How this Logistics Company Enhanced Productivity by 30%

Safexpress integrates all data sources in one platform to be able to make informed decisions while saving man hours and control cost.

The logistics company wanted to do away with the existing system of identifying sales patterns across categories at branch level. The measures to forecast sales based on data from across campaign activities was inconsistent. The operational analytics had to be manually performed using Excel and replicated across organization which was time-consuming. Differentiating between operational data and BI & analytics report data was cumbersome for them. They needed a tool which can maintain balance between in-memory and DB data storage. And they wanted to roll this out across organization without compromising on performance. The implementation The purpose of the project is to make visualization of analytics in an impactful way and have people do basic analytics on data themselves. Previously most of the time, business users would request report from IT department. Also many of them would spend hours creating different graphs and visualizations for clients and top leadership. Safexpress employed TIBCO Spotfire, a data visualization solution to be able to create reports in wide range of formats which can be saved for later reference. Basic analytics on sales data or operations data like patterns of delay of shipments in certain warehouse coupled with unloading and loading of vehicles which used to take hours or help of IT department can be done by themselves. Forecasting can be done with just a click today. The new tool was connected to the core data source as ERP and warehousing application. Users were classified according to business functions.  Users' role were defined so that report automatically gets adjusted as per roles, functions and Geo. The tool was integrated with Microsoft Active directory. All the reports from existing BI tools were studied and made sure that new tool is super set of reports of this. Forecasting models were created for the same and saved which can be used by supervisors and leaders. Mobility version of the report along with auto send was enabled using scripting of the tool. The cost involved for development and implementation of this solution was around Rs 40 lacs, says the CIO of Safexpress, Anjani Kumar. The benefits Basic analytics can be done by any user without any help from the IT department in no time, which includes applying filters, spotting trends, data drill down, comparison with last period, etc. Forecasting is pretty simple using this tool with predefined factors and one can define the historical period they want to use for forecasting. Integrated with all data sources (with options to add more data sources on-the-fly), this provides an integrated view of data from across disparate sources. Complex analytics models can not only be created but published to users and they will be able to see their individual regions.  This saves lot of time for supervisors and leaders for creating report and impactful visualizations within minutes which can be used for future data, saving them to PPTs or PDF, etc. This has helped supervisors make data-driven decision than perception based decisions which is a major pain point of any organization globally. The implementation helps save productivity at least by 30 % by creating any type of visualization/report for certain departments, confirms Anjani. It was difficult to get actual figure due to multiple factors involved. This tool’s impact would be minimum 5% cost saving which is actually a huge saving, argues Anjani. Since everybody used the same rules for data insights, decision making was much consistent bringing better harmony in consignment flow and ultimately improving transit time by approximately 3-4 %. The change management strategy While we socialized this in every internal forum to create buzz around it, the common pain points were broken into nice graphics through the tool and shared in EDM form, says Anjani. Then users were divided into phases with function and location criteria. Users were first shown the tool and asked to give live feedback and then they were trained. There were lots of issues reported by users in terms of data mismatch of old tool (Excel) vs new way of taking insight and they got them addressed by showing what is the logic. It took a few months for users to completely rely on this tool.  Some departments are still in final phase of acceptance. Slowly we are shutting down older tool and that’s the way all the people will shift to new of analytics and BI, confirms Anjani. The future plans 'We want to make data-driven decision at least 20% in next two years. This might look like small number but reality is – less than 5% of decisions are made in corporate based on data globally,' says Anjani. We have made a good improvement in this number over the last year and we want to improve even further. They are planning to add add-on tools on top of it like geo analyzer and then use these insights directly into campaign management system as well as real operation. they have already done POC for embedding some of the report into CRM system and that’s another big possibility to embedding this into CRM tool. Another plan is to bring more data sources to this platform as currently it has only ERP, Mobility, CRM and GPS data on this platform, avers Anjani.    


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