The Velux Group is well known to builders and homeowners alike as a global leader in the production of skylight windows. But the company, based in Hørsholm,Denmark, saw an opportunity to do things better by ramping up the capabilities of its finance function. Aiming to increase the number of business intelligence users, give finance executives more time to support central and local management, and create a more visually engaging way to process finance data, the €2.2 billion manufacturer changed the way it handles critical information about its operations and markets. “We took a deliberate decision to move business intelligence from IT and put it in finance,” says Anders Reinhardt, the global head of business intelligence.
Velux uses a central reporting platform that links 2,200 users from 40 sales organizations. Working closely with its key technology vendors, the firm has used business-process outsourcing to streamline its information infrastructure and to get a better handle on demand dynamics from a mostly B2B customer base. Flexibility in reporting enables local managers to adjust estimates and apply resources accordingly in pursuit of their annual sales targets. Meanwhile, information generated by the company and interpreted with financial analytics also is applied to improve efficiency at 15 Velux production sites around the world. The company’s software suite links sales forecasting and demand planning with production and logistics, increasing responsiveness to changes in the marketplace. Working with its local resellers, Velux plans for demand across its product groups. By communicating the monthly forecasts seamlessly across the enterprise, the Velux finance group can more accurately gauge demand and make corresponding adjustments to production and shipping schedules.