DHL OneView

Challenge
As DHL has been adopting an increasing variety of sophisticated visibility and planning methodologies, gleaning a complete picture from disparate data sources became an extremely difficult and confusing task, often performed manually by individuals with varying knowledge of the system. Teradata, DHL IT solutions provider, was contracted to develop a new reporting tool called OneView that would give a holistic view of revenue and operations and provide a comprehensive web interface to manage client accounts. The tool would use a cross functional data mart and produce detailed reports for DHL business analysts and senior management. DHL has three data warehouses of 10TB cross-referenced with numerous satellite databases updated from 6,500+ offices in 220+ countries and territories, each having local, business and legal peculiarities regarding the processing of 1.5+ billion shipments per year. Dealing with such a mix of business entities and legacy products 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 BI product within a highly competitive budget and timeframe. OneView replaced a number of inconsistent and disparate tools used by globally-distributed DHL teams across the world. Not only did it bring clarity and comprehensiveness through a range of complete and easy-to-understand reports, but it also allowed DHL employees to manage customer accounts more effectively, easily track a variety of custom fields pertaining to every client and shipment, aggregate and analyze the information about the delivery processes around the world, and instantly identify the hidden possibilities for operational improvement and profitability increase. The system immediately received great reviews and high accolades from DHL business analysts and senior executives. 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 OneView 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, OneView 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 from 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.
  • Split the development to four major parts, set the testing environment, and prepared specially designed local data marts filled with the extracts of the relevant data for the development and testing of each part.
  • 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 reports, as well as the reliability and quality of the new product.

Product Highlights
In tight cooperation with Teradata teams, ESI delivered a sophisticated analytical tool that combines data from a variety of disparate globally-distributed data sources into a single data mart fully compliant with all existing DHL business rules. The tool offers a multitude of analytical reports that follow consistent business logic across all business units, allow Business Analysts and General Managers to form a comprehensive view of DHL customers and operations, and enable them to instantaneously identify the possibilities for improvement. For example, it became possible to perform a root cause analysis of late shipments and to take proactive actions to eliminate the situations that may cause late deliveries in the future. The distinguishing features of the new system are:

  • Centralized Account Management allowing for the addition, removal, mapping, maintenance, and search of existing customer accounts using fuzzy logic algorithms.
  • Consistent search and data upload procedures with the correct customer, shipment, regional, and group codes.
  • Possibility for ad-hoc extracts for advanced users.
  • Profitability margin reporting and analysis following consistent business rules across all products, business unites and regions.
  • Multiple-reference tracking of customer-defined shipment fields.
  • Data State Reports for identifying missing data.
  • Accounts State Information Reports for tracking changes made to the accounts mapping.
  • Ad Hoc Extractions State Reports for monitoring queued Ad Hoc requests.
  • Regular monthly extraction, data monitoring and quality control tools.
  • Secure access via LDAP connection using DHL credentials.
Technologies and Tools Used
- Java (server side); JSP 2.0, Java Servlets v2.4; 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; JDBC/ODBC
- 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