Polvo lays a solid foundation with a data warehouse and Power BI

Renewing the data warehouse to improve reporting and enable proactive decision-making.

Polvo's specialized trade businesses, such as Leys, Kruyt, Van Enckevort, and Holtgrefe, are well-known names in the hardware industry. The company's 50 locations serve a diverse range of customers, including major Dutch construction companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), self-employed professionals (freelancers), and a small percentage of individuals. All of them rely on Polvo's knowledge and service (check out a customer story here). As the old data warehouse began to show signs of strain, HSO, a partner of Polvo for over 10 years, developed a new data warehouse along with Power BI dashboards.

Ronnie Hollemans, IT manager at Polvo, oversees all operating systems, the ERP system (Microsoft Dynamics AX), customization, and the integration of the webshop with AX. He manages two teams for these tasks, as well as HSO's development teams. Additionally, integrating new locations also takes up a significant portion of his time. It's a dynamic role! Ronnie says, "IT is increasingly taking on a leading role in the organization. While the IT department used to mainly facilitate operations, we now play a much larger role in optimizing processes, both for our internal and eventually external customers."

Polvo chooses HSO's DNA Framework

"Our 'old' data warehouse was showing more and more cracks and weaknesses. It was initially set up in Excel, with pivot tables, and ran on an outdated PC. It lacked stability and sufficient capacity. We wanted a significant change. Having insights into customer data and sales information is crucial for Polvo to steer the company and better serve different customer groups. That's why we asked HSO to set up a new data warehouse, including Power BI."

"At that time, our own IT team was busy with integration due to an acquisition, so we didn't have time for this project. HSO practically took care of everything for us. They quickly set up a standard warehouse based on the DNA Framework. HSO also handled the data migration, and we only needed to perform a few crucial data checks."

HSO Analytics team supports Polvo with optimization

"Next, HSO set up several standard dashboards. The management team and commercial leaders now use these dashboards daily, and we are continuously improving and refining the reports. Some users were quite attached to the Excel files and pivot tables, so we need to make those more accessible. However, in my opinion, the data warehouse is definitely an improvement. Power BI is a very user-friendly tool, and we can easily add fields, filters, axes, or measures ourselves. For more complex questions, we receive support from the HSO Analytics team."

Plug & Play: the HSO DNA Framework

The HSO DNA Framework is an open framework that follows the Microsoft roadmap and philosophy. It enables users to quickly and easily get started. With the Framework, the implementation time for your data warehouse solution is cut in half. The data is processed and available in any desired format, allowing you to analyze data, create reports, and gain deeper insights into your business processes.

The open nature of the DNA Framework allows for working with various applications and sources, such as Dynamics 365 or Dynamics AX, SQL databases, Oracle, web services, or Excel files. Subsequently, you can visualize the data in Power BI, SSRS, Excel, or another business intelligence solution. Check out our factsheet for more information on the HSO DNA Framework.

Polvo & HSO: a great team!

Ronnie has had a positive experience working with HSO. "The HSO team is professional. They quickly and independently handled the technical aspects of developing the data warehouse. They also provide valuable input and can translate business requirements into the right technical specifications. Even the junior team members are competent and know when to seek assistance if needed. It's great to have a single point of contact for data-related issues, just like I have for everything related to Dynamics AX. It's no wonder we have been partners for 11 years."

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Customer cases on Data & AI

From reporting to forecasting and AI applications

Ronnie has ambitious plans when it comes to data technology applications and sees many opportunities for Polvo. Ronnie says, "Currently, we mainly use Power BI for reporting and looking back. But we want to do much more in terms of forecasting. We use Slim4 for inventory management, but I also think about forecasting sales, cash flow, and more."

"In addition, I would like to pioneer applications of Artificial Intelligence, such as bots. A large portion of our customers still place orders over the phone, which is quite unique compared to, for example, retail, and it's mainly because of the service and expertise we provide. Our products are often complex, and customers can't afford to order the wrong item, for instance, a wrong lock."

"As a result, their client has to wait one or possibly several more days. Online ordering is definitely on the rise, and I see a lot of opportunities there for AI and bots, which can gradually provide better answers to customer queries in conjunction with the knowledge of our colleagues."

"In the end, our ambition is to be involved in the entire construction chain thanks to technology. For example, integrating our product range into an architect's design program. This would make it very easy for contractors, among others, to get the right products on the construction site. It's still a vision for the future, but I see many opportunities to differentiate ourselves. And I'd love to do that with HSO!"

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