AutoX harnesses full power of data with Decision Inc.’s data literacy solution
“We wanted a partner that understood our vision for business intelligence (BI) and had the capabilities to translate it into an actionable plan. The solution delivered by Decision Inc. transformed internal visibility and data understanding and insights.” Glenn Geldenhuis, CEO at AutoX
About the client
AutoX is a leading manufacturer and distributor to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and automotive aftermarket with a diverse range of automotive batteries for passenger vehicles, light and heavy commercial vehicles, as well as motorcycle and leisure. AutoX also offers a battery range to cover deep cycle and leisure applications, gel batteries as well as specialised system applications such as lithium and carbon batteries and related products for the solar and renewable energy market. AutoX proudly manufactures the well-recognised Willard and Sabat battery brands and is the official distributor of VARTA and Optima Batteries in South Africa and selected African countries.
Currently, AutoX supplies more than 3 000 automotive replacement retail outlets in South Africa and Africa and exports automotive and leisure batteries to selected sub-Saharan African countries, as well as to the United Kingdom, with Trinitas, an independent South African equity firm, as its shareholder.
As a market leader providing batteries across thousands of outlets and countries, AutoX required deeper visibility into its systems to improve efficiencies and translate insights into growth. The company works with significant quantities of data across multiple locations and wanted a solution that would allow for it to fully realise the potential of this data. Leadership had recognised that the data the company owned could support them in making long-term and resilient changes to the business and wanted to focus on a solution that would allow them to measure, manage and utilise the data more effectively.
The company works in a challenging and competitive market and the executive team wanted insights that would give them visibility into which markets required more focus, where they could optimise, and where they could improve quality.
They realised they needed to implement more than just a robust data platform, they needed to transform their user’s capabilities and experience of data in order to maximise not only the data opportunity, but the potential and capability of their people.
“More time was spent on extracting and manipulating the data than actually analysing or debating it.” Dulani du Pisanie, CFO at AutoX
Having already completed a data modernisation programme for AutoX, where Decision Inc. developed a new and scalable analytics platform in Azure leveraging Power BI, the team moved on to the delivery of the AutoX Data Literacy Programme.
The transformation programme ran over a period of seven months and focused on building capability, transforming the learning journey and empowering their users to truly leverage the power of this new capability.
The decision to combine both the data intelligence and data literacy parts of the project started early on in the process so as to ensure:
- Data literacy training
The AutoX sales teams and management were all provided with training that allowed them to unpack and understand the value of their data. Members of the Exco team also went through the training, to ensure that ensure that all layers of management were as equipped as the operators to leverage data.
The sales teams were given customised support to help them improve their insights into customer service, returns, and demand. This helped them to identify new opportunities through data.
- Improved visibility and understanding of data
The data literacy programme was designed to help the company overcome its frustrations with limited data visibility and to ensure it could use it more intelligently. It was a blend of technology and data literacy training designed to provide the client with exactly what it needed.
The data and analytics platform was built leveraging the Microsoft Azure and Data Factory Ecosystem, with users leveraging Microsoft Power BI as the visualisation and intelligence platform.
“At the time of going to market, we had very specific requirements and needed a partner that could implement the right solution as requested, and Decision Inc. was the perfect choice because they had the skills we needed.” Dulani du Pisanie, CFO at AutoX
“The AutoX teams are more aware of the data and how to work with it. They’re working with it smarter and have a willingness to question the data being presented. In the past people just accepted the numbers because they came from a spreadsheet; now they’re asking the right questions.” Adriaan Hubinger at Decision Inc.
The Decision Inc. Data Culture and Literacy Learning Programme enabled:
- Faster reporting and better insights
Data analysis and management is no longer as time-consuming as the teams don’t have to prepare reports and do number crunching. The system is designed to give the business more intelligence and start the right conversations.
- Improved focus and productivity
Improved focus on the business aspects of the organisation without having to be concerned about the data and access to information. This has led to improved productivity in work and outcomes.
- Competitive edge
A modern approach to business that puts the organisation firmly on track with the advancements of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and ensures relevance in a competitive industry.
- Data literate company
AutoX has become a data literate company that isn’t bound by one product or picture, but instead gains immense value, visibility and intelligence from its data.
- More awareness of the data
Those who underwent the data literacy training now question the data and value the visibility that this modern BI platform provides.
- Employee awareness of their data persona
Many data concepts now make more sense to the attendees of the programme, and they feel more comfortable reviewing dashboards and charts that previously were perceived as too complex.
“The skills that have been learned by the team at AutoX will benefit individuals in their personal capacity, and the company as a whole. Data literacy has substantial enterprise value and I firmly believe that organisations that do not embrace this data and analytics upheaval will not survive.” Adriaan Hubinger at Decision Inc.
AutoX took a long-term approach to analytics, and its focus not only on technology enablement but on driving a human-centred approach to data transformation is what sets the company apart from its competitors.
This investment has enabled them to accelerate introducing data science into the business and continuously pushing the bounds of their capability, confident in the knowledge that their people are part of the journey to being a digital business.
To find out more about our data literacy offering, click here.