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Our client: SafanDarley
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SafanDarley is a worldwide manufacturer of press brakes and shears. The machines are used in the metalworking industry and have varying configurations: electronic, hydraulic and hybrid – manual or automated. The press brakes are used for bending metal and the shears for cutting sheet material. The company as we know it today was created in 2012 by a merger between Safan in Lochem and Darley in Eijsden, which share many years of experience in the metalworking industry. The company has 180 employees and also has a global dealer network which handles the servicing and sales of the machines. We spoke to Project Manager Nino and IT Manager Roy about the joint venture with iqbs.

From data dumps from Infor LN to information

For some time now, SafanDarley has been using data from its ERP system, Infor LN, which helps run virtually the entire organisation: from purchasing and production to finance and sales. However, gathering data had become extremely complicated: they exported data bundles from the ERP and then processed them with Excel to extract as much information as they could. Since this required knowledge of both the Infor LN system and Excel, it became an increasingly challenging task as the company expressed a growing need to work in a data-driven way. What was lacking was a user-friendly way for employees to access information. With this objective in mind, they engaged in seeking a partner familiar with both their ERP system and the visualisation process. The requirement was to extract data from the systems and visualise it for the organisation’s employees.

“We were mainly an Excel-oriented organisation. We created a lot of dumps from our ERP system, pasted them into Excel and attempted to produce meaningful information from it. In particular, we missed an easy method for accessing information that end-users could also effectively apply.

IT Manager

Our client

SafanDarley is a manufacturer of press brakes and shears that are used in the metalworking industry. With three facilities and a global dealer network, their business is selling and servicing these machines.

From messing about in Excel...

By putting exports from Infor LN into Excel, they were already using business data. It was just really difficult to gather the data and process it into insights. What was lacking was a user-friendly way for employees to access information. insight with Power BI

By visualising the business processes, we are now quickly able to get a clear picture of where the pain points are and where things are actually going well. By using this to manage the processes, we helped SafanDarley become a more data-driven organisation.

The main advantage is that at iqbs they understand both the BI tool and the ERP system that we use as well as the data model behind it. In addition to helping us make greater use of the data from our system, they also have a deep understanding of our business. Consequently, they are an excellent sparring partner and a few words are often all they need.”

Project Manager

Gaining insight together

We took in the whole implementation together. We continue to help SafanDarley with support, further professionalisation and continued expansion of the system. The intention is to get more and more employees working with the new opportunities.

“We slightly underestimated the size of the ibqs system and how much you can do with it. Consequently, taking the first step after the implementation was tough. However, with some support from ibqs, we were fortunately able to find out which path to take.” explained Nino.

“In fact, it all went quite quickly, from the start of the project to the end result. At one point, we were in a session where the dashboards were shown, and they were displaying our own data. I thought it was so cool that you could have the data visualised at once without having to do very much yourself.”

We have already helped the client a great deal, not by changing the business processes, but by actually providing insight into them. Insight not only into where things are going well but also into where improvements can be made has helped SafanDarley optimise several business processes. At a stroke, you have a lot of insight about a certain need for information that existed, and this gets the employees very excited.

Working in a data-driven way

The number of people in the organisation working with the new dashboards is set to increase a lot. Ultimately, the aim is for everyone to open the iqbs data dashboard when they arrive at the office in the morning and be able to see at a glance how the previous days went, what their main focus for the day is, and what key issues there are.

“Our main goal is to become a data-driven organisation, so that we use data to determine how we are going to organise our working days. If there are any exceptions, we want them to be displayed from the data in our systems, so that we can determine how to respond the following day.”

The current focus for the solution is primarily on our main headquarters in the Netherlands, but with the current enthusiasm, the plan to expand quickly to the second Dutch facility and the United States is growing at pace. Thanks to the dashboards, the business data has become much more accessible for the employees. Through insight and visualisation of data from the systems, it is clear where the pain points are and which areas we need to focus on.

Nino: “In our production department, for example, we use the dashboards to see which machines we are going to build at any given moment, and how the current supply of materials is looking: will all components arrive on time, and if not, when will they be here? This allows our production team to respond accordingly. On the other hand, we use them in sales to identify turnover and spot sales opportunities. Our purchasing department and the stores use them too.”

Looking for the right BI partner

Right from the first talk things went well. I noticed that Nino took the choice of packages and supplier seriously; he asked a lot of good questions. They wanted to make the right choice and appreciated that I could already show them some working examples. If you are already working with BI, then you want to make the right choice when it’s time for an upgrade. We have a standard solution in Infor LN but we also looked together at what needs to happen should the client want anything changed or, for example, if they wish to add other data.

Equally important: SafanDarley is a great client to work for. Everyone feels free to give feedback and that means we create a completely open atmosphere together. It’s always easy to say, “we aren’t looking for a supplier but a partner”, but that is exactly what this project is about. That makes it a lot of fun for us too”, says Wouter, Customer Success Manager at iqbs.

If you would like to know what kind of insights we can extract from your data in Infor LN or if you would like to know more about our visualisation capabilities using different data, then please feel free to contact us for a chat without obligation.

Would you also like insight into your data?

If so, please get in touch with

Wouter iqbs Customer succes manager


Customer Success Manager