For Checkmate Technical and Compliance Manager Damien Ward and Commercial Manager Christian Key the results were an end to guesswork and much faster, more efficient processes.
Damien and Christian worked closely with FluidIT developer Ijaz Amjad on the project. The three learned the data together from the business and IT perspectives. Damien and Christian understood where the value was to the company, the business processes, and the Checkmate applications for operations, accounts and sales. The three systems, Boris, ClipIT and Salesforce weren’t fully integrated, so they spent a lot of time pulling information from multiple spreadsheets to get a picture of the business. Software expert Ijaz opened the back end of the systems to find, extract and transform the data they needed into visual performance reports using PowerBI.
The outcome is an operations management dashboard portal containing real time reports across their KPIs on health and safety, productivity, quality, profitability and sales. The database supporting the three systems is a single source of information for the whole organisation, dramatically increasing operational efficiencies and quality driven service.
For Damien it means he can spot an issue, drill down to see if it’s local or company-wide, and move fast to reallocate resources if, for example, it’s highlighted someone in the team is struggling with an unfair workload.
Damien said: “It stops you guessing that’s the main thing. You know what the problems are by looking at the visuals. You can easily filter the data, do a few drill downs to see where the issues are and stamp them out.”
For Christian the dashboards have halved the time he used to spend building bespoke reports from multiple spreadsheets. He used Excel to power a commercial workbook which is now replaced by the management dashboard. The PowerBI solution and the systems integration through Microsoft’s Power Automate have removed a lot of the manual data entry and duplication of work.
Christian said: “It’s definitely been a time-saving tool. I haven’t put a clock to it but it’s halved the time at least. Down the line we can integrate it with Sage so it’s going to be even more beneficial than we thought.”
Damien, Christian and Ijaz collaborated remotely to get the work done, screen sharing over Microsoft Teams.
The work began with the investigation phase where Ijaz was digging into the back end of the systems to match and reconcile the code with the information displayed in the front end. This process was quite intensive and threw up inconsistencies in the way the data was stored. Damien and Ijaz started a ‘data dictionary’ to make sure they were both on the same page.
Damien said: “It was an experience to work with Ijaz and get to see a developer at work, he was very patient and took the time to explain what he was doing and how the coding works. Ijaz was quick to identify ways we could improve how we gather and store data. He also showed me a few tricks along the way too! We were very fortunate to have him working on our project.”
Checkmate CEO John Lewthwaite is the guest speaker at the first in a series of breakfast webinars hosted by FluidIT. Join us on 9 December to hear from John about the operational transformation programme.
Pic by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash