Logistics- Business Intelligence

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Our client for this project was Yodel, one of the largest logistics & delivery companies operating in the UK, who had approached VLDB to provide a Business Intelligence (BI) dashboard. Their previous reporting solutions were based in Oracle Business intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), and our client was unhappy with the speed, clarity and accuracy of the information they were being presented, as well as the way the reporting was spread out between several different sources. Users were also using a number of excel spreadsheets for reporting, further diffusing the information among multiple sources and potentially allowing for problems with conflicts and version control.

team-business

Actionable insight is the eventual aim of BI undertakings, and so in our solution we prioritised making this quickly and clearly available from a single source. The primary intended users of our solution were the Service Centre (SVC) managers responsible for organising the delivery tours, as well as the regional managers and executives who would want to be able to see a comparative ‘league table’ of SVC results. Bearing these things in mind we began our process with fact-finding exercises intended to identify weights and measures by which project stakeholders would be able to measure SVC performance, and the sources and availability of the data required to calculate those measures.

Through our discussion with the clients we were able to get a clear view of the form that this product would take. Specifically that it would be an application with multiple dashboards, bearing in mind the different user groups, that would present Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in groups that were most usefully and frequently compared:

People

  • HR data – absence, recruitment, employee counts

Safe & Legal

  • Health and safety audit scores, compliance, accidents

Client & Customer

  1. Operational data relating to delivery and customer contact

  2. Delivery on-time indicators

Shareholder & Cost

  • Productivity and financial reporting

  • Cost of parcel delivery

  • Stops per tour / Goods lost in transit


The data visualisation was made using Tableau™ software directed at the Teradata data warehouse. Tableau Desktop was used by our development team, and Tableau Server was utilised to allow users easy access to the dashboards, as well as governing user access across the service centre. The benefit of using TS was that it contained the ‘single source of truth’ and allowed the IT team to manage the reporting solution easily.

Our reporting solution provided the client with the information they needed in a way that was accessible and efficient, compiling over 250 visualisations into 10 dashboards in a way that was easily consumable. These dashboards showed all business relevant KPI measures, and allowed for drilling down to greater levels of detail in all desired areas. This provided the business with vital knowledge of the workings of its Service Centres, allowing strategies to be designed and implemented that drew from the practices of the most successful centres.