Webinar: learn the best kept secret for better Power BI dashboards

On September 14th our webinar "The best-kept secret for better Power BI dashboards" took place. In this webinar, we showed you how to drastically improve your Power BI dashboards and reports with the help of International Business Communication Standards (IBCS) and the Zebra BI plug-in.

Dashboards often fall short

Obviously, many Power BI dashboards and reports can contribute to the agility of your organization. If the right insights can be accessed quickly in the right place and the message is communicated effectively, then a dashboard is a powerful tool. However, many dashboards fall short. Hence, the message that is communicated is not always clear, and the consistency of the dashboards leaves much to be desired.

Make dashboards effective with IBCS

Certainly, in this webinar, we showed you how to use the International Business Communication Standards (IBCS) to make your dashboards much more effective. Especially, using the Zebra BI plug-in you can easily integrate these standards into your Power BI dashboards. Evidently, the webinar is co-hosted with the founder of Zebra BI, Andrej Lapajne.

Learn for free

Most important, you will learn the following:

Watch a recording of the webinar below!

You can now watch the webinar!

Dashboards with Impact

In my eight years as a consultant, I’ve probably seen more dashboards than I can count. Still, most of them don’t have the impact they should have. Nine out of ten times, people start looking at the data. Is there something wrong with the underlying data-sets? Or is the visual not clear enough? Looking at those elements isn’t bad, but in my opinion, you’re looking in the wrong direction.

Read more

Power BI vs Tableau: Filter out the Noise

Power BI and Tableau are both leading data visualization solutions. Comparing the two options can be a daunting task. There is a lot of marketing noise from parties that sell or work with just one of the two solutions. This will not help you. 

Read more
All posts

Data & Analytics Line Up (Videos)

Ben jij op zoek naar een nieuwe dashboarding of dataintegratie-oplossing? Wil je datascience-oplossingen vergelijken? Of wil je Low Coding platforms in actie zien? Het kan allemaal tijdens de Data & Analytics Line Up 2021! De opnames zijn nu beschikbaar.

Data & Analytics Line Up

Om je te helpen bij het kiezen van de best passende oplossing, bieden wij je de mogelijkheid om alle belangrijke data & analytics oplossingen te vergelijken. Experts geven je een compleet beeld van de verschillende oplossingen door onder andere de functionaliteiten, het gebruikersgemak en de bijbehorende kosten met je te delen.  

Onze keynote spreker van die middag was Michell Zappa, oprichter van Envisioning, een instituut dat technologische vooruitzichten in kaart brengt. Tot slot vertelde Remko Schepers, Manager Business Control Development van Kramp Groep hoe zij bij Kramp verschillende technologien gebruiken om hun doelen te bereiken.

Wat hebben we laten zien?

Keynote Michell Zappa
Oprichter van Envisioning, een instituut dat technologische vooruitzichten in kaart brengt. Michel’s werk heeft als doel om de impact van versnelde veranderingen toe te lichten en aandacht te vestigen op onze relatie tot technologie.

Marketplace ronde 1
In vier parallelle tracks, datavisualisatie, dataintegratie, datascience en low coding, kun je kiezen uit enorme hoeveelheid sessies. De experts geven je een introductie van hun oplossing, je luistert naar praktijkverhalen én krijgt de mogelijkheid om je vragen te stellen aan één van onze experts. Jouw keuze mogelijkheden deze ronde: Azure Machine Learning, Power BI, TimeXtender & PowerApps

Marketplace ronde 2
Een nieuwe ronde om je te keuze maken uit onze sessies. Jouw keuze mogelijkheden deze ronde: Tableau, Azure Data Factory, Alteryx & Outsystems

Marketplace ronde 3
Een nieuwe ronde om je te keuze maken uit onze sessies. Jouw keuze mogelijkheden deze ronde: Sap Analytics Cloud, Azure Integration Services & Pycaret (Python).

Data & Analytics in de praktijk bij Kramp Groep
Kramp Groep is de grootste E-Commerce leverancier van onderdelen en accessoires voor de agrarische industrie in Europa. De afgelopen vijf jaar maakte Kramp een zeer succesvolle digitale transformatie door. Ook binnen de Finance & Control afdeling is de digitale transformatie ingezet. Remko Schepers, Manager Business Control Development, deelt graag het eerlijke verhaal over Kramp’s digital journey tot nu toe en in het bijzonder hoe het de financiële functie in staat stelt om haar rol als Business Partner te ondersteunen met tools als Tableau, Alteryx, Outsystems, Oracle EPM en Google Big Query.

De sessies terugkijken

Je kunt de sessies nu terugkijken! Vul het onderstaande formulier in.

Kun je het formulier niet zien? Klik dan hier voor een directe link.

Bekijk de sessies hier

Thank you!

You will be automatically redirected. Click here for a direct link to the video’s.

Webinar: Predictive Maintenance

Unexpected downtime of machines is costly and can drain your resources: namely, time and money. But performing unnecessary maintenance is just as resource-intensive and the returns can be minimal.

Preventive maintenance is for the history books. There’s no need for guessing anymore. Put your data to work and peek into the future with predictive maintenance.

In this 30-minute webinar, Rockfeather consultant Alexander and Laurens will showcase how you can build a predictive maintenance model in Alteryx – no coding, data science, or statistics experience necessary.

You will learn how to:

  • Combine multiple datasets
  • Cleanse and prepare your data for analysis
  • Create a no-code predictive maintenance model
  • Score your model on new/unseen data

Watch a recording of the webinar below!

Can’t see the form? Click here for a direct link.

Watch the webinar!

Can’t see the video? Click here.

10+ Data & Automation Solutions that will transform your business

Use this webpage for information about more than 10 solutions that we think will help your solid ideas take flight. A Data & Automation solution Line Up so to say.

Read more

Harnessing Data Power with DBT; Elevating Business Practices

In today’s data-centric business environment, mastering the art of transforming data into actionable insights can dramatically differentiate leaders from followers. Have you ever been in a situation where you doubted the reliability of your data, leading to decision paralysis? Then read this blog!

Read more

Webinar: External Tools to Optimize your Power BI Environment

Whether you’re a seasoned Power BI user or a BI manager looking to elevate your team’s capabilities, this session will provide you with the insights and tools necessary to achieve a clean and effective Power BI environment.

Read more
All posts

Machine Learning meets Spotify data

  • Predict target audience for Spotify songs with Machine Learning
  • Visualize data in Tableau dashboard
  • Model deployment in the UbiOps platform

Our Spotify Dashboard

 

Introduction of the use case

Visualizing your data is a great way to deliver your message to your audience. Until now, data processing scripts and low-code functionality have enabled BI analysts to transform the data and filter out only the most important data. At the same time, many BI analysts are pumping up their python (or R) knowledge to apply more advanced analytics to their data and visualize it in a dashboard or low-code app. However, current BI platforms don’t always provide tools for python/R code integration and are especially not suitable for hosting machine learning code. One solution could be to use one of the major cloud providers. However, this is often easier said than done as it requires specialized knowledge of a variety of services.

In this example, we wish to predict if a new Spotify song fits better with Wouter or Alexander, our two targets. To do so, we use their Spotify playlist data to uncover their music taste.

Alexander has developed a classification model that predicts if a song belongs to Wouter’s Spotify list or that of Alexander. The model is deployed on kubernetes with an API endpoint (in UbiOps) and visualized using Tableau.

UbiOps & Rockfeather

Rockfeather makes use of Data Visualization, Data Science, and Low-Code technology to build smart solutions. Their team creates state-of-the-art solutions for their customers in various industries and functions. This is how Rockfeather embraces technology and empowers ambitious people.

UbiOps is a deployment tool built for data scientists, which allows them to deploy their code easily, with knowledge of python or R alone.

What’s the next step?

The first step in the process is about training a predictive model, which can find patterns in the data from the two targets. The Spotify datasets on the two target audiences include all characteristics of the songs they listen to. These characteristics are translated into numeric variables, so that we compare the songs to each other. The following features are used:

  • BPM
  • Energy
  • Dance
  • Valence
  • Acoustic
  • Pop

Before Alexander starts with the training process, he splits the dataset into training and testing sets. The training dataset is made available for multiple machine learning models to recognize patters in it. Based on this training dataset, the machine learning models look at the characteristics of the songs, in order to differentiate the music styles of Alexander and Wouter. Once the training process is done, the performance is tested on the testing dataset. This is data that the model has never seen. The algorithm-generated predictions, that is, a classification on whether a song belongs to Alex’s or Wouter’s playlist, are compared with the actual values. The predicted and actual values of the test set are visualized in the Tableau dashboard on top of this page.

After comparing different models’ performance with different parameter settings, Alexander is satisfied with the performance of the best performing model, which he saves as “rf_saved.pkl”. By doing so, he stores the model parameters and model weights, so that he can apply the model to any new data that he feeds it. The model and its predictions can now be used in practice.

Curious how to deploy this machine learning model in the UbiOps platform?

Wouter explains how to do this in UbiOps’ technical blog. Would you like to know more about Machine learning or Data Science, please scroll down and sign-up for a free discovery session. In this discovery session we will take a look at your business’ most potential use cases.

This blog has been written by Alexander Mik (Rockfeather) and Wouter Hollander (UbiOps)

FREE: Data Science Discovery Session

Are you curious about how data science can help your organization? During this free discovery session, we will take a look at your business' most potential use cases.

Thank you!

10+ Data & Automation Solutions that will transform your business

Use this webpage for information about more than 10 solutions that we think will help your solid ideas take flight. A Data & Automation solution Line Up so to say.

Read more

Harnessing Data Power with DBT; Elevating Business Practices

In today’s data-centric business environment, mastering the art of transforming data into actionable insights can dramatically differentiate leaders from followers. Have you ever been in a situation where you doubted the reliability of your data, leading to decision paralysis? Then read this blog!

Read more

Webinar: External Tools to Optimize your Power BI Environment

Whether you’re a seasoned Power BI user or a BI manager looking to elevate your team’s capabilities, this session will provide you with the insights and tools necessary to achieve a clean and effective Power BI environment.

Read more
All posts

Webinar: Predict Churn with Artificial Intelligence

Do you want to know how predictive models can help your company make better decisions? Then register for our webinar "Predict churn with artificial intelligence" on the 17th of June. Lots of companies are focusing on getting new customers instead of keeping their existing customer base. Due to these strategies, a lot of customers are hopping from company to company.

Keep customers, increase loyalty

But keeping existing customers is much cheaper than finding new ones. That is why leading companies are using predictive models, based on patterns in data. With these models, these organizations can focus their efforts to increase loyalty and boost their results.

Know who is leaving you

Do you also want to know which customers will leave your organization? You will learn how to predict this using data, but without using complicated technical tools. With these insights, you can guide your marketing efforts and create business results faster.

Watch our free webinar

Watch our webinar “Predict Churn with Artificial Intelligence,” and you will learn how to get started without needing any programming or coding experience using the toolset of Alteryx.

Program

  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • Why churn is more than ever an issue to be dealt with
  • Overview Alteryx, user-friendly Data Science platform
  • Getting started to set up a churn model

Audience

  • Account Manager
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Commercial and Business Controllers

Watch the webinar!

Predict Churn with Artificial Intelligence

  • Predict Churn with Artificial Intelligence

10+ Data & Automation Solutions that will transform your business

Use this webpage for information about more than 10 solutions that we think will help your solid ideas take flight. A Data & Automation solution Line Up so to say.

Read more

Harnessing Data Power with DBT; Elevating Business Practices

In today’s data-centric business environment, mastering the art of transforming data into actionable insights can dramatically differentiate leaders from followers. Have you ever been in a situation where you doubted the reliability of your data, leading to decision paralysis? Then read this blog!

Read more

Webinar: External Tools to Optimize your Power BI Environment

Whether you’re a seasoned Power BI user or a BI manager looking to elevate your team’s capabilities, this session will provide you with the insights and tools necessary to achieve a clean and effective Power BI environment.

Read more
All posts
Low Code

What are the latest developments in low-code? - Gartners Magic Quadrant

IT professionals are experiencing increasing challenges around application delivery due to developer and skills shortages. In its 2020 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-code Application Platform report, Gartner compares 19 different Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAPs). These LCAPs can help make application development smoother. Want to know what Low-code means and what the main trends and developers are in the field of LCAPs? Then read on quickly!

What is low-code?

Firstly, Low-code is the modern approach to developing, deploying and managing applications. You can characterize a Low-Code Application Platform (LCAP) by the use of model-driven or visual drag-and-drop components. These components free non-technical developers from the need to write code. Develop a new application from scratch in a fraction of the time? Or create a faster, more intelligent version of an existing application? A Low-Code Application Platform makes it possible for all developers of different experience levels to easily and quickly create custom applications for web and mobile.

What can you use an LCAP for?

So what can you use a low-code application platform for? There are three different use cases:

Citizen Development

Building line-of-business, web-based, data-oriented applications. Even “ordinary citizens” can develop business applications using no-code.

Business Unit IT Application

Building new enterprise applications involving web, mobile, data, business logic and external services, including Software as a Service (SaaS).

IT business process application

Automating long-running, changeable and complex business processes. Think workflows and case management with advanced business logic, external services and multiple end-user roles.

As you can see, an LCAP offers a lot of added value. As a result, Gartner expects that by 2023, more than 50% of medium to large enterprises will have adopted an LCAP.

Conclusions Gartner Magic Quadrant

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant maps the market for IT solutions.

The Magic Quadrant shows the ‘completeness of vision’ on the horizontal axis and on the vertical axis the ‘ability to execute. To complete the quadrant, Gartner compares 18 LCAP developers on the following 4 points:

  • Strengths
  • Threats
  • Execution of marketing
  • Process and business logic

You can read the main conclusions and visible trends that came out of this research below.

What does the low-code market look like?

  • The market for low-code application platforms (LCAPs) continues to grow. Gartner customers have a strong interest in low-code for both application development and integration and AI services.
  • Large SaaS vendors, such as Salesforce and Microsoft, dominate the market, while their SaaS competitors, such as ServiceNow, are introducing new LCAP applications.
  • The overlap with Business Process Automation vendors continues to grow. This is reflected in the addition of AuraQuantic and Newgen to the LCAP Magic Quadrant for 2020.
  • Of the major vendors in the application infrastructure and middleware services (AIMS) market, Salesforce has achieved the #2 status in revenue. This is primarily based on its Salesforce Platform LCAP. At No. 1 is IBM.
  • Salesforce represents a large portion of LCAP market revenue. Oracle’s number 3 status in AIMS is supported by its two independent LCAP offerings that receive individual attention for this edition of the Magic Quadrant.
  • At number 4 is AWS, which recently introduced a beta version of its LCAP offering, Amazon Honey code. Microsoft at number 5 has Power Apps as its LCAP, a key part of its Power Platform strategy.
  • SAP and IBM both offer Mendix on their marketplaces.
  • The dangers of low-code lock-in have been demonstrated by Google canceling its App Maker product and acquiring the completely separate and incompatible AppSheet.


What are the trends within low-code?

  • The intelligent integration of AI/ML (AI-driven application development) and IoT applications.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) enablement, automating repetitive, time-consuming operations.
  • Even more focus on no-code instead of low-code, eliminating coding for application development.

Who are the leaders and visionary players within the LCAP market?

Leaders

  • large cloud SaaS providers (Microsoft, Salesforce, Service-Now)
  • specialized low-code providers (Mendix, OutSystems)
  • a hybrid process automation and low-code application vendor (Appian)

Visionaries

  • a citizen development vendor (Betty Blocks)
  • a hybrid process automation and low-code application vendor (Pega)

Want to know more about low-code?

Are you wondering what a low-code solution can do for you? Watch our webinar here to find out!

Webinar: Digital Customer Experience made Easy

What opportunities could you grasp if you could create digital experiences for your customers just in weeks? Customer self-service portals, mobile apps, or agent portals that run on any device. It’s all possible within weeks with our low code webinar.

Read more

What are the latest developments in low-code? - Gartners Magic Quadrant 2020

IT professionals are experiencing increasing challenges around application delivery due to developer and skills shortages. In its Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platform report, Gartner compares 19 different Low-code Application Platforms (LCAPs) that can contribute to smoother application development. In this blog, you’ll read about what low-code entails and what the key trends and developers are in the field of LCAPs.

Read more

Stop customer churn with data science

There is one thing that’s just as important as finding new clients: keeping your current clients. This one-pager will give you some practical tips to increase your loyal customer group by making use of the science of data!

Read more
All posts

Automated reports with Power BI Report Builder

The fact that Power BI can be used to create dashboards is by now known to many organisations. However, many people do not know that there is a tool within Power BI that can help when there is a specific demand for (automated) PDF or Excel reports. This tool is called Power BI Report Builder. With Report Builder you can create paginated reports that can be formatted exactly as the developer wants them. This means that if data in a table is longer than one page, the table will continue on the next page. In Power BI, such a table will include a scroll bar that makes the page not suitable for sharing in PDF, as the information will not be fully readable for the reader.

PPU

Previously, Report Builder was only available to larger organisations that could afford Power BI Premium, but as of 2 April this has changed. It is now possible to purchase a Premium Per User (PPU) license which makes Report Builder available to the wider public. This license comes on top of the current Power BI Pro license. In this article, we will take a closer look at Power BI Report Builder to give you a better understanding of this tool.

Many similarities with SQL Server Reporting Services

Those who are familiar with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) will see many similarities in Report Builder. The design is slightly different but most functionalities and options from SSRS can be found in Report Builder. When loading a data source, it is possible in Report Builder to choose a Power BI dataset. A Power BI dataset can be a dataset from a Power BI report that you have already created in Power BI Desktop. If you want to expand the dataset with a measure, you only have to do it in one place. The measure will then automatically become visible in Report Builder when the dataset is republished. This makes maintaining the reports a lot easier. In addition, you can publish the paginated reports to a Power BI Premium workspace with the push of a button.

Parameters as filters

Within Report Builder, a filter on the report is called a parameter. This parameter is often taken from one of the loaded datasets and can be used to filter the report. A commonly used parameter is month-year. This filters the report to a desired period. Another parameter that is often used is branches. When a company wants to send the same report to multiple branches, the parameter can help. In the parameter, the branch is chosen and the total report is filtered on that branch. This way, the report does not have to be duplicated. This saves time spent on the maintenance of the report.

Build reports using the Table Wizard

A report can be built without technical knowledge using the table wizard. This wizard takes the user step by step through the creation of a table. The user only has to indicate which columns he/she wants to use from the dataset. The wizard then generates the table. For Excel users, this will feel very familiar. Pivot tables are created in a similar way.

An example of a report that can be generated in Report Builder is the Sales Report below. This report goes to the management team every week so they can keep an eye on the numbers. This report is based on a Power BI dataset that is updated every night with the latest data. We can also create reports in Report Builder according to the IBCS standards. This provides better readability for the recipients of this report.

As mentioned briefly in the introduction, it is possible to export Report Builder files. The most common formats are PDF and Excel, but other formats such as Word, Power Point and XML are also available. By using Subscriptions in the Power BI service, the reports can be mailed to the right recipients. When the exports have to be sent to many different e-mail addresses, Power Automate can provide the solution. By adding the parameters of the report and the corresponding e-mail addresses to a table, the exports can be generated and sent automatically. In addition, Power Automate provides a dynamic solution that is easy to maintain.

Do you want to use Report Builder yourself or are you curious about all the possibilities? Then get in touch with us!

Latest Blog Posts

10+ Data & Automation Solutions that will transform your business

Use this webpage for information about more than 10 solutions that we think will help your solid ideas take flight. A Data & Automation solution Line Up so to say.

Read more

Harnessing Data Power with DBT; Elevating Business Practices

In today’s data-centric business environment, mastering the art of transforming data into actionable insights can dramatically differentiate leaders from followers. Have you ever been in a situation where you doubted the reliability of your data, leading to decision paralysis? Then read this blog!

Read more

Webinar: External Tools to Optimize your Power BI Environment

Whether you’re a seasoned Power BI user or a BI manager looking to elevate your team’s capabilities, this session will provide you with the insights and tools necessary to achieve a clean and effective Power BI environment.

Read more
All posts

Webinar: Digital Customer Experience made Easy

What opportunities could you grasp if you could create digital experiences for your customers just in weeks? Customer self-service portals, mobile apps, or agent portals that run on any device. It's all possible within weeks with a low-code platform.

Create Omnichannel Customer Journeys 10x faster

Low-coding platforms enable you to create pixel-perfect customer journeys at an unprecedented speed. Forget classic development or standard solutions that limit your options. Deliver business results fast with a low-coding platform.  

Watch the low code webinar

In this low code webinar, you will learn all about what a low-coding solution can do for you. In just 30 minutes, you will see firsthand how leading organizations use low-coding solutions to offer their customers unique experiences and stay ahead of the competition. 

Watch our free webinar and see what low-coding can do for you. Just fill in the form below!

Watch the webinar!

Digital Customer Experience made Easy

  • Digital Customer Experience made Easy

    Digital Customer Experience Made Easy

10+ Data & Automation Solutions that will transform your business

Use this webpage for information about more than 10 solutions that we think will help your solid ideas take flight. A Data & Automation solution Line Up so to say.

Read more

Harnessing Data Power with DBT; Elevating Business Practices

In today’s data-centric business environment, mastering the art of transforming data into actionable insights can dramatically differentiate leaders from followers. Have you ever been in a situation where you doubted the reliability of your data, leading to decision paralysis? Then read this blog!

Read more

Webinar: External Tools to Optimize your Power BI Environment

Whether you’re a seasoned Power BI user or a BI manager looking to elevate your team’s capabilities, this session will provide you with the insights and tools necessary to achieve a clean and effective Power BI environment.

Read more
All posts

Scale-up in the spotlight: Natural Spices

What kind of Scale up is Natural Spices?

Natural Spices, a charming company that began supplying herbs and spices in 1935. Today it is an ambitious scale-up company that procures not only herbs and species but also products such as sauces and salad dressings. Natural Spices produces semi-finished products for industrial clients and finished products for B2B clients and consumers. The majority of the production is meant for ‘private label’. Think for example of the herbs and sauces on the shelves at Albert Heijn or Action. In addition to the private label production, Natural Spices also has its own consumer brand. Since the start of the corona pandemic, Natural Spices has dedicated more time and attention to their own consumer brand, which resulted in significant growth in this particular brand.

Natural Spices attaches great importance to the use of natural ingredients. Pure spices that are good for your health and that do not contain any artificial additives. Consumers also have an increasing need for this, as they are more critical of the ingredients in products and whether these products contribute to their health. Natural Spices would like to think along and respond to this trend.

“We believe you can give flavor to life, in a healthy and responsible way.” -Yvo

Owner Yvo fully believes in this philosophy. He is a big sports fanatic and is very much concerned with healthy living and healthy food. He can therefore easily convey the message of Natural Spices from a great intrinsic motivation. Taking care of one’s health is something that runs in the family of Yvo. His father Yvan Keijlewer, from whom Yvo took over the company, has already reached his retirement age, but still likes to be involved in the company. Yvan is so healthy and sporty that you certainly cannot tell that he has reached retirement age. “It’s in our blood”, Yvo explains.

How did Natural Spices get to where it is now?

As previously stated, Yvo took over the company from his father Yvan, but how did the company begin and when did Yvo start at the company? The company started in 1935 and in 1967 it was taken over by Mr Schuuman. At the end of the 90s, Yvan took over the company from Mr Schuurman. He was already familiar with Natural Spices because he owned several butcher shops that had Natural Spices as their supplier for herbs and spices. Soon after Yvan took over Natural Spices, the company moved from Amsterdam to Watergang. The period after the takeover was so successful that in 2010 the company moved to a larger business location in Mijdrecht. Yvo himself joined the company in 2005. What began as a side job as a courier during his studies, resulted in Yvo taking over the company from his father in 2008. He was able to achieve this through a loan from the bank. It was a financial risk he could take thanks to his wife’s successful business. She was able to support the family when necessary and she encouraged Yvo to take this step.

The thrill of being a scale up

“I sometimes lose sleep over the high amounts we deal with. For example, you can buy a house from the machine we recently purchased.” -Yvo

Ever since joining the company in 2005, Yvo has already taken many steps. For example, the company transformed from a trading company to a production company. Moreover, when Yvo started at Natural Spices, he saw that the current target group was shrinking. In those days, they only supplied butchers and poulterers, not supermarkets for example. Now they supply to both groups. Furthermore, when Yvo joined the company the product range of Natural Spices consisted only of herbs and spices. With the mindset of ‘not betting on one horse’, in addition to expanding the target group, the decision was made to produce a wider variety of products that include sauces and salad dressings.

“If you step on the brakes, you also slow down your business. Dare to take risks.” – Yvo

The whole transformation process, and particularly the investments involved, did cause some tension for Yvo at times. In recent years all the profits made by Natural Spices have been reinvested in the company. In order to realize the growth that has been achieved, the company has mainly invested in people and machines. Natural Spices will continue to make investments in both areas, as the ambition is to grow even further.

Scale up: don’t be afraid of big dreams

Yvo likes to set the bar high and therefore has a big dream for Natural Spices: to become a top 5 player in Europe within 10 years. That sounds like a beautiful but distant goal. Fortunately, Yvo is an entrepreneur at heart and he immediately explains to us that these 10 years are divided into years and even months with separate sub-goals. A more short-term goal, for example, is that they want to grow by 30% each year. Setting an ambitious goal and having separate goals is fully in line with the scale-up method of Verne Harnisch.

“Our dream is to become a top 5 player in Europe” – Yvo

After hearing the goals of Natural Spices, it is not surprising to hear Yvo’s answer when we ask him about his life motto: “The greatest danger in life is not that you set your aim too high and don’t achieve it, but that you set it too low and do achieve it”. It is a variant of a famous Michelangelo quote: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark”. Yvo believes that you not only become more motivated by high goals but that it also makes the road towards reaching them more fun. It gives you more challenges as an entrepreneur.

The road to the goal

Innovation. A word that is used too often nowadays, but it does describe what Natural Spices needs to focus on to become a top 5 player in Europe within 10 years. “It’s important to look at other applications of the natural raw materials we use and to improve our current products,” Yvo tells us. Serious work is therefore being done in this area. For example, Yvo recently hired an intern to do research into the trends on which Natural Spices can best focus in the future. They are looking at adding healthy ingredients such as certain fibres and minerals, but also, for example, adding extra proteins and vitamins. The aim is to make the product even healthier without compromising on taste.

“Customers expect you to think along with them. You are not only a supplier but also a partner for your customers.” – Yvo

The most important strategic pillar

Customer satisfaction is the most important strategic pillar for Natural Spices. Yvo says he wants to do more than just deliver on the promises made. He wants to surprise his customers by exceeding these promises. This is very important to Yvo as he believes that a happy customer will recommend Natural Spices to other potential customers. Of course, this part is also being worked on ambitiously. Yvo and his colleagues regularly talk to current customers to find out what they think of, for example, the delivery time, transport and communication with the customer. He now knows for example that industrial customers choose Natural Spices because of the speed of the first phase of product development, the testing of samples and the provision of feedback.

“To be able to surprise customers, you also need a very cool product, of course.” – Yvo

The barrier to BHAG

To reach the big goal (also called Big Hairy Audacious Goal in scale-up terms) of Natural Spices, there are of course a lot of steps to be taken. According to Yvo, the biggest step is the growth of the management team. At the moment the team consists of about 25 people and Yvo’s idea is that this should grow to about 100 people. The goal of the management team is to create a well-functioning management layer with which Yvo can spar well and which ultimately can take the company further.

The key ingredients of Natural Spices

The key ingredients of Natural Spices are to continuously reinvent and improve every day. Natural Spices is not a scale-up for nothing; Yvo sees a challenge in improving his company. By actively thinking along with his customers and learning from his mistakes, he ensures that his company can produce the products faster and better and that the customers are more and more satisfied.

However, a company would not be a company if nothing ever went wrong. For Yvo, an example of when something went wrong was the time when he was mainly busy working on internal matters of the company. He therefore had too little time to go outside and be in contact with customers. Consequently, the results deteriorated and Yvo took less pleasure in his work. Naturally, this had to change. In order to solve this problem, Yvo started investing in hiring new people and thus created space for himself to be active in the commercial field in particular.

When we ask him what he would do if his diary were empty for the whole week, his answer is not very surprising: “schedule appointments”. Yvo explains to us that, at the moment, his diary is always full and that he feels that it does not go well if it is empty. However, due to the busyness of recent years, he has had to find a balance between work and private life.

“As I have more freedom I can clear my head better and think about the future of Natural Spices.” – Yvo

The role of digitization at Natural Spices

‘’Digitization helps us to measure how efficient we are in other areas: cash flow, labour, production, margins, customer satisfaction, stocks, etc. It also allows us to better manage these areas. All in all, digitization makes everything easier to understand and allows us to steer better and thus achieve greater returns. But digitization goes further. Customer satisfaction is the common thread within our company. Our customers demand more and more transparency. With the aid of digitization, we are able to provide better insight into our processes (lead times) and can therefore make better plans. This planning is of great importance to our customers. Because we are also becoming more efficient in other areas, we can grow faster and better and thus realize our goals/ambitions.’’

With family, you should walk and not talk business

A good balance between work and private life is important, but how do you do that when you have a business together with your father? We wondered what Yvo thinks of the saying ‘with family you should walk and not talk business’. Yvo tells us that the saying is indeed often true. Fortunately, in his case, it is not. His father is his best friend, both in business and in private, and by now even Yvo’s wife Mari-Jon Keijlewer works for the company. A tip from Yvo: “Make sure you don’t work on the same things so that you can really take ownership of your own work.”

How Yvo and his family make each other better

Yvo’s experience shows that a lot can be learned from each other. His wife used to run her own employment agency and is therefore very strong in inspiring and guiding people, an area in which Yvo can improve according to himself. She has ensured that the ‘we’ feeling within Natural Spices has become more prevalent and that applicants are more likely to fit in with the team and the DNA of Natural Spices.

Yvo has also learned a lot from his father. They have many similar characteristics such as perseverance, stubbornness and entrepreneurship. When his father decided to sell the butcher’s shop in the late 1990s and go all-in on herbs and spices, a lot of people thought he was crazy, says Yvo. Years later, Yvo joined the company, despite his studies and promising job opportunities. Just like his father years ago, he saw the potential of the company and took the plunge. Even then, a lot of people thought Yvo was crazy. For both Yvo and his father, the great leaps into the deep have worked out very well.

“My father is a go-getter and very stubborn, just like me.” – Yvo

Entrepreneurship is a top-class sport

Most entrepreneurs would agree that entrepreneurship is a top-class sport. If Yvo had not chosen the top sport that is entrepreneurship, it would probably have been martial arts and, more specifically, boxing. Yvo has practised various martial arts since a young age and still, in addition to his busy work, he boxes every week. Boxing seems further away from business than it actually is. Boxing is a technical sport, not a simple power sport as is sometimes thought. You have to learn to anticipate and, just like in business, keep getting better. Yvo’s inspiration is Mike Tyson. Yvo has a deep respect for people who achieve great things from nothing. Whether in sport or in business.

Yvo combined his love of boxing and his success in business by setting up a foundation, together with a number of other entrepreneurs, to help young boxers, who are not so fortunate themselves, on their way. Stichting Pro-Boxing offers help to people who do not have the means to realize their dreams. Pro-Boxing provides materials and even mental support. Just helping people a little further, that is what Yvo wants.

“If you have a good business, it is nice to be able to give something back to society.” – Yvo

Yvo does not only help people with the Pro-Boxing foundation, he also participates in the Second Home initiative. The Second Home initiative gives people with disabilities the opportunity to work for a company and receive support. Yvo believes it is important that these people are not only able to work for him in the company, but that they receive proper guidance. This allows them to develop into confident colleagues and gives them a push in the right direction. “It is very cool to see the growth of these people up close”, Yvo tells us.

Advice for other scale-ups/entrepreneurs who want to digitize?

Don’t start too late 😉 . But definitely think about what you really need (MVP), do not just start digitizing because you think it’s good for your business. I started the digitization process with an Excel sheet. If you see that it works, you build on that.

Get even more inspiration

Natural Spices has kicked off this series of scale-ups in the spotlight and we are already itching to go to the next entrepreneur to get even more inspiration. And who knows better what we want to know from the next entrepreneur than an entrepreneur himself? That’s why we asked Yvo to give us a question. We will ask the next scale-up entrepreneur what drives him or her and what he or she gets out of bed for. We are curious!

Grow your scale-up during our free event

Always wanted to know how you can save time and energy by working in a data-driven way, so you can focus on the things that can really make a difference? Discover how you can grow your scale-up through digitization during our Round Table! The date of this event will be announced soon. Inspiring speakers and innovative insights will give you the right tools to reach your next growth phase. Read more information or register here.

REGISTER

Latest posts

10+ Data & Automation Solutions that will transform your business

Use this webpage for information about more than 10 solutions that we think will help your solid ideas take flight. A Data & Automation solution Line Up so to say.

Read more

Harnessing Data Power with DBT; Elevating Business Practices

In today’s data-centric business environment, mastering the art of transforming data into actionable insights can dramatically differentiate leaders from followers. Have you ever been in a situation where you doubted the reliability of your data, leading to decision paralysis? Then read this blog!

Read more

Webinar: External Tools to Optimize your Power BI Environment

Whether you’re a seasoned Power BI user or a BI manager looking to elevate your team’s capabilities, this session will provide you with the insights and tools necessary to achieve a clean and effective Power BI environment.

Read more
All posts