USI (formerly referred to as United Subcontractors Incorporated) was founded in 1998 and is a leading provider of installation, construction, and distribution services to the residential and commercial construction markets. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, the company employs more than 1,600 personnel in 38 locations across 13 states.
With locations and customers across the country, and after managing 20 different general ledgers, USI was ready for a better financial and operational reporting and analytics tool. Producing consolidated reports had become a static, highly manual, and time-intensive process. The solution had to allow the company to better manage its overall business while still managing performance by branch location.
Wipfli listened to USI’s business needs and, in less than a week, built a functional proof-of-concept financial reporting dashboard using actual data to illustrate the potential in QlikView. Wipfli then had to bridge multiple systems from many disparate sources with different databases and consolidate everything into one robust financial reporting solution. The solution had to meet the requirements of multiple stakeholders, from corporate finance leadership to individual brand managers.
Once the tool was fully developed, USI could report, analyze, share, and initiate meaningful dialogue with branch locations about key performance indicators. As USI recognized additional value in QlikView, Wipfli helped the company further leverage the tool. More data sets were incorporated, and additional reporting capabilities were developed to aid the company in improving other key functions including:
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Inventory management
- Fleet maintenance
- Lead generation and bidding activities
Today USI relies entirely on QlikView for all its financial reporting and analysis. The company has the ability to produce, distribute, and analyze monthly field summary financials and key performance metrics at both executive and branch levels in one efficient, accurate tool. Reports that used to take up to 10 days to create are now ready the very day after books are closed. Time previously spent on generating reports can now be spent analyzing business information and performing other value-added activities. Moreover, each branch is on the same page when it comes to the pursuit of key metrics.
In addition, because the solution is user friendly, interactive, and engaging, USI has seen overwhelming user adoption. USI users have varying skill sets and work at all corporate levels: executive, branch manager, corporate financial, procurement, and credit and collection. All users have been empowered by the solution. They can slice, drill down, and filter information to explore their own business questions and arrive at answers quickly.