REVIEWER: Mike Gabbei, vice president of IT for Celadon Trucking Services Inc.
BACKGROUND: Celadon is a publicly traded company and one of the top-ten truckload carriers in North America serving a variety of companies from diverse industry groups. Celadon is one of a limited number of companies that is able to provide services for time-sensitive cargo shipments through trailer door-to-door transport in and between any of the NAFTA countries.
PLATFORMS: Compaq server running Windows Server 2000 with IIS 5.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2000. Our users run in a zero footprint environment with PCs running Windows 2000 or XP and IE 6.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Prior to this purchase, Celadon had no business intelligence infrastructure, limited IT staff and significant budgetary constraints but needed to align the organization by tracking our KPIs in an efficient manner. Our management team wanted to monitor metrics across the business, starting with those metrics related to sales, rate per mile, loaded miles, empty miles (deadhead) and capacity planning (number of open/seated trucks). The information we needed to track came from disparate systems including an AS/400 DB2 database, Access and several spreadsheets and was collated by our business analyst who manually pulled the information from these disparate data sources and presented the information in a spreadsheet format. The process was manual, cumbersome and time-consuming, making it difficult for Celadon decision-makers to make informed decisions on a timely basis. We required a solution that would empower our users to develop their own reports and monitor their own metrics without heavy IT intervention. We also required something powerful, yet easy to use and flexible to fit our changing needs. In addition, we wanted to eliminate the reporting and tracking bottleneck with a low-cost solution that would help us improve communication within our enterprise and also with our customers.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: With Theoris Vision Software, the metrics from our disparate data sources are gathered and presented to the executive team in a single dashboard view. Charts and graphs and other visualization metrics are presented to us in a single view and with the click of a button, we can drill through and drill down for deeper analysis and a true understanding of our business. The view is easy to use and has removed a very tedious and manual process. With drag-and-drop dashboard creation, we now have a clear picture of our key metrics for our business. Some of the key benefits we have received include improved operational efficiency, elimination of report backlog and delay, empowerment of decision-makers with critical performance data and business information in a highly graphical, intuitive presentation that's available anywhere, anytime and gives decision-makers the ability to continually know how they're doing and where their hot spots are.
STRENGTHS: Theoris Vision was installed in less than a day and was easy to implement. Our business analysts and end users can easily build dashboards with an intuitive, wizard-driven process. No programming or APIs are needed. With Vision, we can easily tap into existing systems, allowing us to leverage our system investments. In a single graph or chart, a user can view metrics from any combination of data sources including reports (from BusinessObjects, Crystal or any other application), spreadsheets, direct database calls and Web pages.
WEAKNESSES: While it possesses some limited reporting capabilities of its own, Theoris recommends that organizations leverage their existing reporting systems and processes.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The other vendors considered were Cognos and Hyperion. Theoris Vision Software was selected because of superior ease of use, flexibility to meet changing business needs and low total cost of ownership.
DELIVERABLES: In a single dashboard view, executives and other decision-makers view charts and graphs that highlight their KPIs and metrics for business success including sales analysis, rates per mile and capacity planning.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Throughout the evaluation and pre-implementation phase of the project, we received the utmost vendor support from Theoris. Theoris has provided the right resources at the right time for product installation and configuration, training and technology transfer.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation has been more than adequate.
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