Customer Story

Trucking Company SEFL Moves to Data Warehouse on the Cloud to Get Things Moving on the Ground

Company Overview

Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL) is a privately-owned American LTL trucking company. For more than 70 years SEFL has aimed to meet or exceed the needs of its customers, every time. This has been made possible through a Quality Improvement Process where its more than 8,000 employees are taught the value of a continuous measurable improvement.

Problem: One Step Too Many to Get Things Moving

SEFL was using antiquated systems and applications for its data and analytics needs and was looking to modernize its entire approach to BI. The trucking company wanted to improve its data-driven decision-making abilities throughout the business to improve how it reported on and analyzed everything from claims to sales to pricing. The goal was to automate manual reporting efforts, scale access to data and analytics across the company, and get better insights into critical business areas including customer service, sales pricing, claims, and more.

SEFL was spending too much time and money manually integrating data from its many source systems and then analyzing it. Some of the key challenges the company faced, included:

  • Data needed for reporting resided in disparate source systems and narrow-purpose reporting applications rather than in a centrally accessible repository, requiring continuous maintenance and updates.
  • Combining sources for reporting required significant manual work and substantial time investment.
  • Limited transparency of data location and availability.
  • Large gaps in available historical data, as well as manual and siloed historical data collection process.
  • Reactive rather than proactive utilization of data and analytics.
  • Data quality concerns.
  • Unclear data governance policies, including those that deal with data retention, master data management, business logic, and change management.
  • Heavy reliance on building reports from other reports and/or delay in waiting for interdepartmental assistance in generating data.

The trucking company needed a faster, automated way to integrate all its data, analyze it, and get it into the hands of its business users.

Solution: A Single Source of Truth Provides a Means of Access

The Data and Analytics Assessment

After completing a data and analytics assessment, Analytics8 created a data strategy and roadmap that detailed how to integrate data from SEFL’s multiple data sources into a cloud-based data warehouse to allow for better analytics.

The Data Warehouse and Analytics Implementation

Following the roadmap created during the assessment, Analytics8 built a cloud-based data warehouse using Snowflake that consolidated multiple data sources into a single source of truth. We migrated all tables that existed in the antiquated on-prem database into a three-tier data architecture. Processing was moved to the cloud data warehouse, reducing cost and overhead, and providing faster access to more data than previously possible.

We then created a modern analytics solution using Tableau that allowed SEFL to perform analysis and get immediate insights into sales performance, pricing, and claims reports. This information and infrastructure provide the framework for SEFL to make better decisions to boost sales performance and uncover issues that lead to poor customer service. We also identified several use cases for advanced analytics including predicting employee turnover and predicting safety and maintenance issues.

Results: Faster Time to Value

The new data warehouse and analytics solution provides SEFL faster, better access to its data and democratized analytics throughout the company. Using its new solution SEFL can now:

  • Spend time analyzing its data instead of manually integrating and consolidating it, a process that would take the pricing team weeks and sometimes months to complete before. The team can now blend data with other sources and track history, while maintaining the same level of confidence in the quality of their data. This allows for better overall reporting and comparison over time periods.
  • Provide executives with up-to-date, actionable sales data for each region and account. This allows them to take action to improve sales performance with drill-down capabilities to identify new business.
  • Track and analyze claims calls—how often specific customers call, for what reasons they call, and how much time the company spends assisting them. SEFL can also track claims by a particular freight handler or driver, as well as tie claims data to sales data. Knowing this information, SEFL can identify trends in call length for specific engagements and take action to improve productivity, which leads to increasing customer satisfaction.

Armed with its new data warehouse and analytics solution, SEFL has quick and easy access to its data, which will enable its business users to focus on serving customers’ needs and meeting business objectives.