Heavy Equipment
Analytics designed for the heavy equipment industry

About the company

For over six decades, Butler Machinery Company has been committed to offering the best in equipment solutions and dealer support. Founded in 1955 in Fargo, North Dakota, third generation family-owned Butler Machinery is proud to offer products and services to support a variety of industries, including construction, agriculture, governmental, demolition and scrap handling, mining, landscaping, power generation and on-highway trucking. They represent many manufacturers including: AGCO, Caterpillar, Drago, Horsch, Killbros, Balzer, Sullair, Metso, Mesaba, and Trail King.

Their Challenges
  • Butler was working with an outdated Cognos system that only covered a fraction of their reporting needs
  • Employees lacked any type of deep insight into the numbers in their reports
  • An uncontrollable amount of Excel spreadsheets were floating around the company trying to compensate for the lack of true analytics, without any real insight into KPIs.
How we helped
  • Butler tracks all inventory inside TARGIT, eliminating the need for the massive amount of Excel spreadsheets
  • The Sales and Credit departments find the ability to slice, dice, and drill into data an invaluable tool
  • TARGIT’s simple sharing capabilities make it easy to distribute information throughout the company quickly and easily.
The reason we went with TARGIT is because it met our business needs and they understood our business system.
- Chris Lee, CFO, Butler Machinery

In Need of Greater Insight


With a company mission of providing the best in sales, rentals, and parts and services, Butler Machinery knew they needed an internal business intelligence (BI) system to help them live up to the promise of high quality and peace of mind. The company’s Cognos system was outdated and needed an upgrade, so they decided to talk with other vendors and determine what system would meet their needs.

They realized a more comprehensive business intelligence and analytics system would give them greater insight into all aspects of their business. Butler worked directly with TARGIT's subsidiary company Advanced Computing who knew the answer to their problems was TARGIT Decision Suite.

Butler kicked the tires on a few BI options before plunging in. TARGIT Decision Suite stood out from the rest of the big names in the industry because of its unique approach to BI. TARGIT’s philosophy of an ongoing partnership for learning and support made it an easy choice.

“The reason we went with TARGIT is because it met our business needs and they understood our business system,” says Chris Lee, CFO at Butler Machinery. “Our IT folks were very impressed with the demos, but the partnership was the real winner.”

TARGIT combined its years of experience implementing business analytics for the heavy equipment industry with Advanced Computing's in-depth understanding of Butler's business environment. CAT dealer expertise on both sides led to an easy implementation for Butler.

“The implementation was fairly easy,” says Lee. “What was more difficult was converting out entire chart accounts. Advanced Computing helped us a ton. They understood our setup, knew where we wanted to go in the future, and understood the systems we were working with.

Today, a number of departments at Butler benefit from using TARGIT Decision Suite. Financials, Inventory, Sales, Marketing, and IT all make better, data-driven decisions thanks to the reports and analyses delivered to their inboxes every day.

“I don’t even know how to quantify the value of TARGIT,” says Lee. “Any time someone asks for information, we’re able to get it very easily because it’s at our fingertips, and we’re able to slice and dice it. One of the other benefits is that we can make decisions that are more informed because we have the information at our fingertips. And we have more information that we didn’t have easy access to before; things that we didn’t necessarily keep a good eye on because it was hard to update or hard to get the data. Whereas now we have TARGIT, we’re able to easily and quickly put that data in front of people.”

Slicing and Dicing Data for Better Insight

Butler tracks all inventory inside TARGIT, eliminating the need for the massive amount of Excel spreadsheets that had been floating around the company for years. With TARGIT Decision Suite’s heavy equipment analytics, Butler keeps a tight grip on inventory control with easy access to the most important KPIs, such as aging by class, manufacturer, and store.

The Finance department is pleased with the sophisticated reporting capabilities of TARGIT Decision Suite. Users get daily reports with inventory turns, absorption ratios, profit after direct numbers, income statements, and gross profit by machine, salesman, region, or store.

The Sales and Credit departments find the ability to slice, dice, and drill into data an invaluable tool. Users can manipulate data to find the answers to their questions faster than ever. Marketing relies on analytics to help them create more successful customer campaigns geared toward sales. Even the IT department uses TARGIT to manage their help desk.

“Someone could ask more about a number — okay, I want to see that by store, or month, or quarter — before I’d never be able to provide that if I hadn’t already pulled it,” says Lee. “But now I can drill in immediately.”

TARGIT has also led to more interactive, informative company meetings.

“When I do meetings, the thing that’s really nice is that I don’t have to go through and build a bunch of Excel reports and put them in a PowerPoint to make a presentation,” says Lee. “I can just do a live presentation and walk through my TARGIT reports. I can easily drill into numbers and look at various reports and flip back and forth. Before, I wouldn’t be able to do that.”

User-Friendly Tools, High User Adoption

Large numbers of BI strategies fail in companies because of poor user adoption. But at Butler, they found the opposite scenario with TARGIT due to its user-friendly dashboards and simple sharing capabilities.

Butler has found TARGIT’s simple sharing capabilities a valuable tool for freeing data throughout the company. TARGIT’s robust data governance and strong security capabilities ensure that only the right people see the right data at the right time.

“This helps us disseminate reports very quickly and easily,” says Lee. “Even if they aren’t TARGIT users, they still have access to the reports. The reporting capability allows people to consume information without having to train them and make them users. And we don’t have to worry about who sees what because if we don’t want people to have drill-down access to certain sensitive information, we can create those settings.”

Better insight into the entire company has led to happier employees and happier customers, helping fulfill the Butler mission of long-term customer relationships. Comprehensive insight means better service, increased trust, and mutual growth and support between Butler and all customers.

Originally published March 14, 2020. Updated February 26, 2024