Flexihire hires out construction and industrial equipment across Queensland and NSW, Australia, to keep local industry operating. Leveraging 8,000 pieces of equipment across 16 different sites, Flexihire has to keep track of many moving parts, not only across hiring equipment, but the delivery, return and cleaning of industrial equipment with minimal downtime to maximise its usage and revenue.
The Challenge: improving business efficiency by gaining insights from a complex database with a lot of soft ‘sometimes’ links
Three years ago, Flexihire recognised it needed an easy to use and scalable data analytics and BI solution to better track, hire, maintain and report on its some 8,000 pieces of industrial and construction equipment across multiple sites.
The business not only hires out equipment on long and short term leasing, it also organises the delivery of large pieces of equipment, as well as its maintenance and collection.
Manual spreadsheets could not handle the complexity of both tracking equipment down to an individual piece level, while also serving up a cross-site view of hiring trends and a national view of equipment revenue versus its purchase costs.
General Manager of Flexihire, Chris Moyes, identified Sisense as the solution to his business insights and analytics needs. “It’s vital to us as a business to know where every single piece of equipment is at any point in time. We need to know, if equipment is not in our premises, it is actually earning revenue, and when it’s not earning revenue, it’s promptly returned to our site. It sounds really easy, but there's quite a lot of data points in this process.
With Sisense, Chris was able to build the reporting tools he needed while leveraging the easy back end functionality of the platform. As Flexihire grew, its data also grew in both complexity and maturity. Sisense’s scalability and flexibility was a critical element in his original purchasing decision and now Chris found he needed additional expertise to help the company extract even more value from its data.
Sisense recognised Flexihire needed a close regional partner to accelerate its data maturity, and so recommended RAPID BI, the first certified Australian Sisense partner.
“The data was so complex in our system it required someone with more knowledge than I had. Sisense put me in contact with James Kruss at RAPID BI. After speaking to James I felt comfortable he could deliver what I wanted, quickly,” Chris says.
Data and BI are integral to Flexihire’s understanding of hire price points to ensure ROI and to drive revenue. As Managing Director at RAPID BI, James Kruss explains, Chris had enough technical skill to pull in his SQL data tables and serve up some insights using Sisense.
“However, as the business BI needs became more complex, Flexihire wanted to analyse things in different ways and needed guidance to help them use Sisense to its fullest capability,” James says. “It needed clean and connected data, but wasn’t sure of the best way to achieve it.”
RAPID BI quickly re-engineered a single data model that pulled data through a key table so that everything was properly related with a single relationship. Chris could then group up and down on the front end on the dashboarding himself without running into any problems or double-ups.
Now, using Sisense, Chris can extract the data he needs, manage his own dashboards, and experiment with the data to provide new business insights and improve both the management and revenue of equipment.
“RAPID BI and Sisense have been invaluable for the maintenance of our system as well, because James has helped with me setting up the service, and liaised with my IT infrastructure people to make sure we get the right infrastructure, and the right server platform to be able to operate Sisense at its maximum performance,” Chris says.
Flexihire was one of the first companies to sign up for RAPID BI’s Membership program that offers monthly professional services, version control of dashboards, access to RAPID BI tools and more.
“I know that if I need any help, RAPID BI are there”, Chris says.
As a result of engaging Sisense and RAPID BI, Chris reports he has saved the business significant time and money simply with the ability to pull out the data needed, without cumbersome manual processes. Now, he can easily set up dashboarding and reporting for immediate business insights, which have streamlined business processes and maximised revenue.
“For example, if I have a machine which is off-hire, meaning we're stopping charging for it, but is still located at the site where it was being used, we are losing revenue on that piece of equipment. Now we've got one simple dashboard that just shows me how many machines are out there that have not been returned, and we're not charging for them, which is business suicide.”
Flexihire is now able to look at a dashboard and quickly understand where machinery is, whether it needs to be picked up, and whether it is ready for re-hire. All this is tied back to hire price and ROI for the equipment, which in turn informs hire price points and initial purchase price and maintenance costs. This all means Flexihire is not over-investing in machines that are being underutilised.
“We are significantly improving our utilisation by better understanding all our touch points. So this for me is the real value of Sisense’s platform. We are also using Sisense to help improve revenues, and also customer service. We can find out in seconds if we are under-resourced, and I can find out if a piece of equipment is offline or missing. Nothing slips through the cracks anymore,” Chris says.
This is a great example of how Sisense, supported by quality partner organisations such as RAPID BI, can deliver successful outcomes for business.