sophub develops a proprietary cloud-based, machine learning, Demand, Financial, and S&OP Planning & Forecast engine that’s used by 25% of Denmark’s largest companies.
sophub needed a full Demand and Inventory Planning solution to attract new customers, grow revenue and expand its Planning Business. Leveraging Microsoft Power BI was their top choice. After researching multiple Power BI write-back vendors, sharing the options with clients, and receiving resounding positive responses, they chose to partner with Power ON. The rest is history.
“We wanted a complete, standardized solution that would help companies better understand their data and plan for the future,” says Brian Byskov, CEO, sophub. “We’d built the back-end and data model but still relied on a standard planning system at the front end.”
sophub’s people, methodologies and technology effectively handled the demand and inventory planning for companies. However, customers that required demand and inventory planning would benefit from greater data visibility and transparency. They’d also value the ability to handle millions of records, write-back and data aggregation/disaggregation in sophub’s own logic.
The company wanted to enable its clients with forecast functionality and simplify master data management. Going forward, sophub was also interested in more advanced functionality, such as scenario planning and optimization; two process areas that could really help their clients.
We’ve used Power BI since 2015 because so many of our customers rely on Microsoft solutions despite the fact Power BI doesn’t support write-back, allow comments or aggregate and disaggregate data out-of-the-box,” says Brian. “I knew exactly what sophub and its customers needed – I just couldn’t find it at the time.
sophub initially tried building customized plug-ins for each customer, but found custom coding was costly and time consuming. While sophub and its customers could also use standalone planning apps like SAP, Kinaxis and Microsoft AX, they’re built around their own logic adding more complexity and cost to supporting and maintaining them.
For sophub’s customers, the total cost of ownership and the learning curve was also significant. Those legacy platforms can cost up to $2 million for the licensing, support and training. Because the legacy platforms are designed and built for everyone from retailers and manufacturers to service providers, these platforms typically offer 200 to 500 capabilities. In real life, most companies consistently use just five to 20 of the 100s of capabilities available to them. Even then, basic users need at least one week of training, and super users typically require six months. “Users are confused by the complexity and infinite variety of capabilities and so often these tools are over-engineered and not user-friendly,” says Brian.
On a regular basis, different vendors told sophub they had solutions that could write-back to Power BI. However, when Brian investigated, he was profoundly disappointed – until he found Power ON.
BEFORE Power ON
- Plan to expand business offerings and increase demand for services
- Desire to leverage Power BI skills and technology investments
- Knew Power BI lacked write-back and data aggregation capabilities
- Had trouble finding those capabilities in an existing tool
- Time-consuming and costly to build in-house
- Steep costs and learning curves with Legacy Platforms
Power ON stayed on my radar, and I soon discovered it’s the only tool that delivers the core functionality sophub and its clients need. I showed clients what Power ON could do in Power BI and based on their positive responses, I wanted to partner with Power ON.
sophub appreciates and respects Power ON because it’s simple, easy to use, highly functional and very affordable.
“At sophub, our mantra has always been – make it simple,” says Brian. “But in real life, we know that is very difficult to do and that as a result, most tools are very complex and expensive.”
Power ON has the critical, core features sophub needed and then some. Power ON offers additional out-of-the-box functionality, including cell-level comments in Power BI, charting and scenario planning. And that’s on top of the flexibility, real-time write-back to Power BI, aggregation, and disaggregation capabilities.
Now fully integrated with sophub, Power ON offers a modular low-code tool set, which means sophub can quickly and easily build the new features their customers request. Customers get exactly what they want, and they get it in just a few hours instead of a few months. Before Power ON, it might have been impossible, or the client might get just a few of the features they wanted.
With Power ON’s front-end, sophub presents the results in an easy planning board. sophub uses the write-back in Power BI as well as the scenario planning to present information in a format customers can easily absorb and understand. sophub’s back-end uses machine-learning algorithms to analyze data, learn from different but similar cases and create valuable, actionable insights that support decision-making.
Together, Power ON’s front-end in Power BI and sophub’s back-end are competitive with standard planning systems and help users make more accurate plans and better decisions. Of course, they can also use sophub’s demand and inventory planning services to further boost results.
Power ON and sophub are the perfect match and provide an appealing, all-in-one demand and inventory planning solution.
We’ve already grown 35% and are expecting further increases in revenue based on customers’ reactions to sophub with Power ON.
Customers and prospects are interested in the sophub Power ON partnership because it costs 40 to 80% less than the custom and legacy alternatives. As importantly, it’s immediately available with zero wait-time. The sophub Power ON solution requires just 4 hours of training compared to anywhere from 7 days to 6 months with other systems.
The efficiencies are also extraordinary! A few sophub employees can now use sophub’s solution powered by Power ON to handle the manually intensive planning and data maintenance work that had been done by a chunk of customers’ employees.
After talking with Brian, prospects understand the potential ROI as well as the short- and long-term benefits to their top- and bottom-lines.
Here’s one real-life example: A major retailer with close to 100 stores saw a 2-month ROI (return on investment) in sophub’s Demand and Inventory Planning with Power ON. The retailer used sophub and Power ON to more accurately assess the safety or buffer stock required to satisfy customers, saving Millions of Euros after reducing their inventory based on that data.
“We all need to work in a slice and dice world to drill down and make decisions and act on the patterns we see,” said Brian. With Power ON, sophub and its clients know exactly what happened in the market and even why it happened because of how they can see the data. Did they sell more of a particular product in a specific region due to seasonality or as a result of promotions and sales? They can also look ahead with forecasts and projections that can be adjusted thanks to Power ON.
Because of Power ON, sophub’s new solution is the best option for the countless companies that already rely on Power BI. And when they have yet to commit to demand and inventory planning, sophub takes the opportunity to present its demand and inventory planning services.
“They’re open to sophub with Power ON because we show them we’ll deliver the facts in a way that makes it easy to understand the risks and the opportunities, then make the correct decision for their businesses,” says Brian.
AFTER adding Power ON
- Strong synergistic partnership in place
- Instant access to proven write-back in Power BI plus data aggregation / disaggregation
- 40 – 80% cheaper and faster than custom building in-house
- 40 – 80% less costly than buying legacy system, training and support
- Significantly enhanced customer experience
- 35% improved growth & revenue
Our customers tell us their employees can now use their time more effectively. For example, they’re more available to talk to their clients, gather more information and make more sales.