Stella Bikes riding to success thanks to Microsoft Power BI
Microsoft Power BI
The Dutch love biking, but it’s very windy, and the wind is usually in your face. That makes it a perfect market for e-bikes, because who doesn’t want a little push in the face of strong headwinds? Launched in 2012 as a newcomer in this still young market, Stella Bikes quickly became the largest e-bike specialist in the country.
“That success didn’t come out of nowhere. We are always investing in innovation and doing everything we can to learn everything about our customers so we can adapt our products and services to meet their needs”, says manager Patrick Bouwens. When he joined the company in 2014, there were 80 employees. Since then, that number has doubled every year. “If you want to keep growth going, you have to keep innovating. It starts by listening to the customer and taking criticisms very seriously, because you can learn a lot from that. That’s how we can keep taking the service to our customers to a higher level.”
Customer focus is key at Stella
Stella does everything on its own: design, building, sales and service. “We don’t have a dealer channel, so that means we eliminate one very expensive link in the chain. This is what enables us to deliver top electric bikes at a lower retail price. It is very important to us that we know our customers, which is why we have been working with CRM for many years.”
Originally, this CRM system was implemented by Dynamic People. “In order to keep up with the growth, we went for Navision as ERP package in 2014. Despite our previous good experiences in CRM, at the time we made the choice against Dynamic People in favour of a different party – for reasons of price alone.”
That ultimately proved to be a less than ideal partnership. Very quickly, inventory discrepancies arose (the result of bad settings in the configuration), and synchronising between systems was incredibly slow and even crashed the system repeatedly. “Customers never noticed, but that gave us a lot of sleepless nights. We changed our minds and went back to Dynamic People to ask them to clean up somebody else’s mess. Dynamic People is realistic, speaks plainly, and had a critical eye for itself, and that makes me feel good because that’s how we work, too.”
You have to consolidate all available information from various different source systems
To make CRM and ERP work together and optimally using the data present in the underlying systems, meaning that you have to talk to the experts. “That expertise they have in house at Dynamic People. They make sure that the data is accessible and available to us as usable information that we can act on.”
Clear reporting, available fast
Before Dynamic People, when Stella ran a report it would only be ready the next morning. “We wanted to shift gears faster, we have to shift gears faster if we want to stay out in front,” says Bouwens. “So that means we need real-time current data to act on.”
The specialists of Dynamic People have been supporting Stella Bikes since the summer of 2016. “What you notice is that they’re not only very good techies, but they really understand our business. They don’t just wait for us to tell them what to do, they have their own opinions and they really think with us. So they’re not just clocking hours, but they’re on our side, working with us, producing the reports and the dashboards that we can really use as control tools.”
In August 2016, Dynamic People launched Business Intelligence at Stella.
“We are helping customers derive new insights from their own data. The way we do this is by compiling data from different sources systems into a single database to save all the data as efficiently as possible in one place and be able to process it there,” says BI consultant Stefan Bekker.
“In mid-2016 Stella told us that they wanted to do more with incoming complaints, so they could use that to direct the R&D department better. We drafted a very clear report that showed them at a glance what the most common complaints about each type of bicycle were. The report is dynamic and offers a number of filters like date, product group, item category, etc.”
Bouwens says that since this reporting tool went online, the number of complaints has fallen dramatically, by no less than 90%, and that translates into pure profit. “And, since then they have produced a new report for us that lets us see what campaign in our marketing policy is scoring best. This shows you the exact ROI on each campaign, so now we can make very well-founded decisions. The reports mean that we have a very clear view to the most interesting target groups in our country. That’s information that tells us where we need to open new sales points.”
Power BI converts the data from your organization into rich analyses and clear visual reporting
Launched by Microsoft in 2015, Power BI offers a wide range of visualization options and calculation tools. Johan van den Brink says: “It’s a powerful tool that we use at Stella to create the dashboards and reports on things like performance of the marketing department and the salespeople. That means they can make decisions based on figures and facts.”
Dynamic People is making us grow
“Data is their plaything, they take initiative and they come up with their own improvements,” Bouwens says with admiration. “That’s one of the ways Dynamic People keeps proving that they understand our business and that they are really thinking with us. They take this very far, that’s how they came up with a solution that we didn’t ask for. A consultant of Dynamic People developed a weather dashboard for us that he thought would make a difference to us – and he was right. There is a connection between the weather and the moment that people visit our testing centres. If you connect that information to a push-door system and visualize it, you will see immediately where and when it was busy, and where it will be busy when. This means you can think ahead of time about how many personnel to assign on a given day, as opposed to the past when this was done on the basis of a ‘gut feeling’. You can really gain some ground with a proactive partner like Dynamic People.”
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