The Dutch company Topbrands was founded in 2002 as a trading company for high-quality cosmetics, body care products and household products. Topbrands develops a wide range of products for A-brands, brand and private labels and delivers innovative solutions for the worldwide logistics and distribution of these products. The company is headquartered near Rotterdam, with offices and warehouses in various countries. Early 2019, Topbrands deployed the data management platform TimeXtender as one source of data, to provide users with deep insights in the business with Power BI. Since then, around 200 people use data from TimeXtender on a daily basis. Remco Blewanus, IT manager, and Scott Geilings, Business Controller, are constantly working to collect, integrate and make data available within Topbrands as efficiently as possible.
In the past, company data was managed through various Navision cubes and Microsoft Excel. However, when deploying tools for Business Intelligence, Scott Geilings and Remco Blewanus ran into a number of issues. Moreover, it turned out that the large amounts of data could simply not be integrated and processed without manual interference. This resulted in slow systems, enormous amounts of customization and a waste of resources. Scott and Remco were convinced there was a better way, and contacted 2Foqus.
Speed, efficiency and insights As a wholesaler, insights into stocks, sales, imports and exports are critical for Topbrands. Prior to the deployment of TimeXtender, reporting was based on dissimilar data from multiple systems. The challenge for Topbrands was the deployment of one single data management platform that accelerates, simplifies and automates data modelling, to create one data foundation that can be used to provide business insights – whereby each record means the same to everyone – to make better decisions faster.
TIMEXTENDER IS WHAT WE NEEDED
With TimeXtender Topbrands automates the integration, cleansing, loading and documentation of data, so that stakeholders in the organization have faster access to more relevant data. Data and KPI’s are now transparent and reports can be compiled easily. An easy-to-use and functional system, for every employee. Scott: “What do we see in the market, and do we see this happening in our business as well? With TimeXtender and Power BI, meetings are now about the data, about challenges and opportunities and about the actions to take. We no longer need to discuss the data accuracy.” They are both more than pleased with TimeXtender. Scott: “It’s great to see how well TimeXtender and Power BI work together. We now have insight into a wealth of data. Since the deployment we have much more data available at our fingertips, and we save a lot of time. In addition to this, we have decreased our dependency on external parties.”
Relevant data is quickly available to everyone, in a format that works.
TimeXtender ensures uniformity. The organization works with one system for all data. This provides clear insights and is functional in use.
Since the deployment TimeXtender the company saves time, and Topbrands is no longer dependent on external parties.
“Reporting took a lot of time, due to the level of customization this tequired. All data had to be collected separately in order to integrate, model and process.” Scott Geilings – Business Controller | Topbrands
“Topbrands will undoubtedly continue to grow. It would therefore be great to minimize customization as much as possible in the future. We strive for uniformity, which is possible through the combination of TimeXtender and Power BI. In addition to this, we want to leverage the opportunity of forecasting. In the next 2 years, Topbrands Europe and its subsidiaries will switch to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, whereby it’s our aim to make historical data from the ERP-systems and the data from Business Central accessible through TimeXtender and Power BI. We will also use TimeXtender to connect market data with our own data so that we can provide the business with even more insights to enable them to make the right strategic decisions.”
Professional, flexible and target-driven Remco: “Our collaboration with 2Foqus? In one word, excellent. It’s a great partner, responding quickly and thinking along with you. The employees we worked with are flexible and honest. If I had to put a “tick” on the question whether I would recommend 2Foqus to others, it would be a definite ‘Yes’! ” Scott: “I fully agree with Remco. It is a very professional partner and they add incredible value to Topbrands.”
Awareness & terminology The past years the company took many steps in the field of data, with as main goal to make data transparent and accessible to everyone for whom certain data is relevant. To create a better understanding and awareness about data internally, the company rolled out the two-day course ‘Data modeling’ from 2Foqus. Scott: “This course was very useful for our colleagues, to explore what’s possible when building a data warehouse and data models. The terminology is better understood and the knowledge is shared internally.”
“It is good to work with a partner who thinks along and cherishes innovation.” Scott Geilings – Business Controller | Topbrands