SA Heat Exchange invests in modern technology stack

Johannesburg, 02 May 2024
Dive deep into the details.
Dive deep into the details.

Keyrus has given a significant boost to insights quality, quantity and workforce motivation at a KZN specialist heat exchanger manufacturer. Near real-time data now informs business decisions, internal dashboards and enables proactive customer service. This follows the development of a modern data stack (MDS) by leading data and digital consultancy, Keyrus, at SA Heat Exchange, a manufacturer that specialises in custom-made industrial heat exchanger solutions.


The management of SA Heat Exchange is dedicated to expanding its footprint as an industry leader and recognises the vital role of modern technology to achieve and sustain its goal.

Fact sheet
Solution: Fivetran, Microsoft Power BI
Industry: Industrial heat exchanger manufacturing
Provider: Keyrus
User: SA Heat Exchange

The manufacturer’s existing business process, from enquiries and quotes to actual jobs, was built in Microsoft (MS) Dataverse. A major challenge was the lack of integration with Xero, its accounting system.

“Our customer was unable to quantify the cost of a job, nor set proper targets to incentivise the team,” notes Nicky Maehler, Principal Consultant at Keyrus. “Their main requirement was to marry the financial information to the business process.”

SA Heat Exchange also needed to:

  • Monitor KPIs daily to ensure quality and progress towards targets.
  • Track client as well as industry trends.
  • Gain full visibility into its business processes at any time.

The solution

Keyrus deployed layers of modern technology solutions to build the data architecture for the manufacturer. The implemented solution utilises a leading data movement platform Fivetran for its native functionality to pipe data from Xero and the MS Dataverse into an Azure SQL Database. Microsoft Power BI was selected as the data visualisation tool because it best matched the customer's needs and requirements.

Keyrus has been partner of Fivetran, a global leader in automated data integration, since 2020.

“It makes sense for smaller companies to use Fivetran, which allows for the initial data payload to be imported for free irrespective of the size and includes a free tier for smaller incremental data imports,” notes Maehler. “In addition, it natively contains the connectors and data structures to move data from Xero into SQL.

This represents a massive saving in development. Customers can instead allocate that time, budget and effort to data visualisation.”


“We now have full insight into all our processes in near real-time and benefit from being able to make business decisions in the moment,” notes Thomas Attenborough, Managing Director at SA Heat Exchange. “Fixed and dynamic reporting gives us the flexibility to interpret all of our data at any time.”

In-built incentive-based targets have increased adoption among our staff and motivate their productivity. Many more enquiries are being converted to sales, the sales force has become far more proactive and the company now offers improved customer service.

Visible TV dashboards enable everyone in the business to view the current business status, including comparisons, trends and achievement against targets. Management is able to dive deep into the details to understand the factors underlying success or missed targets.

The solution includes checks for data quality, as well as integrity, ensuring accurate reporting.

“Key to the success of this deployment was that our client was sure of their business requirements and knew how to communicate these effectively,” adds Maehler.

This architecture is easily replicable and should be considered by medium-sized companies that use Xero. Fivetran is often perceived to be an expensive option, but that is not the case. As Forbes Advisor states: “Fivetran is a low-code, easy-to-use data integration platform… It offers more than 300 connectors, data scrubbing features and integrated scheduling, even for its free plan users."*

“Keyrus’ established partnership with Fivetran and their expertise in modern data architecture meant they could offer us a holistic solution,” concludes Attenborough.

“They have an intimate knowledge of leading business intelligence platforms and are able to draw on the extensive experience of the Keyrus teams around the world. Keyrus has exceeded our expectations in every aspect of this project, from understanding and challenging our requirements to constructing a cost-effective scalable architecture, providing insightful dashboards and offering continuous support.”

* Forbes Advisor: Fivetran Review 2024: Features, Pros And Cons


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