Limitless BI Solution: ARI’s Vendor Management Dashboard

ARI needed a rapid and agile BI solution which would allow it to quickly run through multiple sets of data that the company could visually explore to identify opportunities for new services or solutions.

ARI found the unique combination of Xcelsius Dashboards, Centigon’s CMaps Plugin (formerly GMaps Plugin) and InfoSol’s InfoBurst Dash XML Data Cache provided the perfect solution to its need.

Developed in just two weeks, the result led to providing more business for ARI’s key vehicle servicing vendors, while improving efficiencies and reducing costs for its clients.


Innovative BI solution benefits both ARI® vendors and customers

Every minute of every day, something worth noticing happens within ARI’s international automotive fleet management systems. At any given moment, a client may need to add more vehicles to its fleet, a car or truck may need to be serviced, or a vendor may change its prices. When things like this happen, they are captured and recorded in ARI’s fleet management systems.

ARI employs more than 2,500 skilled professionals in its operations across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Europe to manage more than 1,000,000 fleet vehicles. ARI considers each occurrence and interaction related to its clients, vehicles, employees, and vendor — each bit of this massive amount of data — to be noteworthy, but this begs the question: noteworthy to whom? Why? How? The Product Development Team at ARI set out to explore the data ARI collects every day and find the answers.

Before the Product Development Team could begin exploring the data, they faced the inevitable scarcity of time and resources. ARI was in the process of implementing a solution for large-scale business intelligence deployment across the organization, but it would take weeks or months to model the data for the Product Development Team’s requirements. They needed a rapid and agile BI solution which would allow them to quickly run through multiple sets of data that they could visually explore to identify opportunities for new services or solutions. Once they found something promising, they first needed to prototype and refine the BI application using the data prior to committing the time and resources required for the solution to be deployed across ARI. The Product Development Team needed to move at the speed of business.

“ARI’s Vendor Management Dashboard increased our team’s capacity to prioritize vendors by geography, which helped lower preferred customer rates 50%, increase sales for our vendors by 20%, and reduce customer’s overall maintenance costs up to 20%.”

Don Woods
Department Head, Client Information Systems — ARI

To overcome this challenge, ARI decided to use a unique combination of Xcelsius (SAP Dashboards) with Centigon’s Cmaps Plugin and InfoSol’s InfoBurst Dash XML Data Cache (XDC) in order to explore data about its U.S. vehicle servicing vendors. An initial prototype dashboard was developed by InfoSol in a few days, and within just two weeks of its two-day training, the Product Development Team had developed and implemented an award-winning BI solution that would drive more business to ARI’s key vehicle servicing vendors while reducing maintenance costs for clients.

ARI-vendor-case-studyIn the application, the dashboard interactively displays two tabs: one with the top 1,000 U.S. vendors (based on sales volume) and another with the remaining U.S. vendors. Once a vendor is selected from the map, information regarding how many ARI vehicles it has serviced, the types of vehicles and repairs, and costs are displayed, along with an interactive “what if” slider that can instantly show potential business growth given the number of ARI clients within a given radius of the vendor’s location. The application also utilizes Google Street View which allows ARI representatives to see a picture of the vendor’s actual building. With this, they can check if the vendor has the physical capacity (e.g. number of service bays) for more business from ARI before reaching out to negotiate a better service contract for both parties.

Thanks to the innovative and inspired ideas of the ARI Product Development Team, the visual and flexible capabilities of Xcelsius powered by the performance of InfoBurst Dash, and combined with Centigon’s Cmaps location intelligence, ARI was able to pilot its new BI solution in just weeks. “The Product Development Team did not need for business to stop or slow down for its project,” commented Tony Candeloro, Vice President Product Development. It was able to discover a way to build stronger and more profitable relationships with its vendors across the U.S. while maintaining its mission to “keep efficiencies up and costs down for all of its fleets” within an amazing turnaround time.

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About pgrill

Paul Grill started his career in Information Technology in the U.K. in 1978, as an Executive Data Processing Trainee for Honeywell. More than thirty years later, he still has a voracious appetite for learning as Information Technology continues to advance at an ever accelerating pace. He was first introduced to the world of Business Intelligence in 1991, in France, when he saw a demonstration of an early version of BusinessObjects on Windows 2.1. He returned to the U.S. to rave about this phenomenal product, but it was many years before BusinessObjects made it into the mainstream. Paul founded InfoSol in 1997, and made Business Intelligence one of the key solutions offered by the company. Today, InfoSol is a leading SAP BusinessObjects solutions partner, known for its expert consulting, education and innovative add-on solutions. Paul is well known within the SAP BusinessObjects community for his extensive knowledge of Business Intelligence, and he has lectured and written many articles on the subject. Paul enjoys writing, running and coaching kids soccer, and is passionate about Ancient Egyptology.

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