Pinpointing ways to save

In November 2005, PHH Arval released its PHH InterActive Dashboard, giving customers three years of key performance indicators and expenses, including billing, inventory, fuel purchases, vehicle orders and used-vehicle sales.

With the dashboard, customers of the fleet management company can monitor fuel usage and costs and run what-if scenarios looking at the price of fuel. Using that data, they can identify at a high level where there are opportunities to save money. Next, they drill down into the specific data on different types of vehicles and, in the end, purchase more fuel-efficient ones.

"Our software not only helps drive that decision," says CIO Tim Talbot, "but it will [also] help substantiate the cost savings they achieve as a result and pictorially display it on a graph."

The dashboard was built using Hyperion Solutions's Hyperion Performance Suite 8.3 and is embedded in a Web application written in ColdFusion. The data is drawn from an existing Sybase data warehouse.

"We had to rethink our data structures, as our data warehouse maintains large amounts of detailed data but little summary data," says Talbot. "The structures also needed to allow the application to quickly access and display the information as per the drop-down selected by the user."

The dashboard drastically cuts the time required for generating monthly reports, says Talbot. "When a client sends you an e-mail telling you that a new application you've just launched has saved them two to three days per month of number-crunching -- that's pretty cool," he says.

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