Demand Planning in the Automotive Industry

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Our client is the Australian arm of one of the world’s leading car manufacturers. The local organisation recognised the importance of embracing data and reporting to provide an enhanced customer experience. The objective of their national parts and delivery division was to reduce lead times of spare part delivery to dealers by automating inefficient manual warehouse reporting practices and transferring local staff knowledge into a transparent information management system. As well as saving time, automated reporting would improve knowledge sharing and ensure data accuracy. 

The Challenge

Staff in the company’s national parts and delivery division were spending up to three hours each day manually generating daily reports using multiple access databases and hundreds of linked Excel spreadsheets. Vital information was siloed, stored locally and shared by email, making it difficult to oversee reporting processes. In addition, due to the manual nature of report generation, data was often inaccurate or missing. The impact of this on the client’s business included:   

  • Reduced department performance and decision making. 
  • High level of local knowledge and information disparity. 
  • Inefficient business processes. 

To address these issues, our client sought a solution that would ensure accurate and timely data, with automated reporting integrated into business processes, to improve the overall value chain and support high quality service delivery to its dealers. 

 

The Solution

We first conducted a discovery phase to examine the environment, identify the collective of available information and knowledge, and determine dependencies across the business.  

While the main aim was to replace the existing environment and automate reporting, investigation determined that adoption of standardised processes and practices was also required across all areas of the business to ensure data integrity.  

We used Agile methodology in order to meet a tight project schedule, capture essential knowledge and deliver usable features faster. The outcome was a revolutionised reporting system that included the following new features:  

  • Fully automated solution.  
  • Data feeds synchronised directly from an accessible and centralised data warehouse. 
  • Reports emailed directly to management. 
  • Web interfaces for data input. 
  • Controls and alerts to prompt input of the right data at the right time. 

Results

The solution delivers business benefits including:  

  • More informed decision making: Management has access to accurate and timely information that can be used to influence business decisions.  
  • Efficiencies in reporting: Report generation takes considerably less time, freeing national parts and delivery team members to focus on higher value activities. 
  • Increased productivity: Staff no longer need to spend time double- and triple-checking data and reports to ensure accuracy. 
  • Improved transparency of information: Valuable data is no longer locked up in invoices and Excel spreadsheets, but is accessible to all those who require it. 
  • Integrated business processes and practices: The production of daily reports has become an integrated part of the client’s operations, supporting business efficiency and a smarter way of working. 
  • Seamless knowledge transfer between locations: With automated reporting, the business no longer relies on the knowledge of a handful of employees to produce daily reports. Sharing information between team members is now easier and faster.  
With phase complete, we are working with our client to plan the next phase of work. This is likely to include the development of interactive dashboards, and integration of standard business processes to aid in both better decision making, and the streamlining of data for reporting across data warehouses.  

Let’s Talk.

Analytics8 is an Australian-based analytics, business intelligence and data warehousing consultancy founded in 2002. Our vendor-agnostic team of 60+ consultants has deep expertise and implementation experience. We specialise in design, development and deployment of effective data solutions. 
Talk to us about how we can improve demand planning accuracy within your business.

[email protected]

Sydney: +61 2 9299 4430

Melbourne: +61 3 8605 4880

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Sydney:

Level 4

350 Kent Street,

Sydney, NSW, 2000

+61 2 9299 4430

Melbourne:

Level 8,

350 Collins Street,

Melbourne, VIC, 3000

+61 3 8605 4880

Not based in Australia? Our team in the UK or the US would be happy to help.