Niftylift is one of the world's leading and award-winning manufacturers, receiving two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 2013 in the Innovation and International Trade categories. It has over 400 employees in the UK and USA, alongside a vast dealer network across more than 40 countries worldwide to support its 75% sales efforts.
Traditionally a Crystal reports and server customer with the Infor VISUAL ERP system, Niftylift was introduced to Qlik’s data discovery solutions through a customer who had recommended Qlik. Niftylift was then referred to Qlik partner and managed service provider Informance who organised a Qlik ‘seeing is believing’ day to demonstrate the power of Informance’s Qlik dashboards, which resulted in Niftylift choosing QlikView as its business intelligence platform. Informance then delivered QlikView to over 85 users within Niftylift’s purchasing, production, sales and IT departments. QlikView’s applications now number 28 and its use is growing across Niftylift’s two sites with dashboards for managing customer order summaries, ledger analysis, labour booking analysis, purchasing analysis, logistics, production, quality analysis, stock analysis, warranty analysis and the service desk.
Anthony Hurley, IT manager for Niftylift says: “In the ‘seeing is believing’ day we recognised how Qlik could transform the way we worked with data and support the reporting processes we needed. On the back of this and with guidance from Informance, we created a purchasing application for that department very quickly”. He continues: “Whilst you can have a good piece of technology like Qlik, you still need good people to come in and deliver the solution. We’ve had several Informance consultants who understand entirely what we are asking of them and produce an outcome with relevant Qlik apps delivered within days as part of the whole platform.”
Prior to QlikView, Niftylift had to create individual reports to send to all its 180 suppliers with orders in arrears of outstanding parts which was a manual process running on a weekly basis. Introducing Qlik’s NPrinting means reports are delivered automatically to its suppliers in a timely manner and on a weekly basis which has saved Niftylift considerable time as previously it had been sending out hundreds of individual emails every week. Niftylift also required several other reports to enable it to track its stock and patented parts. These reports included maintenance requests, which keep track of all requests, how long they take to complete and days outstanding. Initial sample inspections, which shows the details of each part to be tracked. Patent parts which display each part that has a patent, required for auditing purposes and stock coverage which shows the number of day’s coverage based on average consumption, which helps keep control of stock.
Anthony says: “Qlik and our use of NPrinting is a continual process of evolvement. We haven’t pushed Qlik to anyone in the business, quite the reverse, as what we are finding is that people see a department using Qlik and ask to have it too, so we work with Informance to scope and deliver what they need”.
Working in partnership with Informance, the Niftylift IT team has delivered dedicated apps and reporting across the business for everyday operations. For example, the logistics department has a Qlik dashboard that has helped alleviate the issue of stock waiting to be stored. In the supply department, Qlik factually demonstrates percentage of performance of suppliers in terms of delivery timings against requirements. Production use KPIs and measure performance using NPrinting to report each KPI within their production dashboard and IT use Qlik to prove operational facts.
Anthony says: “Qlik delivers actual, factual and proven data we can work with, rather than us having to work on any assumptions from our data. For example, our production manager says there is a four hour per week saving by using one tab in the Qlik app for core data, as opposed to hours spent reviewing spreadsheets. Our executive management are also fans of Qlik with our production director having an app to help manage stock with a buffer. Our financial director uses an app to help with the annual auditing process and save time for instance, in the general ledger by helping auditors using a dedicated application.”
Anthony concludes: “Qlik is an evolving platform within Niftylift and only limited by people’s imagination. The more people who use Qlik naturally question the data as in what to do next or what to ask which means several apps are evolving as we glean more from our data which will help us make even better business decisions.”