DHL Global Yield Management System (GYMS 2.0)

Challenge
The existing Business Intelligence system GYMS 1.0, which DHL used to optimize pricing and analyze sales, had a number of deficiencies that needed to be addressed as soon as possible. Teradata, DHL IT solutions provider, faced with the challenge to increase the quality and consistency of loaded data, eliminate reference gaps, and to make the web-based user interface more user-friendly and comprehensible. GYMS uses three data warehouses of 10TB updated in real-time from 6,500+ DHL offices in 220+ countries and territories, each having local, business and legal peculiarities regarding the processing of 1.5+ billion shipments per year. Making any improvements or changes in such a system required a rare combination of technical expertise, superior attention to detail, and tight cooperation with globally distributed business analysts at various responsibility levels. To meet DHL request under the tight budget and short time constraints, Teradata enrolled the services of ESI teams under "Reselling under the Client's Brand" agreement.

Result
With the help of ESI experts, Teradata successfully fulfilled its contractual obligations to DHL and delivered a sophisticated distributed business analysis system within a highly competitive budget and timeframe. GYMS 2.0 immediately received great reviews and accolades from DHL lead analysts and executives. Compared to its predecessor GYMS 1.0, which was created mainly as the base for data storage, GYMS 2.0 added new possibilities for analyzing the data from different business angles, brought clarity and insight through a range of easy-to-use, rich and flexible reports, improved the quality of the loaded data, eliminated confusion and inconsistencies, and enabled DHL managers to improve yield, boost performance, ensure compliance, grow revenue, and increase profitability. Teradata contracted ESI for the development and extension of a number of subsequent DHL projects on a dedicated basis and has been continuously increasing the involvement of ESI professionals since then.

DHL Global Yield Management System (GYMS) is a crown jewel among a series of similar DHL Business Intelligence projects in ESI portfolio. Developed under the brand of Teradata company in scope of its multifaceted collaboration with the world's largest international express mail provider, GYMS represents an exemplary fuse of quality, professionalism, and teamwork between Teradata, DHL and ESI professionals. Teradata, the world's most well-known data warehousing and analytical solutions provider, has been partnering with ESI for several years for the development of highly sophisticated Business Analysis systems and reports for their DHL client.

Action
Working on this project required not only an immense breadth and depth of technical expertise but also superior teamwork and cross-cultural collaboration skills. ESI specialists were supposed to work as an integral part of Teradata in-house team of business professionals, and together with them extensively communicate with DHL business analysts and managers located in different business units all over the world. To succeed in this project, ESI

  • Engaged its best Business Analysts with multi-disciplinary skills in enterprise data warehouse management, database design, data consistency analysis, query performance optimization, analytical processing, statistics, and business modeling with 8-15 years of relevant work experience in their areas of expertise.
  • Sent ESI technical directors on-site to Teradata office in Prague, Czech Republic in order for them to become familiar with the system's technical architecture, get acquainted with the key people involved in the project, and learn Teradata internal company processes.
  • Fully adopted Teradata project management and business procedures with a number of ESI-proposed enhancements originating from its prior experience with establishing effective business communication, as well as centralized bug tracking and change request management.
  • Tightly cooperated with Teradata business and technology professionals at all stages.
  • On behalf of Teradata, regularly interacted with globally-distributed DHL business analysts to actively elicit important information and feedback regarding the current and the required functionality, DHL business processes, as well as their immediate and future Business Intelligence needs.
  • Kept the appropriate stakeholders informed about the data inconsistencies, tracked the details, and asked timely questions to ensure accuracy, precision and clarity of the generated reports. Tracked and effectively prioritized functionality extension requests and QA issues.
  • Actively sought feedback from cross-functional Teradata and DHL professionals regarding the delivered functionality, the relevancy, accuracy and clarify of the generated reports, as well as the reliability and quality of the new system.

Product Highlights
As a result of the combined effort of Teradata and ESI professionals, the existing Global Yield Management System (GYMS 1.0) used by DHL was replaced with a substantially superior GYMS 2.0 in an extremely tight schedule with minimum to none integration & deployment issues. The distinguishing features of the new system are:

  • Data Approval and Load Monitoring Tool for the consistent management and monitoring of the data load process by the responsible personnel. The tool allows for timely error detection and correction, eliminating this way the cross-divisional data consistency gaps and raising the quality of business reports.
  • Redesigned Full Tariff Revenue and Effective Discounts module allowing for sophisticated groupings and calculations based on historical changes in zoning and rates data.
  • Upgraded Volumetric Weight Compliance module for detecting the potential revenue loss from the incorrectly billed weight and generating many important accounting, business, and sales reports.
  • Ideal Contract Tariff Revenue module allowing DHL Pricing and Yield team to assess the difference between the actual and ideal price according to the approved discount policy.
  • Contract Management Reports for the assessment of customer compliance with DHL contract terms and conditions.
  • Extra Charge Mapping Reports to add transparency into how the various extra charges are billed and to ensure they are mapped correctly.
  • Clean Up Reports providing a high-level view to General Managers less familiar with the technical structure of the system.
  • Preview Reports giving the brief description, general outline and layout of each report so that users could quickly evaluate how relevant a given report is for their immediate business needs.
  • Remote Area Service Performance Reports to enhance visibility, measure the performance, assess variances and compliance of Remote Area Service with regional and global policies.
  • Management Reports bringing easy-to-use standardized profitability analysis to high-level executives.
  • Line Haul Simulation of transport systems allowing for the evaluation of the impact of various process changes with high aggregation level.
Technologies and Tools Used
- Java (server side); JavaScript, D(X)HTML, CSS (client side); Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5, C#
- SQL (DB part); COGNOS (COGNOS Windows Server, Cognos BI Server v8.x, Cognos Modeling v8.x, Cognos Studio v8.x); TERADATA (TERADATA Server, TERADATA v6 tools,
  TERADATA v12 tools); Oracle 9.x; Microsoft SQL Server; PostgreSQL; MySQL; Microsoft Access / VBA
- Windows 2003 Server (development environment); HP-UX (production environment); Red Hat Enterprise Linux; VMWare on HP-UX
- Borland StarTeam 2008; Microsoft Project 2007
"Over the years we worked with ESI we have been pleasantly surprised by their level of professionalism, attention to detail, and responsibility. They are among the best outsourcers we worked with. ESI developed very complex analytical projects for our client and they demonstrated the highest level of professionalism and technical expertise. What I liked most, is their culture of taking the responsibility for the outcome. They persist asking important questions when the requirements are incomplete, they are extremely proactive to notify us of any impediments, and they are absolutely dedicated to meeting the agreed upon schedule. I would have no doubt recommending ESI for anyone looking for enterprise level professionals with deep understanding of business analytics."
Teradata