Lee Valley Tools is a family-run business that takes pride in doing things right. For 40 years, the company has specialized in crafting rare, high-quality hand tools for woodworkers and gardeners. Recently, it expanded into crafting tools of all kinds. The manufacturing division, Veritas, is equipped with 50 machine tools, operated by a staff of 120 employees.

The company has long been diligent about measuring the productivity of its staff and the utilization of equipment. Lee Valley Tools truly believes that quality is a data-driven profession. To maintain control over its engineering specifications, Lee Valley Tools must collect quality data to identify the patterns behind any past or potential problems.

Over the years, Lee Valley Tools has become extremely rich in data but struggled to make it usable. The Lee Valley team would record data on whiteboards, spreadsheets, and in written reports, which quickly became disconnected. With so many sources of data, it was easy to miss something and difficult to find the root cause of a problem. Employees spent countless hours drafting reports, and by the time the reports were filed, the information was often outdated.

Lee Valley Tools needed to find an organizational tool that could pull together existing data on an ongoing basis and would help chart the future. With the visual capabilities of Microsoft Power BI, the Lee Valley team gets the information they need, when they need it. They can now better understand the financial and operational impact of their manufacturing processes.

Knowledge powers each decision at Lee Valley, and real-time data provides the best source for improvement. Within a short time, Lee Valley Tools transformed its data into tangible and actionable information. The real-time data is accessible through a holistic digital dashboard fed by different dropdown menus for each contributing work center in manufacturing.

Lee Valley’s new organizational tool has a positive effect on employees, too. By using Power BI, they can arrange their data in a clear, easy-to-use dashboard that supports better, more informed decision making. With their source data arranged on one customizable interface, employees can take the hours they once spent writing reports and apply them to more useful tasks. Power BI has changed the way Lee Valley employees look at data. Productivity and quality have improved. They’ve reduced their backlog and back orders, and they’re now looking to the future.

Lee Valley is in the middle of a significant digital transformation. With the tools provided by Power BI, the company has new ways to collect and visualize data to help solve problems. It is currently establishing a digital roadmap of its business to share a single view of its customers and the enterprise.

Lee Valley Tools now lets data guide them to better, more informed decision making. It plans to grow business and relies on Microsoft Power BI to help chart the future.

Learn from more real-world examples how an agile, cloud-based business intelligence (BI) solution helps you aggregate your data into customizable, easily searchable databases and dashboards so your users can quickly access the information they need:

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