Keyrus as an expert in business intelligence (BI) and analytics solutions was again chosen as the partner of choice by Vector Logistics for this project, which followed a highly successful automated sales analytics implementation by Keyrus in 2021.
Vector Logistics is a Sales, Merchandising, and Supply Chain partner that adds value to businesses through a fully-integrated, temperature-controlled network in Southern Africa.
“The partnership built while developing the initial solution for Vector Logistics meant that our client trusted us once again with their ambitious requirements,” says Stephen Coull, Sales Director at Keyrus, a recognised specialist in recommending and implementing modern technology and business intelligence solutions.
“We applaud the leadership of Vector Logistics for their foresight to invest in cloud technology to future-proof their operating model.”
The organisation faced several business challenges including an outdated business analytics system. Multiple analytics platforms resulted in duplication of effort, resources as well as costs while existing models were either no longer relevant or unable to offer self-service for business users. The supply chain organisation required a seamless, integrated & fit for purpose analytics platform to allow self-service analytics that would lead to efficient, effective management of resources and costs and drive a single source of truth. It also needed key models to be automated, using the cloud.
Keyrusdeveloped a cloud-powered analytics solution involving a number of Microsoft Azure and Power BI technologies. The business intelligence specialists at Keyrus leveraged tabular models and Power BI to enable large-scale models to drive self-service capability.
“The solution ensures that sales & route data, pulled from a number of disparate source systems including SAP Business Warehouse (BW), SQL Server, SFTP, and Azure blob storage, is initially staged and massaged before being made available to the tabular model. This model consolidates the data from the SQL staging layer and SAP and presents it in the correct star schema format to the Power BI reporting layer”, explains Nkosinathi Xulu, Senior BI Developer at Keyrus. The architecture, therefore, consists of source, staging, semantic, and presentation/reporting layers.
Technologies used include Azure Analysis Services, Azure Storage Account, Virtual machines, Azure Data Factory, Azure Function Apps, Azure SQL DB, and Power BI Pro.
The major benefits can be summed up as improved visibility, reduced manpower requirements, enabled self-service capabilities, and reduced costs. The administration load has also been tangibly reduced.
“We are now benefitting from a 20% improvement in terms of visibility and have reduced our manpower requirements by three and a half hours each week,” notes Ashleigh Jacobs, Supply Chain Intelligence Executive at Vector Logistics about the benefits achieved in their Tabular models.
“In addition, the frequency of updates and distribution of our reports has increased from once a week to daily, and the information is now available immediately via the Power BI mobile app.”
Data has now been consolidated, leading to improved visibility, and users can slice and dice by different data sources.
“Vector Logistics now has a consolidated view of its internal & external sales and planned versus actual transport-related data, one of the major requirements of this project,” adds Coull.
As the solution is completely cloud-based, the client no longer needs to maintain on-premise servers and automation has replaced tedious manual workaround Excel spreadsheets.
“At Keyrus, we use our technical expertise to empower our clients with strategic, actionable, data-driven insights,” concludes Coull. “Beyond simply understanding data, we use it as a driving force for progress and innovation - a means to a better future. We make data matter. We’re experts at tackling complex problems and providing our clients with straightforward, effective, and scalable solutions.”
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