Big Data solutions for everyday problems - Clipper Logistics

Whether you are a small organisation or a multinational, giving your clients the information they need and want is vital. Centralising and structuring your data to allow business critical information to be accessed and displayed in a coherent fashion is critical.

The Challenge

Clipper is one of the UK’s leading logistics providers with an unrivalled reputation for always getting the job done, no matter how challenging or complex.  It has the responsibility of "ensuring they deliver on clients promises to their customers.”

Clipper needed to be able to report on a monthly basis on its performance against agreed deliverables for each of the contracts that it operates.  The reports needed to show a wide range of data including throughput and staffing levels required to fulfill each contract’s obligations.

The data required to produce such reports was distributed across disparate systems in the Clipper IT infrastructure, each performing a specific role.  Our task was to centralise the data to allow for meaningful accurate reporting to the end client.

Our Approach:

We held a set of workshops with the necessary Clipper staff to establish exactly what was required in the reports and we evaluated the available datasets from the existing systems to identify what specific information was required for presentation and how this data needed to be transformed and aggregated.

From this understanding we proposed a flexible and extendable reporting framework based on Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) that would deliver current reporting requirements, with the capacity to be extended for future client report formats.

The Outcome

The nucleus of a Central Data Warehouse was created using Microsoft SQL Server, providing the ability to standardise the data from the disparate systems and hold it all in one place easing the creation of the necessary reports in a timely fashion.

Clipper now has a centralised data repository which allows for the automated creation of a wide range of reports providing full transparency to its clients.

The reports sit on Clipper’s servers and are delivered through a SharePoint 2013 intranet where they can be viewed by authorised Clipper staff before being submitted to the clients.

This solution has helped Clipper to fulfil its requirements regarding an important element of its contracts as well as providing historical data for analysis, therefore supporting accurate pricing for new business opportunities and helping operational staff to better plan for future demand.

About Clipper

Founded by Steve Parkin in 1992, Clipper is amongst the leading providers of value-added logistics solutions and e-fulfilment to the retail sector in the United Kingdom, with an expanding business in Germany and employs over 3,500 people.  The Group provides consultancy-led services within the online fashion and non-food sectors to its blue chip client base including ASOS, The John Lewis Partnership, Asda, SuperGroup, Morrisons, New Look and Tesco.

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