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“We have become more measurable with Qlik Sense. Data has developed into easily consumable information that can be called up in different granularity – depending on how the user needs it.“
Florian Kulikowski, Business Analyst, Cargologic AG
Cargologic has been specialising in handling air cargo on behalf of airlines and carriers for over 50 years. The company is the leading Swiss provider of air cargo handling. The approximately 800 employees process up to 440,000 tonnes of air freight annually. The company has operations at airports in Switzerland (Zurich, Bern). Cargologic offers airlines and forwarders tailor-made solutions for the full range of tasks in the field of air cargo handling. These include handling imports, exports and transit as well as special cargo and implementing security checks for air cargo.
Field: Logistics (air cargo handling)
Departments: Management, human resources, quality management, warehouse
Region: Switzerland (Zurich, Bern)
Data: Excel, Data Warehouse
Technology: Qlik Sense, iVIEW und MS SSIS
ROI & Time-to-value: Few months for implementation and deployment of first applications
Transparency across the entire flow of goods based on daily updated data
Ensuring that all air freight shipments reach their desired destination every day requires not only qualified personnel but also reliable and modern technology. Cargologic wanted to reposition itself in this respect, as Florian Kulikowski, Business Analyst at Cargologic, explains: “The system was technologically outdated and could no longer meet our growing requirements in terms of flexibility, performance and availability. For example, the BI platform did not offer the option of using all the company-wide data for analytical purposes. Only two of the seven data silos could be evaluated. The reports available only contained statical information such as tonnage and sales, aggregated over months. Since the data were very loosely aggregated, plausibility was difficult to verify.“
A business intelligence platform was to be introduced which users could use to retrieve information in various granularities, in line with their individual needs. In addition, the software needed to offer simple generation of analyses and reports based on data on all processes involved in air cargo handling.
Due to the heterogeneous system landscape, Cargologic also needed a solution to organise and standardise data from different sources in order to professionally manage them for a wide variety of analytical requirements. Accordingly, the sought-after IT partner not only needed to have BI front-end expertise, but also specialist knowledge of data management.
Cargologic brought Swiss Informatec on board as project partner at the recommendation of the Rhenus Group. The data intelligence specialist offers impressive BI and data management expertise – and with the right consulting approach. This is based on three central pillars: precise definition of the client’s individual requirements, a suitable solution concept including recommendations for technological tools, and integration into the client’s existing process structures.
Informatec recommended a combination of three different technologies to Cargologic: The data warehouse was initially built on the basis of Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). Various systems for ground handling, forwarding handling, time recording, high-bay control and transport management are being connected step by step. “We will map every point that is recorded digitally in our data warehouse,” says Florian Kulikowski.
The business intelligence platform Qlik Sense was then implemented. In order to allow information that is not contained in the central IT systems to be included in analyses and reports, Informatec also integrated the self-developed “individual standard” business intelligence solution iVIEW based on Qlik. This enables information from additional data sources and applications to be prepared, evaluated and visualised. At Cargologic, iVEW ensures that the location and corporate logic in Excel format as well as the target values resulting from the rolling planning, such as notified tonnage quantities, can be taken into account in the analyses and reports. With the introduction of this Master Data Management (MDM) solution, the data does not have to be entered separately into the database, but can be managed directly by the authorised employees in the departments via the Qlik-Sense user interface. Modules are used for commenting and planning figures (iVIEW.comment and iVIEW.plan).
Whitepaper "Enterprise Data Management"
To ensure that the new solution was “well received” by all experts in the company, Informatec carried out several in-house workshops geared to the individual, sometimes very complex IT source systems and their respective data models. This ensured that the technical experts were informed in detail about the project and had the opportunity to actively help shape it.
“Throughout the project Informatec has proven itself to be a committed, flexible partner and absolute specialist for data management. Starting with the professional inventory and recording of the requirement, tool selection and data management to application development and embedding in our processes. The combination of Informatec’s expertise in data management and data analytics with Qlik and our know-how about the technical logic of air cargo handling was a perfect fit: it was a very efficient cooperation!” concludes up Florian Kulikowski.
"We were impressed by the matter-of-fact way Informatec acted as a solution partner, offering detailed advice to clients according to their individual needs and ensuring that the technologies are neatly embedded in the process structures at Cargologic, rather than simply selling us a product."
Our Qlik Sense Extension iVIEW.plan adds planning functionality to the popular BI software and enables workflow-based budgeting. External tools for data entry such as Excel can be completely dispensed with.
With our Qlik Sense Extension iVIEW.comment, the popular BI software is enhanced with data entry functionality and allows, for example, commenting directly in the dashboard. There is no need for external data entry tools such as Excel.
Qlik applications are gradually being developed for the management and all 30 departmental heads at the company locations in Zurich and Bern. The focus is on the main key figures "productivity", "quality" and "hours worked". In addition, each departmental head can use an individual data mask to call up additional key figures that are relevant for their area and which they want to use to run their processes. For example, management is currently consuming up-to-date information such as import and export flows or sales and tonnages according to criteria such as location or month, etc. It also indicates whether the quality standards agreed with the airlines are being met. If there are any discrepancies in this respect, quality management can carry out in-depth analyses to locate the cause and to initiate appropriate countermeasures.
Qlik Sense already uses human resources to optimise personnel planning, reports Florian Kulikowski: “Our business is very personnel-intensive, which is the only way we can guarantee our clients’ fast turnaround times. In order to be able to use staff in a targeted manner, we need precise planning based on current, reliable data. And we now get this information quickly and easily. We know much more precisely than before when we need staff and how many people, and where, in order to process the targeted goods.” An example from the high-bay warehouse area illustrates how easily potential for process optimisation can be discovered through the new analytical options: "Cargologic operates two high-bay warehouses," explains the business analyst. "Fault reports were being generated more frequently in one of the warehouses. At the beginning of the BI project, we started a small exercise to categorise and analyse these messages. Thanks to the possibility of looking into the data much more deeply, we were able to determine on the one hand that a number of the faults are self-acknowledging on the system side. On the other hand, we were able to get to the bottom of other faults and thus recognise, for example, that goods retrieval was not fast enough at certain times, so the lift kept coming to a halt. As a result, we were able to increase the productivity of the flow of goods simply by increasing the removal capacity: problem solved!"
Cargologic has its own maintenance team that takes care of the high-bay warehouse and carries out maintenance work on a regular basis. The maintenance plans were set using Qlik Sense across the performance of the system. It was noticed that parts of the aisle were blocked by maintenance work when they were fully laden. This was another instance where the newly gained transparency facilitated readjustment and adaptation of the plans. Accordingly, maintenance of the aisle sections now takes place when the flow of goods is less restricted, or unrestricted, without incurring increased personnel costs - for example through night shifts - which would cancel out the benefit of the improved flow of goods.
Qlik Sense is a revolutionary application, which anyone can use to create self-service data visualisation, personalised reports and dynamic dashboards.
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"In the final stage of development, we will be able to analyse the entire flow of goods comprehensively and in depth," says Florian Kulikowski. "It is already becoming clear how valuable it is for us to have an overview of the entire company with its various processes and to be able to visualise individual sections."
“The transparency that we have gained with Qlik Sense enables us to significantly optimise processes. We now see both individual effects and the big picture, and can assess the situation from an overall process perspective, across departmental boundaries.”
Replacement of the technically outdated, inflexible BI platform; development of a data warehouse and integration of all the central source systems; implementation of a self-service-enabled BI solution; provision of an option for integrating data from Excel files into analytical processes and of maintaining them via the BI interface.
Data warehouse based on Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), Qlik Sense as BI frontend, iVIEW as extension for the master data management