NEW YORK, NY, Nov 20, 2008 -- Today, every organization is looking for ways to run their businesses more effectively to weather the economic downturn. Business intelligence (BI) is a versatile, strategic tool that can be applied to many aspects of business operations to drive performance, efficiency, and revenue. Using WebFOCUS, BI technology from Information Builders, the independent leader in operational BI systems, companies across the public sector, transportation, manufacturing and other industries, have put business intelligence at the center of their strategy for continued growth despite the challenging economic climate. Air Canada, Hillman Group, California Departments of Public Health and Health Care Services and others have saved time, reduced costs, and increased productivity and profitability through BI reporting and analysis.
Air Canada Maximizing Revenue with BI
Air Canada's commercial branch analyzes how revenue is generated at Canada's largest commercial airline. Its Advanced Bookings Report (ABR) was useful to people familiar with the information, but made it difficult for revenue management and sales personnel to spot problems, drill-down into the data, and take decisive action in time to improve bookings for the months ahead. In the already strapped airline industry and tightening economic climate, it became imperative that Air Canada find a way to maximize the profitability of its commercial routes.
Using data visualization technology with geographic displays from Information Builders, the group revamped reports that calculated revenue and yield for the airline's major markets and was better able to identify trends, such as excess capacity or overbooking, and track performance against competitors. Linking interactive graphs made it easier to detect correlations in the data. As a result, users can identify a time period, then display a scatter plot of routes clustered according to profitability, and conduct more effective analysis on the fly. For example, if Air Canada detects a downward trend in revenue from the French market, the branch can alert the sales staff to investigate. They might decide to offer an incentive, or contact the major travel agencies to propose a new offer.
Hillman Group Blends BI and GIS to Reduce Freight Costs
The Hillman Group in Cincinnati, which distributes hardware, signs, keys, and other products, has successfully leveraged BI to get information to business users to make better, more timely decisions. The company has also added geographic information systems to its WebFOCUS BI reports. By integrating geographic information with business data, Hillman managers determine the most efficient shipping routes to reduce freight costs. With 10 distribution centers in the United States, Hillman ships products to retailers like Lowe's and Home Depot. Using BI and GIS to optimize shipments, the company has reduced shipping expenses by 25 percent.
"Transportation costs had been skyrocketing due to the escalating gas prices and with a vast fleet of trucks, we knew we had to find a way to improve our efficiency," said Jim Honerkamp, CIO Hillman Group. "By combining the business data we have through WebFOCUS with mapping information, we were able to quickly reorder routes to reduce mileage. That is significant for us in this economic climate."
California DPH and DHCS Improve Budget Management
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), with more than 6,000 employees combined, are among the largest departments in the state's government and are responsible for administering the $34 billion Medi-Cal program, the Healthy Families program and other services for issues such as AIDS support, drinking water quality, food and drug inspections, and others to keep residents safe and healthy. California's ongoing budget crisis was a wake-up call to government officials across the U.S., and prompted a thorough review of fiscal procedures at the state and local levels. As financial planners grappled with the most effective use of their legislated appropriations, California's DPH and DHCS turned to Information Builders' web-based reporting system to accelerate access to critical financial data and make it easier for program managers to stay on budget and fulfill their missions.
"We're always trying to get the most that we can for the taxpayers' money," says Michael Wilken, accounting administrator for DHCS. "Before WebFOCUS came along, we were relying entirely on a paper-based reporting system. Today, everyone in the California DHCS who has any financial responsibility uses WebFOCUS to monitor appropriations, expenditures, contract payments, travel claims, salaries, and virtually every facet of the department's fiscal data."
As a result, users in both departments can instantly access financial data needed to accomplish directives, managers can forecast results of monthly expenditures to get an accurate prediction of year-end balances and accounting professionals can obtain month-end reports one week sooner than before. Information is more instantaneous than ever before and helps the agency make better budget decisions.
About Information Builders
As a leading independent business intelligence (BI) company for the past 30 years, Information Builders has provided innovative solutions to more than 12,000 customers, including most of the Fortune 100 and numerous U.S. federal government agencies. The company's flagship WebFOCUS product is the world's most widely used BI platform. Superior architecture and intuitive nature enables WebFOCUS to address the needs of everyone in the extended global enterprise -- executive, analytical, operational, and beyond. It provides the agility to adapt to changing business conditions with the security, scalability, and flexibility to support dozens to millions of users.
Unique to the company is the integration expertise it brings to the BI market. Information Builders iWay Software suite solves complex integration problems with pre-built components that require minimal custom programming. The award-winning combination of WebFOCUS and iWay gives Information Builders customers the ability to embrace the company motto: "Everyone Makes Decisions."
Information Builders is committed to customer service excellence with a Professional Services division that specializes in building custom applications using WebFOCUS and iWay Software. Headquartered in New York City with 90 offices worldwide, the company employs 1,450 people and has more than 350 business partners. Visit http://www.informationbuilders.com