When I called Financial Controlling Toolbox speaker Harm Rijerkerk (Head of Controlling for Makro Cash and Carry CR) for our interview, I just caught him on his way to play ice hockey with his colleagues. Or in his own words: “I would say they accept me being on the ice while they play hockey”.

I interviewed Harm to learn more about his session during the event, which is called “How Does Our Information Qlik?”. During his workshop session he will share his experiences and successes of using Qlikview, a reporting tool they have adopted in Makro Cash and Carry CR.

Before we dig into the content of your presentation, could you please share a little bit about yourself and your background?

“My name is Harm Rijerkerk and I am from the Netherlands originally. I have been working for Makro for about 10 years now, always in the field of Controlling. Starting as a small cash and carry firm out of Amsterdam, Makro is now an international brand and 1 of the 4 big wholesale companies worldwide. I moved to Prague some 3 years ago when I joined Makro’s Czech branch. From our Czech branch we also cover the Slovak Market. In Czech Republic we currently operate 13 stores and we have 6 stores in Slovakia.”

“As for my hobbies besides work; I am quite into sports. When I came to Czech Republic, I really fell in love with its most popular national sport, which is ice hockey. We have in fact a hockey team in Makro which I joined as well. We all really enjoy it as we are having lots of fun together.”

The topic of your presentation is “How Does Our Information Qlik?”. Could you please elaborate on what you will be presenting during the event?

“During my presentation I will be referring to a tool, called Qlikview, which we use internally to extract all information throughout the company. My session will be focused on what I expect from a Controller. I believe it is crucial that they are aware of what the drivers of the company are and that they are competent in using the reporting tool to support these kind of views.”

“We started to use Qlikview 2 years ago and we can already see a lot of benefits of having this tool implemented throughout our organization. We deal with different business dimensions in terms of customer segments, services we provide as well as geographic target markets. This adds a level of complexity that a series of spreadsheets simply cannot handle, especially when new dimensions are added on a consistent basis.”

“Furthermore, the tool really enables us to work more efficiently. Somebody in charge of restaurant supplies for example, doesn’t have to call our department first. They have direct access to the data, they have everything they need to know. The data is available in a standard format. Everybody has access to the same targets and information. That is what we envisioned and what we have worked towards. It has built a very solid basis for a company like us, which is constantly looking at changing factors.”

What do you believe is the #1 takeaway of your presentation for those attending the event?

“Besides sharing a little insight into using a complex reporting tool for their benefit, I wish to challenge the people into thinking about the business dimensions in their own companies.”

Having attended and spoken at several events, what advice can you give attendees that want to make the most out of their attendance?

“I know this is going to probably quite sound like an open door, but they should be open and they should have their questions ready. Don’t be shy and dare to ask questions when they pop up. You will simply get the most out of the conference if you are as interactive as possible.”

Please visit the official website for Financial Controlling Toolbox if you want to meet Harm Rijerkerk in person and listen to his presentation.