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Aggregate Industries


Function

    • Sales
    • Operations


Industry

    • Engineering
    • Construction
    • Real Estate

Qlik Product

    • QlikView

Achievements

    • Reduced ongoing costs of BI system by 30 percent
    • Integrated big data from more than 300 sites
    • Delivered Qlik to executives via iPad devices

Aggregate Industries empowers employees with better, faster access to big data

Against the background of recent economic climates, Aggregate Industries wanted to improve business performance and reduce costs by giving their employees better access to financial and other KPI data.

Being among the leading suppliers and manufacturers in the United Kingdom (UK) of heavy building materials — including crushed rock, asphalt, and ready-mix concrete — to the highly competitive construction industry, Mike Gibbons, Chief Information Officer at Aggregate Industries, realized that making major improvements to how they provided business intelligence (BI) would benefit the entire organization. Aggregate needed faster access to big data on operational efficiency and business performance than they were getting with their existing Cognos BI solution.

According Gibbons, “The recession changed the landscape of the construction sector and we have to think innovatively and strategically about how to run our business, without simply implementing technology on a cost basis. On top of our normal business information sets, we also have to maintain a large amount of KPI data.”

“QlikView was compelling,” Gibbons said. “It was easy to use, which was key for us. As well as providing a BI platform tool, we were also looking to change the culture of the company. Although we generate a lot of data, we didn’t naturally see data as an asset. Previously, our BI platform was IT-centric, in that most of the business data discovery was carried out by the IT team.”

Ease of use in aligning sales strategies and client priorities

Working closely with Qlik Elite Solution Provider Data Technology, Aggregate Industries implemented a financial performance application that extended the capability of Qlik applications across the business. This includes different operations, divisions and commercial teams, as well as various levels of management. It also includes applications for procurement, haulage, and security.

“Ease of use was vital because the deployment ran in parallel to a cultural change in which we wanted staff to take more ownership for their BI usage,” commented Gibbons. “We also wanted to provide users with a single version of the truth. QlikView not only gives us visibility on performance internally, but it also allows us to evaluate our sales strategy and client priorities. With QlikView, what we’re trying to do is deliver fewer applications but ensure that people can see the same data.”

Qlik gave Aggregate Industries new insights into its customer base, some of which were unexpected. “We found that some of our perceptions of who were our best customers conflicted with the information we started to see in the commercial applications of QlikView. Now, we can combine customer insight information in QlikView based not just on volume, margin or customers, but also on invoice activity, for example,” Gibbons said.

Qlik reduces TCO for BI system by 30 percent

Previously, Aggregate Industries found it difficult to manage the big data held within the business. The company has more than 300 sites, including quarries, all of which equates to thousands of transactions and millions of rows of data running through the enterprise resource planning system.

“We felt we could reduce the total cost of ownership for our BI system with QlikView,” Gibbons said. “Suffice to say, we know there’s a significant saving on the ongoing costs of managing BI with QlikView compared to Cognos — we’re talking about a 30 percent reduction in the total cost of ownership of our BI platform.”

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