Posted in:

The benefits of a business intelligence refresh

Struggling with a system that was over 10 years old and no longer able to meet the information demands of its users, Northgate hired IMGROUP to implement a new, modern system to better manage client needs and improve fleet efficiency.

Struggling to cope with demand

According to Northgate, reporting with the old system was becoming increasingly fragmented and significant manual intervention was required to generate reports. These problems were exacerbated when the company moved to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and users questioned the accuracy and speed of the information generated.

‘As a company, we had never embarked upon a Business Intelligence (BI) initiative before, but we realised we needed to in order to satisfy the growing demands from the business,’ commented Justyn Castle, business intelligence manager, Northgate Vehicle Hire.

A team was created to improve reporting across the entire business. A comprehensive market evaluation of available BI solutions was conducted, and the team decided that the IMGROUP Microsoft BI Platform would best meet their requirements.

IMGROUP delivered an initial reporting dashboard consolidating the key information within the various areas of the business to provide a single, holistic view of their data. The internal team, trained by IMGROUP, then developed subsequent reporting in-line with the priorities that the Roadmap defined.

Data that was previously measured weekly is now measured in near real-time, providing an accurate snapshot of the business at any given time.

Once the initial phase had been delivered, and its value clearly demonstrated, the solution was developed to cover other major areas, focusing primarily on commercial sales. According to Northgate, the sales teams were previously struggling to ascertain an accurate status of their customer base, having to spend valuable time trying to manipulate current information.

Using the new system, this information is available instantly, enabling the sales teams to focus on their customer base, improve service levels and increase efficiency.

‘IMGROUP helped us turn our BI vision into a reality. We have transformed our business from having minimal visibility, to an environment where moving forwards we have a clear fast and accurate picture of our strategic KPIs and are empowered to make better decisions based on factual and timely information, ’ commented Jon Garwood, head of business systems, Northgate Vehicle Hire.

Moving forward

Geo-locational mapping techniques are also being piloted, to highlight collections and deliveries of vehicles, in order to identify weaknesses in depot coverage, and optimise depot locations. Clearly identifying hotspots enables the team to make better decisions around whether to open additional depots or relocate existing ones to better service their customers and reduce costs.

Furthermore, the team are planning to develop and implement a new Customer Portal on the cloud. The first version will be a Northgate labelled self-service portal on which their customers can “interrogate” information on the services delivered by Northgate. The customers can then create self-service reports on average spend, monthly activity, geographical information etc.

The next phase of this project will include the provision of a wide range of documents including contracts, incident reports etc. It is expected that this customer portal will significantly improve customer satisfaction and will provide a Unique Selling Point (USP) to Northgate.

Working with IMGROUP

‘We selected IMGROUP as we wanted to partner with an organisation that would work with us to deliver our vision from beginning to end. They were able to advise us on our infrastructure, the solution delivery and provided knowledge sharing for on-going support,’ added Garwood.

‘The documentation we received was very comprehensive and enabled us to minimise the risks of solution delivery. Our Account Manager was very responsive and ensured we always had the right expertise at the right time to ensure a successful delivery.’

IMGROUP provides a range of business and technology consulting services for information management including technical solution delivery, application management, and the implementation of strategic programmes across the enterprise.

For more information, visit

For more of the latest industry news, click here.