Using Data Driven Insights to Drive Efficiency in Transportation

First Truck Centre Partners with ActionKPI to implement IBM Planning Analytics Solution

April 04, 2023

First Truck Centre Partners with ActionKPI to implement IBM Planning Analytics Solution Businesses today are increasingly focused on automating critical processes and in Canada’s transportation...

Businesses today are increasingly focused on automating critical processes and in Canada’s transportation industry, the value of making decisions based on actual data insights rather than anecdotal evidence is crucial.

This is particularly the case for First Truck Centre, Western Canada's premier Freightliner and Western Star heavy truck dealership and Canada's first and longest standing Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) Elite support certified group of facilities.

“By making data driven decisions a norm, we are creating a culture that promotes critical thinking and data-driven decision making,” said, Kevin Kotyk, CFO, First Truck Centre.

While data-driven decisions seem common sense, data only becomes a strategic asset to faster and more effective business decisions when data insights are delivered to the right users.

A growing number of companies are successfully navigating this challenge by using IBM Planning Analytics, a technology capable of supporting secure collaboration, fast automated data acquisition, driver-based and AI-powered predictive modeling, and, unique in the market, the handling of large amounts of detail at scale without sacrificing performance.

Today, First Truck Centre is leveraging IBM Planning Analytics to collect, analyze and standardize data across its 12 locations.

The Winding Road – from a manual to automated data process

First Truck used manual-based forecasting and profitability analysis led to two challenges:

  1. Generating detailed performance metrics for leadership and executive teams
  2. Evaluating profitability across their customer base

According to Lance Tylor, ActionKPI President, “After meeting with First Truck Centre, we uncovered that they were using excel extensively throughout their business for their budgeting, forecasting process and profitability analysis.”

This manual forecasting process meant the business was restricted to a data view without analysis, hindering its ability to view profitability by line of business including parts, tractors and trailers, and service.

Tylor added, “The challenges were clear, the manual process was prone to error, it generated siloes of ungoverned data held in spreadsheets, and lacked the transparency, depth and centralized business logic to provide insights to drive profitable decisions collaboratively.”

The Journey worth travelling

Understanding these challenges, First Truck Centre and ActionKPI, an IBM Ecosystem partner, collaborated on a roadmap to achieve greater profitability and performance.   

By listening to their challenges, ActionKPI and IBM determined that IBM Cognos Analytics, paired with IBM Planning Analytics, could help First Truck overcome a number of obstacles, including:

  • Automating and streamlining the forecast process to give leadership foresight into the anticipated performance for the month. This gave the business time to be proactive with decision making and positively impact monthly results.
  • Visualizing daily, weekly, and monthly view of sales mix across revenue streams (tractors and trailers, parts, and services)
  • Identifying cross-sell opportunities for parts and services by analyzing historical trends.
  • Identifying the most profitable customers so their sales and marketing teams can actively target their most profitable markets.

“We chose to work with ActionKPI and IBM Cognos because they set the standard for data science and want to differentiate our business from the norm,” said Rod Graham, President and CEO, First Truck Centre. “We feel that this platform will assist First Truck Centre in becoming the leading experts and promoters for the transportation retail industry, building a base that will transcend the decade.”

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