Twelve months ago, Walraven, an international wholesaler dealing in construction and installation materials, was named as the smartest organization in the Netherlands. In an interview with Tino Hartsink, IT manager of Walraven, we look back at the successful 2010 Business Intelligence Award contest.
Praised by customers and suppliers
The existence of the Business Intelligence Award was pointed out to Walraven by their own customers and suppliers. “It was not obvious to us that we should enter for the BI Award”, IT manager Tino Hartsink told us. “Customers drew our attention to the prize and at the same time indicated that they felt Walraven would have a good chance of winning the Award because Walraven has such well organized business processes”.
In February 2010, Tino registered Walraven for the contest to find the ‘Smartest organization in the Netherlands’. Registration was the first step on the road towards the title. “We decided to compete for the prize on the basis that we would go for the highest place: winning the BI 2010 Award”, says Tino.
Out of nearly thirty companies that had registered for the Award, Walraven was nominated for the BI Award, together with jewellery chain Lucardi and Holland Casino. During a thorough selection process, the three companies were examined on many facets to see who would be finally named as the smartest organization. Not only the implementation of Business Intelligence software was examined.
The jury praised Walraven in October 2010 for the position that the company has attained in its industry, through the use of business intelligence. “By continuously improving processes, by finding the reason why processes are not running well or not as well as they might, and by embedding BI in every process, your organization becomes smarter”, was Tino’s tip to us.
TIP: “Keep it practical and put all your cards on the table, Be Smart!” – Tino Hartsink, IT Manager, Walraven
By the purposeful use and analysis of good information and key performance indicators (KPIs), Walraven managed to reduce the working capital required by nine million euros and increase the service level from 80 to 95 percent, among other things.
Enterprise-wide BI ensures better results
Since the 5th of October 2010, Walraven is the holder of the title ‘Smartest organization in the Netherlands’. “We won because the information obtained from business intelligence is not limited to one department or one location within Walraven, but covers the entire company. But the most important thing is that BI has helped us, and still is still helping us, to achieve much better results”, explains Tino.
It is not only about financial results, but also about fun, according to Tino. “Working with good info is great fun and it gives you a huge kick when you see that, as a result, your company is running better.”
Many newspapers, magazines and websites have paid attention to the BI Award, the concept of ‘The intelligent organization’ and the winner Walraven. Radio 1 and BNR News Radio also reported on the exciting contest.
Tino says that they have received many nice reactions as a result of winning the prize. “Winning the Award and the many positive reactions were a confirmation for us that we are on the right track. In addition, winning the Award has given us a lot of new contacts and knowledge.”
“Apart from the fact that it is nice to win an award, it’s always wise to know where you stand compared to other organizations and to share experiences with others,” says Tino. The current titleholder would therefore certainly encourage other smart organizations to compete for the title.
This year, the jury is again looking for organizations that are just as smart as or maybe even smarter than Walraven. Do you think your organization can win the title? Register today via the online registration form and you may be named as the smartest organization in the Netherlands.
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