Reference case

Power BI reporting at Santens Metaalwaren: fast set-up, better insights

Serge Vigoureux Blue Chip Boutique Leader Management Information & Systems Connect on Linkedin

Santens Metaalwaren is a group of companies active in metal fittings and hardware. In recent years, the company has taken over and concluded partnerships with other companies. Today, they are active in 4 different locations. Santens targets both installers and private individuals and has an extremely wide product range. In addition to the physical stores, this range is also offered via the webshop.

Margin management is key in the retail sector

In this sector - and by extension the entire retail sector - margin management is a key element in financial management. Besides, due to the growth of the company, the cash flow must be monitored strictly.

Santens has a number of operational systems that provide input to an Axapta ERP package, including the financial administration. This was an ideal environment to quickly build our standard reporting model in Power BI. This report includes 3 modules (finance, HR and sales), but for Santens only the Finance module was put live during the course of 3 weeks. This finance module contains all relevant financial reports with the necessary drill down and drillthrough functionalities.

Through an old-fashioned BI project it would have taken several months to get these reports live.

Fast set-up, better insights

Santens can now monitor profitability per store and can continue to drill down to the transaction level of the accounts. This also allows them to generate a contribution report per representative: gross sales are corrected with the discounts given to achieve net sales and margin per representative. The figures per purchase group can be reported on the purchasing side and the financial module allows to consolidate the different stores and to create a cash flow report.

Because the solution has been developed in a generic reporting environment, possible extensions can be added in due course. An interesting extension is certainly the detailed information of the reports about the article level. This should support monitoring stock levels as this is also a crucial element in the proper management of such a retail organization.

By using a standard set of reports and opting for an open BI environment, Santens had the desired reporting within 15 man-days. Through an old-fashioned BI project it would have taken several months to get these reports live.