Customer Spotlight: The Bright Future of Organizational Intelligence
It has been exciting to see such a positive response to the new book by Gerry Cohen and Rado Kotorov, Organizational Intelligence: How Smart Companies Use Information to Become More Competitive and Profitable. One of the central themes of the book involves capitalizing on your data assets. As Gerry and Rado plainly state, organizations should deliver analytic capabilities to everybody who makes operational decisions.
I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to extend analytics to everyone, and nVision Global is one of the success stories. In a relatively short period of time, nVision has evolved from a regional North American freight payment company to one of the world’s fastest-growing providers of global freight audit, payment, and logistics services – partly as a result of analytics. Today 168 companies trust nVision to audit, process, and pay their freight invoices for all modes of transportation. nVision processes 100 million invoices and manages $5.2 billion in freight liability each year.
Invoice processing is a valuable service, but what’s even more valuable is the data we extract and make available to our customers, so they can do their own analyses. Hundreds of companies use our nVision Supply Chain Suite to streamline domestic and international shipping transactions, saving money on nearly every bill they audit. An important part of this suite is an InfoApp™ called iFocus Supply Chain Analytics that enables customers to optimize their supply chains and minimize transportation costs by analyzing invoice data.
In a case study in chapter 10 of Gerry and Rado’s new book, the authors explain how nVision customers use data visualization technology and location analytics to scrutinize their shipping, payment, and logistics operations. Location analytics let them track shipments across all domestic and international locations, then display the data through interactive graphs, gauges, and maps. Users can slice and dice the information in a variety of ways, and drill down to problem areas to instantly see which shipping lanes need attention.
How did we get our customer community on board? Like many logistics service providers, we were already giving customers metrics and report cards to monitor their shipping activity. But we knew they were hungry for more visibility into their data. So we identified dozens of key performance indicators (KPIs) in conjunction with data visualization capabilities and digital mapping functionality. We started with 17 KPIs and today there are more than 100 within this InfoApp™.
Being able to show transportation providers their precise activity in various lanes and regions gives them better buying power to negotiate better rates. They can see the top-performing lanes as well as those that need attention, and then make adjustments to reduce costs and boost efficiency.
That’s the short version of the story, and I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book to learn more – about nVision and many other successful organizations. Our InfoApp™ has taken off in a big way for one simple reason: it pays. In an industry where volume drives pricing, having accurate information about shipping activity helps our customers present better proposals, tenders, and RFQs. Better information also leads to better evaluations, which ultimately gets them better contracts, which has a positive impact on the bottom line.
Early in the book, Gerry and Rado throw down the gauntlet by challenging organizations to spread analytics functionality to every operational decision-maker in the enterprise. They cite industry research that lays out the sobering statistics: while BI and analytics represent one of the most vibrant sectors of the software industry, to date BI implementations have only reached about 22 percent of the potential users in most organizations.
Well, if nVision's experience is any indication, InfoApps™ might be the key to closing that gap and bringing more users on board. I’m happy to report that 95 percent of nVision’s new customers use our advanced analytic capabilities. Check out the book to learn how your organization can make similar for gains. It’s a great read that will leave you feeling very optimistic about the potential of organizational intelligence.