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3PL gains a 360 degree view of business and capitalizes on opportunities

Trigent's solution eliminated all information silos and enhanced communication throughout the company with a single source of the truth. The solution provides a centralized view of our business data, enabling us to make better decisions and increase our sales.

About the Ccient

The client is a 20+ year old asset-based third-party logistics provider (3PL) of both brokerage & freight management and asset-based services of dry van, refrigerated and dedicated/private fleets. They manage over 85,000 shipments for more than 600 customers from various industries using multimodal transportation. With multiple office locations in the US, the client serves customers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Business challenge

The client had procured several off the shelf systems to help run their business. Their source systems collected large volumes of transactional data, and extractive meaningful and relevant data from them was a challenge.

Due to data silos, users received different and unverified data, creating inaccurate insights which led to reduced revenue. Executives and mid-level managers spend hours struggling with spreadsheet tools to understand their department's performance.

Reports were done manually, were not integrated and not interactive. Such manual processes introduced costly errors, subsequently leading to potentially wrong premises for the company's planning cycles.

To alleviate these business pains, the client needed a scalable, comprehensive, and robust solution that would help them derive consolidated analysis as well as intelligence by accessing data scattered across different data source. They also wanted to improve overall business performance, and increase sales.

Solution

Trigent studied the eight existing applications and their data sources:

  • On-premises systems (McLeod TMS Systems, McLeod Imaging ShoreTel VoIP)
  • Third party cloud systems (BlueGrace, SalesForce, EFS, PeopleNet) and
  • Flat File (Budget Data)

Trigent's Data Architects & BI Engineers understood the KPIs, key metrics, formats and veracity of various data sets, reports, dashboard, and planned a roadmap for implementing a solution. Trigent built a Business Intelligence(BI) system with the following components:

  • The Source System — Existing applications from where the data needs to be extracted to a Data Mart Layer. Data from the cloud were extracted using API or using flat files. Implemented the Extract, Transform and Load process (ETL) that will help in loading the Flat Files to the data mart server. For all the on-premises applications, data extraction was done from the databases.
  • Data Mart Layer — A scalable, flexible layer which is used as 'Single Source of Truth/ Data' to accommodate all modifications. All data from the productions systems are collected, cleansed and validated.
  • BI Server — A repository for all reports and dashboards. Users can access these reports via browser or mobile applications. Role-based data security was also set up.
  • Presentation Layer — Used for creating workbooks, view dashboards and data sources and then publish this content to the server.

Trigent populated the central Data Mart, with all data sources from the eight applications. Also developed ETL scripts to fetch the required data for reporting, and did periodical extraction of updated data from the source systems.

The new BI system
  • Eliminated data silos, and the client had a unified view of data.
  • Streamlined work process, custom analytics. Mid-level executives can use data in their day-to-day operations to make better decisions.
  • Reduced reporting time, increased data reliability and took the burden off the IT department's shoulders. IT professionals spent less time on maintaining, cleaning and integrating data for business users.
  • Delivered interactive reports, dashboards, and charts to decision makers resulting in department-level agility, data consistency.
  • Tracked the activities of sales and carriers via scorecards - Salesperson Scorecard and Carrier Sales Scorecard - which provides a 360-degree view of interaction and performance.

Client benefits

  • Customized view of data for better business decisions.
  • Data visualizations and ad hoc reporting - create accurate reports and alerts.
  • Disciplined data gathering resulting in better metrics and well defined KPIs.
  • Data-driven business (approximately 40%) with advanced analytics.
  • Real time insights enabled more accurate and consistent forecasting across organization leading to effective sales and operation (S&OP) processes.
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  • Industry
    Industry:

    Logistics

  • Business Value
    Business value:
    • Reduced operational costs
    • Cross-functional visibility
    • Improved operational efficiency
    • Generate higher margins
  • Technology Stack
    Technology stack:
    • Platform: SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), SQL Server Reporting Services(SSRS), SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), Visual Studio 2015, Tableau 10.4
    • Database: MS SQL Server 2014