If you want to move forward as a company, you not only need to have an overview of all relevant financial and operational data, but you also need to be able to interpret them correctly. Since September 2012, Pittem-based BrightAnalytics has been doing its utmost best to achieve this. This SME designs software that enables business leaders and managers to see how their company is doing in just a few clicks. “The more complex the business structure, the more added value we can create with our solutions,” know partners Olivier Seynhaeve, Lode Bogaert and Merijn Demuynck.
The leading trio behind BrightAnalytics got to know each other when they were all working for Accent Interim. “Lode was the right hand of the financial director there, while Merijn and I worked in the IT department,” says Olivier Seynhaeve. “The itch to start our own business grew stronger and stronger. After setting up a complete financial reporting system for a Gimv participation, we looked at what software was available on the market for Flemish SMEs. When it turned out that smaller companies had to turn to turn to the big players almost exclusively, for a fairly expensive solution, we developed our own platform for financial reporting. We have been marketing this since June last year under the name BrightAnalytics. Our parent company, B-Bright, which we set up in September 2012, focuses on HR software, especially business applications in the cloud.”
BrightAnalytics’ solutions are designed to make it easy for a company’s figures to reach the right people. “It’s about bringing the data to life so that a business manager knows perfectly well where their company stands and what steps need to be taken,” says Lode Bogaert. “Because we always use the same methods, it is a user-friendly solution that everyone understands in fifteen minutes. Our solutions look simple, but there is a lot of intelligence under the hood. In recent years, we have mainly invested in attracting competent staff (four permanent employees, plus one freelancer), rather than in a modern business building.”
During the past few years, the company has built up an interesting customer portfolio through its network, particularly in East Flanders and Antwerp. “Since we are also actively working on the West Flanders market through a representative, we are gradually generating more brand awareness in our own region”, says Merijn Demuynck. “We are close to economic growth centers such as Roeselare and Lille, and hope to continue to break through in the Kortrijk-Ghent-Bruges triangle. We are mainly aiming for growth companies that may also have foreign ambitions. It is our intention to grow along with our customers, even if this means a more complicated company structure. It is precisely then that we can underline our added value even more.”
In addition to financial reporting, BrightAnalytics also experiences a growing need in the market for operational reporting tools. Lode Bogaert: “Companies want to know which products sell best, where their margins are the highest, how the various segments are evolving, but also which account manager can present the best figures. We do this by linking an operational reporting tool to the company’s ERP package and ensuring that the software is easily accessible on mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.) as well. Managers often consult the figures at home, in the evening or at the weekend. It’s important that they can request both fairly general data and very detailed analyses.”
Good reporting tools must be very up-to-date and be able to paint a good picture of the operational and financial state of affairs based on 5 to 6 key factors (the so-called KPIs). “While the financial tool is a plug & play application, the installation of an operational tool takes more time, because we also want to understand the customer’s processes properly,” explains Olivier Seynhaeve. “Nevertheless, we manage to deliver even those tools within a time span of a month. We handle everything ourselves, to be able to guarantee optimal quality.”
The three partners are very complementary and keep abreast of every case through regular consultations. “Just like our customers, we also dare to fully express our growth ambitions. After our nomination as Trends Gazelle Starter this year, it would be great if we could eventually become a real, fast-growing Trends Gazelle”, concludes Merijn Demuynck.
Source: Entrepreneurs Voka West Flanders, February 27, 2015