A new business intelligence platform (BIP) designed to facilitate the handling of big data in the supply chain has been launched by transport management experts the 3T Group.
The web based platform can be accessed via mobile devices such as smart phones as well as PCs. Designed to help manage a range of transport processes and large amounts of data, the application is simple to use, allowing access to information, planning tools and reports in just a few clicks.
Users are able to make selections from the available data, e.g. by the date range, customer or the carrier they want to analyse. Information refreshes instantly in line with selections so users can see high level dashboard information and drill down to the specific transaction that is required. The system provides real time information, enabling managers to focus on value added work rather than spending time producing reports and having to find data from various systems.
3T currently use BIP to manage a range of activity for clients, including event management (real time visibility of deliveries, collections etc.), service delivery, carrier management and financial management reports.
The application took two years to create and was developed in house as part of a project led by IS Development Director, Paul Donovan, in conjunction with 3T's department heads.
"Developing BIP was a challenge, but we are delighted with the end product which will enable clients to manage information and plan far more effectively," comments Paul. "The internal KPIs help us ensure we are providing an excellent service for our clients and allow us to be more proactive, identifying any potential issues so we can quickly put actions in place to resolve them."
Using the QlikView platform, BIP consolidates and presents data from 3T's different systems such as Solo TMS, IT support, finance and spreadsheets in one single dashboard. This means that all KPIs and reports can be viewed in one place so users can visualise and search multiple data sets as well as viewing patterns and trends in data that may not have been visible in other reports. Reports are presented on the web which means they can be accessed from anywhere on any device.
"3T aim to be the most technically advanced logistics provider in Europe and this takes us closer to achieving that aim," explains Paul. "The handling of big data is becoming increasingly important in managing transport efficiently and the BIP enables users to work easily with large amounts of data. It's also easily scalable for multiple business processes at analytical, operational and strategic levels."
The application saves an estimated 80% of the time spent on creating KPIs and reports. It also provides a global view of all 3T contracts whilst clients can view all sites that use their services through a single dashboard.
At present the system is being used by 3T managers on behalf of their customers, but the company plan to roll it out to clients during 2015 so they can have direct access. Future plans also include using BIP to assist the freight tender and sales analysis process as well as assisting in forecasting transport demand which will enable organisations to purchase vehicle capacity earlier in the transport planning process.