Volvo UK is pushing the use of business intelligence (BI) tools through its organisation – from sales teams to authorised dealers – by building out specific applications as and when required.
The company uses the QlikView platform to host its data and tools. This was originally chosen to simplify the hosting of its key data in a single system, as Andy Johnson, support and project analyst at Volvo UK, explained to V3.
“Our UK MD saw the QlikTech software in use at a Spanish sales company a few years ago and was impressed by it, so he wanted us to start using it here within Volvo,” he explained.
“The primary purpose was to a create a single version of the truth for the data we were working from. Previously people were getting data in different ways and from different areas, like Excel sheets, but now we have a de facto standard.”
Since then, though, demand for tools to look into the data and provide insights has risen; now the sales team and the after-sales team, which sells parts and accessories, have asked for their own tools within the platform.
Johnson said this not only helps the sales staff by giving them better data on what is proving popular, but also gives management more insight into business performance too.
“It allows us to pull in information about the parts we’re selling at dealerships and what cars are being serviced so we can see how a business is performing and if it’s meeting its potential,” he said.
This also provides the ability to get faster insights on whether a specific product is selling well in a certain area, Johnson added, so delivery of the part could be increased to try and meet demand.
"We've always done that sort of analysis but now we can do it much more quickly," he added.
Dealerships are also benefiting from the efforts by Volvo UK, with a vehicle-locator tool built on the platform that makes it easier for staff in branches to check stock availability at other dealers, Johnson said.
He added that the next likely push for the tools will be to bring them to the various mobile platforms in use across the business so staff can access the information on the move.
The rising use of business intelligence tools that can help provide insights on data being collected comes at a time of rapid data growth. Big data firm Actian warned that many older software systems may be swamped by the increase in data, especially as the Internet of Things revolution takes off.
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