Niftylift transforms its reporting processes with actual, factual and proven data using Qlik from Informance.


Niftylift is one of the world's leading and award-winning manufacturers, receiving two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 2013 in the Innovation and International Trade categories. It has over 400 employees in the UK and USA, alongside a vast dealer network across more than 40 countries worldwide to support its 75% sales efforts.

Traditionally a Crystal reports and server customer with the Infor VISUAL ERP system, Niftylift was introduced to Qlik’s data discovery solutions through a customer who had recommended Qlik. Niftylift was then referred to Qlik partner Informance who organised a Qlik ‘seeing is believing’ day to demonstrate the power of Informance’s Qlik dashboards, which resulted in Niftylift choosing QlikView as its business intelligence platform. Informance then delivered QlikView to over 85 users within Niftylift’s purchasing, production, sales and IT departments. QlikView’s applications now number 28 and its use is growing across Niftylift’s two sites with dashboards for managing customer order summaries, ledger analysis, labour booking analysis, purchasing analysis, logistics, production, quality analysis, stock analysis, warranty analysis and the service desk.

Anthony Hurley, IT manager for Niftylift says:

“In the ‘seeing is believing’ day we recognised how Qlik could transform the way we worked with data and support the reporting processes we needed. On the back of this and with guidance from Informance, we created a purchasing application for that department very quickly.”
He continues:
“Whilst you can have a good piece of technology, like Qlik, you still need skilled people to come in and deliver the solution. We’ve had several Informance consultants who understand entirely what we are asking of them and produce an outcome with relevant Qlik apps delivered within days as part of the whole platform.”

Prior to QlikView, Niftylift had to create individual reports to send to all its 180 suppliers with orders in arrears of outstanding parts which was a manual process running on a weekly basis. Introducing Qlik’s NPrinting means reports are delivered automatically to its suppliers in a timely manner and on a weekly basis which has saved Niftylift considerable time as previously it had been sending out hundreds of individual emails every week. Niftylift also required several other reports to enable it to track its stock and patented parts. These reports included maintenance requests, which keep track of all requests, how long they take to complete and days outstanding. Initial sample inspections, which shows the details of each part to be tracked. Patent parts which display each part that has a patent, required for auditing purposes and stock coverage which shows the number of day’s coverage based on average consumption, which helps keep control of stock.

Anthony says:

“Qlik and our use of NPrinting is a continual process of evolvement. We haven’t pushed Qlik to anyone in the business, quite the reverse, as what we are finding is that people see a department using Qlik and ask to have it too, so we work with Informance to scope and deliver what they need. For example, in arrears reporting, Informance helped in the report creation based on its similar experiences with other customers, then its consultants delivered the most appropriate apps and outputs to us whilst always offering good ideas.”

Working in partnership with Informance, the Niftylift IT team has delivered dedicated apps and reporting across the business for everyday operations. For example, the logistics department has a Qlik dashboard that has helped alleviate the issue of stock waiting to be stored. The dashboard is illustrated on a large screen and shows exactly what is going on, such as purchase orders received, what has been stored and what is still to be stored. In the supply department, Qlik factually demonstrates percentage of performance of suppliers in terms of delivery timings against requirements. Production use KPIs and measure performance using NPrinting to report each KPI within their production dashboard. IT use Qlik to prove operational facts for example, if spikes happen it may take time to get to new tickets, which the visual element of Qlik really helps to illustrate. The production department can look at workforce performance and identify where any employees need support. Alerts created, such as for price increases, enable Niftylift to be aware of when costs have increased on parts and adjust its pricing to avoid margins becoming squeezed.

Anthony says:

“Qlik delivers actual, factual and proven data we can work with, rather than us having to work on any assumptions from our data. For example, our production manager says there is a 4-hour per week saving by using just one tab in the Qlik app for core data, as opposed to hours spent reviewing spreadsheets. Our executive management are also fans of Qlik – our production director has an app to help manage stock with a buffer and our financial director uses an app to help with the annual auditing process and save time with the general ledger by helping auditors using a dedicated app.”

Informance has been working with Niftylift for several years and continues to provide advice and additional work to the business as the Qlik platform evolves.

Anthony says:

“The benefit of working with Informance is the staff they provide as they produce work of real value to our company which illustrates our return on investment, and is why we have an agreed long-term consultancy with them. Informance is both excellent and flexible in the scheduling and provision of consultants and its people have the skills to interact with our staff and command respect. We have a dedicated consultant on-site who is in constant demand, based on the valuable work delivered with Qlik apps in key areas. In production, this has helped with management reporting, as previously it took a full day to produce a weekly report, now it’s all done in a matter of hours through Qlik acting as a single source.”

Anthony concludes:

“Qlik is an evolving platform within Niftylift and only limited by people’s imagination. The more people who use Qlik naturally question the data, as in what to do next or what to ask, which means several apps are evolving as we glean more from our data, which will help us make even better business decisions.”