Executive Summary

In the shipping industry, profit margins are slim, generally running between 5-10%. To help improve these margins, Profit Tool’s software analyzes the data in the complete trucking life cycle and pinpoints areas where the revenue cycle can be optimized. To increase revenues, improve customer satisfaction and expand market share, Profit Tools was looking to develop a new profitability module and hired Shane Hedlund to lead the project. Using Sisense, Shane was able to increase revenues for clients through actions like route optimization and carrier management. With a new product to sell to customers and internal deployment of Sisense that led to an 80% increase in profitability for their Fuel Department, the return on investment was remarkable.

The Opportunity: Helping Clients Drive Improved Profitability

Before using Profit Tools, most of their customers could not tell whether a specific route was profitable or not. Calculating cost attribution is multifaceted and complex. Most companies could tell you how much money they bring in and how much they spend, but have little visibility beyond that. Customers had been telling company President, Brian Widell, that they needed robust analytics for the Profit Tools software suite to help them find every method to improve profits in the highly price competitive world of shipping, and they needed it now. This is where Shane came in.

While he has a technical background, it isn’t in software development, but he knows how to identify a problem and get a requirements definition put together. He found that there was a wealth of data being stored, but the standard reports didn’t give the flexibility for each customer to be able to dynamically dig into their data. Shane investigated development of internal tools, but found that they would be tied to how the system currently existed and not necessarily how it might evolve in the future.

The Challenge: Mashing up Different Data Sources

Profit Tools already had a powerful platform that connected to over 10 data sources, but had no way to extract insights from the data it was collecting and presenting to its customers. Each department had a different view of what was happening with the business, and it didn’t always match. Although the data is well organized, the challenge lied in mashing up that data and filtering it in order to extract a complete, 360° view of the entire business.

The Search is on

Shane started his search by testing most of the products listed on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. Most companies fell by the wayside pretty quickly for a variety of reasons such as ease of use and cost, to name but two. Sisense became one of only two finalists. The no cost proof of concept offered by Sisense, quickly proved its speed, flexibility, and ability to effortlessly mash up data from different sources was a perfect fit for Profit Tools’ needs.

From Visibility to Profitability

Using Sisense, Shane was able to put together his first proof of concept dashboard in a single day. Within a matter of weeks, Profit Tools was able to roll out a new, branded product that enables customers to tie data from Profit Tools with their own custom data, to get true business-wide visibility to profitability.

“We’ve been able to build a single version of the truth with Sisense, for us and our customers.”

Setting Apart From the Competition by Using Sisense

Profit Tools provides a standard set of dashboards as well as creating custom ones on request. When a customer opens up the analytics module they see key KPIs and analytics that they have never been able to gain access to before, in seconds. This has become a major differentiator for Profit Tools.

Shane said, “I recently visited a customer who was testing the new analytics module. I built a dashboard in front of the customer that analyzed the best and worst performing drivers. The customer stopped me mid-dashboard to tell me that the single report I had just created would replace a report that took him 10 hours a week to create. No other company in our industry gives their customers this visibility or the ability to drill down to the item level like Sisense does.”

“More departments would come to me wanting to use Sisense to solve their own data problems. The biggest success was in the fuel department. Within just a few months, they saw an 90% increase in profitability.”

Hero Moment

Given the visibility and power Sisense has delivered to Profit Tools’ customers, Shane deployed Sisense as their internal analytics platform, too. As each department began to use it, excitement spread through the company about the new capabilities

Now the entire company is running on Sisense without exception, including revenue and expenses, budgets per department, customer attrition and growth rates. Just the time saved and increased revenue from the Fuel Department implementation has made the Sisense investment a win, and the revenue they make from selling the new analytics module to their customers is only increasing the ROI.

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