 Finn-Tack was a small business in Finland selling equipment for harness racing through retail. But when the company expanded its business to include sale to end-users, things took off. The company grew rapidly.

“The number of employees quickly doubled four to five times, and it was no longer possible for management to know the key figures by heart or to make business decisions in the lunch break”, says CTO at Finn-Tack, Arne Christensen.

As a result, an acute need for reporting and analysis became evident.

“It was possible to delve into the SQL-server and retrieve the needed data to manufacture the reports. But it would be complicated and require a lot of work. The need for a better solution was evident”, says Arne Christensen and continues: “Instead, our IT partner recommended that we had a look at TimeXtender.”

Advantages for Finn-Tack

  • Quick and easy Business Intelligence with high usability
  • A complete and current overview of the company allowing business decisions to be based on data
  • A solution that is used and provides value in every department
  • A low-cost solution through quick implementation, low need for external consultants and no need for SQL-experts
  • The best possible support by being a direct customer of TimeXtender

Faster and cheaper

Finn-Tack chose TimeXtender’s TX DWA platform as the back-end for their BI solution. Through a user friendly drag-and-drop interface, the software lets you design the report and TimeXtender then automatically generates the necessary code. The solution is known for its usability and to make the process of creating a report five times faster than with manual coding.

“There is no need for a programmer with years of education and expertise. In fact, almost anyone can put together his or her own BI-reports after only a few days of training”, says Arne Christensen. The implementation itself was also quick.

“With TimeXtender we started validating the first reports three weeks after we begun the implementation. If we had decided to write the code ourselves, we would have needed an SQL-expert, and it would have taken a lot longer”, says Arne Christensen.

The solution can extract data from any source. In this case the ERP-solution of the company, which originally was a Microsoft Dynamics AX 3.0, but has been updated in the meantime to Dynamics AX 2009, as well as Microsoft Excel.

Overview in all departments

BI is often perceived as a tool for the top management. But after TimeXtender was introduced in Finn-Tack it has spread through the company and it is now used in every department. For instance, the sales department can monitor which products are popular in which regions and if the sale of a specific item is meeting expectations. The overview makes it possible to act and make business decisions on the most informed basis. The purchase department can make forecasts, adapt the stock and strengthen the assortment based on shopping trends amongst the customers. And every month a financial statement is made with cash flow, liquidity and budgets as well as results. The solution is also the primary tool when the yearly financial reports are produced.

“The solution gives us the overview we need, but at the same time, we can delve into the detail and check every single post. That mixture is very useful”, says Arne Christensen. It is also an advantage that the people who are working with business on a daily basis are able to handle the solution themselves.

Almost anyone can put together his or her own BI-reports after only a few days of training. – Arne Christensen, CTO

“An IT-expert seldom has any idea about what numbers and reports are useful when operating a business. But when people who work with business and economy can handle the solution themselves, they can retrieve exactly the data they need in order to make the best decision”, says Arne Christensen.

X