Infobric develops systems that make construction sites more secure and efficient. When the company saw a growth spurt, new needs arose for an overview of operations and automation of manual routines. Orango’s tailored Power BI solution has given Infobric a smooth system for follow-ups and reporting and also functions as a business-critical tool for the whole operations—and it’s even quicker and cheaper than the other alternatives on the market.
New Demands on the ERP System
Infobric was founded in 2004 and develops both the software and the hardware needed for safer construction sites. In 2016, a new law was introduced in Sweden, which meant that there has to be a staff register at construction sites to increase security. The construction industry’s need for a simple, mobile solution for recording jobsite entries and exits increased, and Infobric grew massively in a short amount of time.
Annika Sjöberg is the controller at Infobric and focuses on managing accounting as well as processes, routines, and reporting.
“The increased growth we saw in 2016 demanded completely new things from our ERP system and for follow-ups. We gained a large number of new customers in a short time, and it meant a substantial increase in the number of invoices per month. We now also have subsidiaries in Norway and Great Britain. Additionally, we doubled our number of employees very quickly. Everything happened at once, and it was difficult to get an overview of our operations.”
Power BI for Reporting
Infobric switched ERP systems, but the promised reporting features did not meet its needs. At this point, Sjöberg and Lif began looking into other suppliers. They found Orango, who told them about Power BI.
“Power BI gave us a real ‘wow’ feeling! We checked out other systems, but they all seemed more expensive and static. We did not really find any other interesting options, and Orango’s consultants were able to demonstrate that Orango has the competence and solution we were looking for.”
Power BI was relatively new and untested at the time, something that could have been an albatross around Orango’s neck.
“It was a bit of a gamble,” says Sjöberg. “But we are a developing company at the forefront of our industry, and this also shows in our internal systems. We were using Office 365 early on, and the platform for Power BI was already available. The first step we chose to take was also a relatively small investment compared to the other alternatives on the market.”
Self Service for More Efficient Reporting
The Power BI solution is a self-service solution tailored for Infobric and built by Orango’s developers in close cooperation with Infobric. Budgeting and forecasting data are imported via Excel templates, which automatically generate reports. Visual dashboards are easily created and quickly distributed to those concerned. The accessibility is higher, and reporting is more efficient.
Magnus Lif is the CFO at Infobric and has, in recent years, gone from having a more operative accounting role to a more strategic role in company management. He emphasizes the importance of up-to-date data on a daily basis, overviews of articles, customers, and business areas:
“We can support the sales department with immediate and current feedback, which is crucial to the financial results.”
Sjöberg continues: “It is a smart and straightforward system. We have been able to let go of most of the manual tasks, which gives us more reliable data. We now have an efficient tool for managing the whole operations.”
Involving the Right People to Define System Requirements
The first part of the job took the longest. Getting a good logic in the database in place was a challenge, and the setups in the ERP system also needed to be in sync. But a good foundation increases the quality of the reports.
Orango’s business developer Mattias Gröndal has been the project manager for Infobric. He has previously worked as a controller and often says that it is important that the right people in the organization are part of the process.
“Those who know the company’s operations have to be involved in the project. They understand how the tool is going to be used and what results they want. We have been working closely with Annika Sjöberg, in particular. She understands the system and the processes and has been able to clearly define Infobric’s needs.
“We knowingly started at quite a small scale and expanded as we went on. We truly trusted both Orango’s project manager and its developer, and in every case, the outcome has exceeded expectations. That makes it easy to take the next step forward,” continues Lif.
A Budgeting, Forecasting, and Planning Tool
Since the first implementation project, Infobric has supplemented its solution with the Budgeting and Forecasting solution. There has also been talk of implementing the scheduling tool Planner in the future.
“We are looking at more KPIs for both the balance sheet and financing,” says Sjöberg. “We want to incorporate the whole accounting process and consolidate everything in Power BI so we eliminate manual tasks altogether.”
When asked if she would do things differently today, Sjöberg replies:
“No! We would make the same choice again. Power BI has become one of the strongest and most-used business intelligence tools on the market, and it is continuously being developed further. We could not have asked for a better partner than Orango, which has given us the guidance we needed during the project. Now we can see the daily development of sales and trends, and this provides both the management and the sales and finance departments with excellent tools for analysis and decision making.”
Infobric was launched in 2004 and works with solutions that help secure, streamline, and digitize construction sites. Customers can be found in both the construction and the machinery renting industry. Infobric operates in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Great Britain. The company has just over 60 employees and a yearly turnover of SEK 170 million.
Photo copyright: Infobric AB