Followmont adopts SAS® Visual Analytics for improved operational efficiencies and customer service
Real-time visual reports enable depot managers to maintain margins at the individual consignment level – and quickly address customer behaviour variances
With 600 vehicles carrying more than 130,000 freight consignments a month, Followmont Transport – a Queensland based road freighting company – sought to improve operational visibility and efficiency to better service its customers.
Although the company has always had a strong transport management system in place, they lacked the ability to analyse trends and information quick enough to match the speed of the fast moving business.
As Paul Smith, Followmont’s chief information officer, observed, “We operate in a high volume, tight margin business and we needed a more timely view of our freight and operations to realise greater efficiencies and better engage with our customers”.
He explained, using an example, that in the transport industry it is important to manage the mix between bulk and carton freight to maintain the utilisation and therefore profitability of each load, saying, “You need business intelligence to be able to do this.”
Followmont was also concerned that a lack of information could deny the business the opportunity to address customer trends. If a customer was reducing their amount of business with Followmont, this might not be noticed until it was too late to address any potential issues. Conversely, customers increasing their business with Followmont needed to be recognised quickly and rewarded appropriately to help foster a long term relationship.
Followmont are now expanding their use of the system to encompass “non-freight” areas of the business, such as HR dashboards and fleet management status – pulling data from multiple sources available across the business.
“We wanted an easy to use solution to quickly give our managers the insights they needed in real-time, not just as pages of data,” Smith says.
The company chose SAS® Visual Analytics to help generate instant information that allow managers to make decisions on the fly, using visualisations in real-time. Smith says a key user benefit is the technology’s simplicity and mobility which enables managers to access reports on a tablet.
“Not only have we been able to make more informed decisions, but we have also been able to prevent loss of business or margin by addressing problems that could have otherwise gone unnoticed, lost amongst thousands of data rows.”
SAS Australia and New Zealand managing director, David Bowie, notes that the adoption of SAS Visual Analytics over the past twelve months has been gratifyingly strong in this market.
“Organisations across all sectors have been quick to seize on the easy self-service data discovery and exploration benefits of this solution for fast and valuable insights, anywhere and anytime.” He added that mid-market size companies such as Followmont Transport have been prominent amongst new customers for SAS Visual Analytics.
Founded in 1983 to specialise in the delivery of newspapers and magazines, Brisbane-based Followmont Transport Pty Ltd is now the largest independently owned general road transport company in Queensland. A network of branches and well established agents across the state has made Followmont the preferred shuttle and long haul carrier for many national companies.
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