Experience and good judgment are indispensable for success of businesses. Organisations today have also started supplementing it with analytical inputs to make better operational decisions. I have recently been involved in helping such an organisation. Our client in the transport industry wanted to build a real-time decision support system for enhancing operations efficiency.
Overload of information left insufficient time to analyse and decide
Real time decisions in transportation require accuracy and speed. Most transport systems are complex and there are ever changing operational dynamics. Modern communication technology allows us to collect relevant information efficiently. Additional analysis consistent with business reality is required to turn it into a decision. In the absence of decision support, the deluge of information begins to overwhelm the decision maker.
Our client in the transport industry relied on operators to take the decisions. Due to shortage of time and too much information they would often follow a conservative but inefficient strategy. Though the transporters were aware of the gap, in the absence of a solution, the value loss was justified as unavoidable operational cost.
Efficient decision making was simplified
The business needed more operationally efficient decisions. All the information was available but it had been impossible to analyse it in limited time available. The ideal solution would use this information and take the complexity out of the decision process.
Valcon worked with the client to develop an analytical tool using an iterative development process. While we brought in the technical capability and operations thinking, the client brought in business understanding which was embedded in the analytical solution. Operational efficiency was thus a built in consideration, while the simplified decision process made the operators’ jobs simpler.
Effectiveness was a result of successful implementation
Benefit from this business activity would have not been possible without a consistent implementation program. Strong management commitment drove technological transformation in the organisation. Deep involvement of operators in the creation of the system ensured that they owned it and took responsibility of making it a success. The result of the implementation was a significant improvement in timeliness, energy costs and resource usage.
Visionary CIOs can start tapping information systems for greater impact
The traditional role of information systems in businesses is transactional. While, this serves a utilitarian purpose, CIOs need to be aware of much greater role they can play. Being acutely aware of business changes, providing data driven insights to peers and aiding evidence based decision making are three steps to a higher organisational impact and overall success of their organisation.