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Construction company turns to Clearview BI 

...for business insight from their invoicing and project data

“We have the one system reporting across all of our data and we can actually use it ourselves. We liked the way the system adapted to our business processes and not the other way around. This was a key factor for me in choosing Clearview.” - Paul Little, Managing Director, Coen Ltd

Coen Limited are a family run business with over 40 years' experience in delivering building solutions for the construction industry. Their business has grown from Plastering to a comprehensive range of services which include Solid Wall Insulation, Light Steel Frames, Rainscreen Cladding and External Finishing.

Operational efficiency is a goal dear to the heart of Paul Little, Managing Director, who sees technology as an essential ingredient in their quest for performance improvement. He comments,

“Back in 2013, we introduced Gemini [a mobile application] to track invoiced work from sub-contractors. This has led to a significant improvement in our sub-contractor payment processes. In turn this has opened up a new opportunity as we now have a significant amount of data being generated by the system that we would like to better understand in order to help us improve business performance and the quality of deliverables to our customers.” 

The following discussion with Paul highlights the business challenges faced by Coen Limited and how the Clearview business intelligence and reporting solution has helped to tackle them.

Question: What was the business problem?

“We are not an IT company, yet we found ourselves with a lot of new data we needed to use. With no IT expertise, we defaulted to using spreadsheets to make sense of this information. We soon found that analysing it each month was taking a lot of time which was beginning to impact on our performance in other areas. It was clear we needed a better way of processing the data to give us the management information we needed.”

Question: What was the opportunity you identified?

“The data we started to collect after implementing Gemini was more than just sub-contractor invoice information. It also included the work being undertaken against all of our projects which we could use for project-progress tracking. We also have data for materials consumed, all payments received from customers, as well as our own payroll and expenses data. We knew if we could collate this data, we could provide a unique insight into the workings of the business on a daily basis to help us further improve our performance.”

Question: What did you like about Clearview when you first saw the product?

  “I was impressed when I first saw the product. It was so easy to use. From an early viewing of the system, configured to work with some of our data, I was amazed at how quickly real business insight could be derived. I liked the way the system could be adapted to our processes and not the other way around.”

Question: What was your approach to implementing the solution?

“At the end of the day we’re a building construction solutions company and not IT specialists. Implementing an IT solution is a significant expense and a high risk to ensure we get the project right and deliver the business benefits we require. Clearview have been professional from the outset and helped us on our journey. They have worked with me and my team to fully understand the sources of our data and iron out any kinks in the data production processes to ensure we get reliable information going into the system. They also installed the software on our servers and managed the technical interface to all of our IT suppliers to ensure the implementation went smoothly. They have identified the key reports we need and sourced the data to enable them to build them. We’re now being trained on how to use the system (just four days) so we can start to build more of our own reports as we need them. Because the system is so easy to use, I am confident we will manage this ourselves.”

Question: What next for Coen Limited?

“We’re looking to introduce more software applications to improve our business processes in other areas this year. We do this in full knowledge that whatever we want to report on from these new systems, Clearview will enable us to do it.”

Mark Hobart, Managing Director, Clearview Systems Limited, says:

“I’m delighted to be working with such a well-established and high growth business.  It’s not unusual to find a business that has created its own cottage industry in order to deliver the management information required. However, it takes a special type of business to tackle the issue and embrace the opportunity that access to data can bring to the business. We’re delighted to be on-hand to help Coen Limited grow through the insights they are gaining from their own data.”