StateFleet: Improving Business Outcomes Using Predictive Analytics and Business Intelligence
Formed by the New South Wales Government in 1990, StateFleet is a full-service fleet leasing organisation that delivers fleet leasing and fleet management services to the NSW public sector. With a fleet of over 25,000 vehicles and valued at approximately AUD$700 million (US$540 million), StateFleet regularly purchases between 11,000 and 12,000 vehicles every year.
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Dealing with a complex process
"It is an extremely complex process and aside from its inherent difficulties, the integrity of the source data had been compromised over many years," Wright explains.
Adding further to StateFleet's challenges was the provision of reporting capabilities to its clients – a challenge made all the more difficult to meet with a legacy reporting system that required the constant attention of a dedicated data analyst and costly vendor support.
"One of the major benefits is that everyone is dealing with clean data," Wright says. "In addition, with the SAS solution's ability to draw data from virtually any source, we now have a single portal through which to access data contained in our legacy Ingres database, our new Oracle database and numerous other sources that all contribute to a complete data view."
The users speak
"Prior to this, we were delivering around 250 reports daily; and that was fairly close to the limit we could achieve," Wright explains. "It's obvious from the fact that with that number having jumped to over 800, our clients were definitely in need of a better system." Previously, meeting the requirements of client reporting was a very time consuming process. The organisation had a dedicated staff member whose sole responsibility was generating ad hoc reports; and even then, it was unlikely that the reports would be delivered the same day.
"The situation now is that our customers use the Web interface and customise reports to suit their own requirements," Wright says. "All they need to do is use a simple and straightforward menu system and virtually any report that's required can be generated in a matter of minutes." The flow-on effect of the increased reporting capabilities is improvements in fleet management across the entire New South Wales State Government. With immediate access to reports that are now based on clean and accurate data, StateFleet clients are able to conduct in-depth analysis of their fleets, obtaining crucial information relating to issues such as vehicle utilisation, fuel usage and maintenance costs.
Importantly, as soon as the data is provided in report format to the users, it can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet and run against the customer's own calculations.Predictive analysis
"One of the main advantages of SAS is the relative ease with which the models can be refined. Already, the models we have developed are proving to be more accurate than anything else we have used in the past."
The importance of the SAS-based predictive analysis capabilities for StateFleet can be measured in the millions of dollars. In combination with the industry standards, such as the Red Book and StateFleet historical sales data, the organisation determines vehicle lease rates that deliver optimum value to the clients while reducing its own risk exposure.
"Accuracy is absolutely critical," Wright says. "Even a one per cent error across the board in residual prediction could result in a three million dollar deficit. So it's easy to see why the SAS predictive analysis and data cleansing capabilities are so important to us."Achieving the balance
"If we were to have too many of one make of vehicle coming back to the market at the one time, then the resale value could drop by as much as $2,000 per vehicle," Wright explains. "So once again, having SAS deliver clean data and accurate reporting is a major advantage for us in this business."
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StateFleet needed to predict the residual values of vehicles nearing the end of lease, because selling a vehicle at the right or wrong time can save or cost thousands of dollars. And StateFleet needed to deploy the information in a user-friendly way.
StateFleet implemented SAS for predictive analytics as well as Web-based query and analysis, report delivery and dashboards.
SAS allows StateFleet clients to create and access their own reports directly from the Web, saving time and money. Not only has usage soared to over 800 reports per day, but also users gain valuable information from predictive analytics, saving millions of dollars.
“ One of the main advantages of SAS is the relative ease with which the models can be refined. Already, the models we have developed are proving to be more accurate than anything else we have used in the past. ”