Heavy Equipment
Holt of California Increases Data Visibility and Control With TARGIT

About the company

For over 90 years, Holt of California has provided customers with exceptional equipment solutions and the best product support in the industry. The dealer group has earned its reputation as a leader, with employees at the heart and soul of its business. Holt of California sells and services a wide variety of equipment, including Large and Small Construction Tractors, Agricultural Equipment, Forklifts, Racking Systems, Telescopic Handlers, Prime and Stand-by-Power Generation, UPS Systems, and On-Highway Truck Engines. In addition, the group rents Caterpillar and other preferred manufactured equipment for contractors. Their dedication and high level of commitment to exceeding customers' expectations has brought Holt of California the distinction of being the top equipment supplier in their territory, which covers sixteen counties for the traditional Caterpillar product line, as well as all of Central Northern California for Caterpillar Lift Trucks.  

Their Challenges
  • Holt of California’s existing Cognos reporting tool didn’t have the right capabilities to meet their financial reporting needs.  
  • The dealer group also wanted to expand its reporting capabilities to other departments, such as sales, service, and rental. 
  • Finally, Holt of California needed a way to consistently share performance data with frontline employees, managers, and executives. 

How we helped
  • Provided Holt with an all-in-one business intelligence (BI) solution that generates automated reports for finance, sales, service, safety, and rental operations.  
  • Equipped employees with dynamic BI dashboards that make results digestible and enable data sharing across all levels of the organization.  
  • Collaborated with Holt to develop slideshows that present safety data to frontline employees in breakrooms and other locations across various dealerships and service centers.  
Our business has grown a ton and been more profitable in the past several years than ever before. TARGIT has been beneficial in showing us how we need to tweak our business to get the growth we are striving for.
- Andrew Distler, Customer Equipment Solutions Manager, Holt of CA

Modernizing Financial Reports With TARGIT


Andrew Distler has been with Holt of California since 2011. Today, he holds the title of Customer Equipment Solutions Manager, but he’s also held positions in finance, project management, and preventative maintenance during his 13 years with the dealership.  

In early 2019, the dealer set out to replace Cognos, the tool they used to create financial reports. Holt was attracted to TARGIT because of the company’s experience with other CAT dealers and specialized knowledge of the heavy equipment industry. So, Andrew became Holt’s TARGIT Implementation Manager and pushed the project through to completion.  

The first phase was rebuilding all of the dealer’s financial reports inside TARGIT Decision Suite, then evolving the analyses by introducing BI dashboards and direct integrations with Holt’s dealer management system (DMS) and other data sources.  

Holt was excited to start creating data visualizations and interactive dashboards in TARGIT; a capability they never had natively inside Cognos. In the past, they had to create clunky dashboards by hand based on data that was exported and chopped up by Cognos in a very limited way. 

Next, Holt rolled out TARGIT in other departments, creating reports and dashboards for service, sales, safety, and rental, until it became a one-stop shop for managers. “Now, all the data is readily available to our entire team. No one can make the excuse of, ‘Oh, I didn’t know about that.’ We can be proactive instead of looking back at things retroactively at quarter or year-end.” 

Andrew Distler in front of CAT dump truck


Creating a One-Stop Shop for Operational Insights


Today, Holt manages most of its business directly out of TARGIT. And Andrew has a direct role in creating, updating, and keeping a close eye on all dashboards for all departments within the dealership.  

He spends a lot of time in the executive folder, where he works on validation reports and other analyses for Holt’s monthly executive meetings. These reports display Holt’s progress toward both internal key performance indicators (KPIs) and the benchmarks set by CAT and cover areas like parts, operations, safety, accounts payable & receivable, and warranty statuses.  

“TARGIT makes it so easy to keep everyone informed. Anyone can click a button on a dashboard and see an up-to-date view of our KPIs. They can see a high-level overview, and it’s also easy to drill deeper to uncover the data needed for special reporting projects. For example, we have one quick, comprehensive dashboard for sales. We can see gross sales, sales by store or team member, top customers, NPS scores, and more in a single view.” 

Andrew runs one of Holt of CA’s service departments, so he’s also in the service folder nearly every day, tracking KPIs like technician productivity, flat rate absorption, and WIP history. He also works with a lot of financial data and keeps up with the group’s year-to-date earnings, flash sales, and budgeting from inside of TARGIT. 

KPI financial data Illustration

“We have a ton of open projects in TARGIT. I meet with our consultants bi-weekly and really appreciate the partnership we’ve built with them. They understand our business and what we ask of them. Once we pass off our requirements and relevant information for a project, they always deliver things that are right on point.” 

Along with managing many of Holt’s reports and dashboards, Andrew uses TARGIT Insights to measure user adoption — especially among the supervisors and managers who report directly to him. TARGIT Insights shows Andrew who’s logging into TARGIT and how often, as well as the average number of monthly users Holt has across its entire workforce.  

Andrew explains that he sees the Insights tool as a way to identify opportunities, not to punish those who aren’t using TARGIT as often as their peers. “If I notice someone isn’t logging in, I can approach them and confirm that they know how to access and use the solution. Then, I can spend some time with them explaining the value of TARGIT and sharing some tips on how to use it best.” 

“If I see that no one is using a new report I built, I consider that a training opportunity for the next management meeting. I can pull up the report during the meeting, explain why we created it, and walk them through how they can use it in their role.”  


Sharing Safety Metrics With the Front Line


Every year, Holt sends out an employee survey to gather candid feedback and source ideas for new internal projects.  

Through these surveys, Andrew’s team learned that frontline service employees didn’t have access to insights about how their facilities were performing in terms of safety. They might see a brief overview at the end of each year, but they couldn’t easily access timely information. 

Based on this feedback, Andrew worked with TARGIT to develop dynamic slideshows that present safety metrics and key talking points in breakrooms at every location. These presentations keep everyone informed on how their facility is performing, based on data that's updated on a daily basis.  

Andrew explains that, along with improving visibility, this effort has given employees a renewed sense of motivation when it comes to on-site safety procedures. “It’s become somewhat of a competition between sites, especially in the safety realm. Now, we adhere more to always wearing safety gear, and our staff is always in friendly competition to see which facility can be the safest.” 

“For us, it’s about keeping employees safe and making sure they know that we value their safety. These slideshows help us relay the message that we care about them, want to keep them informed, and truly value their safety in the workplace.”  

Constuction Equipment Business Intelligence Illustration

Exploring New Horizons in Data Analysis


“Our business has grown a ton and been more profitable in the past several years than ever before. TARGIT has been beneficial in showing us how we need to tweak our business to get the growth we are striving for.” 

Moving forward, Andrew and his team have a variety of ideas and new projects they would like to explore inside of TARGIT, including more safety reporting and safety dashboards for their top customers. Andrew also mentioned the possibility of integrating CAT benchmarking with TARGIT to improve data visibility across the leadership team.  

“CAT supplies a ton of metrics for us to benchmark against. We would like to put all that data into a ‘CAT Excellence’ folder within TARGIT so we can gauge our progress in real-time and avoid flipping through multiple logins to different CAT platforms.”  

Originally published February 21, 2024. Updated February 21, 2024