FORD 4.22.04 layout


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FORD 4.22.04 layout

  1. 1. Customer Ford Motor Company Information Builders is one of the largest independent software companies in the world. We work with over 11,000 customers to ensure their success by putting Profile interactive and actionable information in the hands of everyone in the extended enterprise: employees, partners, suppliers, and customers. Snapshot Thanks to the team headed by Jim Lollar, Ford’s Warranty Systems Design Manager, Organization: more than 5,000 Ford dealers can quickly identify and resolve warranty repairs and Ford Motor Company, manufacturer of the best-selling car and the best- claims problems. selling truck in the world. The Challenge Help over 48,000 employees WebFOCUS Draws the Picture at more than 5,000 dealers, warranty specialists, and warranty for Ford’s Warranty Business consultants quickly identify and resolve problems with warranty repair and claim trends. “Legacy” is a word with a mixed reputation in the information The Strategy Move from print to Web reports by technology industry. To Year 2000 experts, it conjures up lines of converting a mainframe-based code to be scanned and remediated. To Jim Lollar, North American tabular report written in COBOL and Warranty Systems Design Manager for Ford Motor Company, it other critical mainframe-based means, among other things, the 126 Report, which has landed on the reports to Web-based reports. desks of Ford dealerships for the last two decades. It’s a neat, The Results tabular summary of each dealership’s warranty record. Cut more than $25 million a year in costs as a by-product of fast Because a Ford dealer in rural Minnesota and one in urban Miami and accurate delivery of information; will sell a different mix of vehicles and experience different types of enabled dealers to instantly identify warranty anomalies and isolate warranty claims, the 126 Report doesn’t simply compare warranty problems; leveraged 80 percent expenses. Instead, the report tells a dealership how its warranty- of existing code for a quick claiming practices compare to those of other Ford dealers in the implementation of the new system. same region, and identifies worrisome trends. Information Builders Solution
  2. 2. The 126 Report is a form of “statistical process they can spot trends more easily, not all control,” says Lollar. It uses the standard dealers have the time or resources to do that. deviation, a way of determining what the Lollar’s crew just made tracking warranty “normal” range of deviation from the average trends a whole lot easier, thanks to an is, to measure the relative performance innovative update of the 126 Report. of dealers. “We needed something that The new version isn’t on one sheet of paper. Ford has defined six statistical standards to could talk to disparate data It’s on the Web. It isn’t rows and rows of tables determine how well a dealer is doing. If a sources…. This really puts in plain text. It’s graphs and charts, big, dealer’s standard deviation exceeds one or us on the cutting edge.” colorful and usable: Click on a graph and you more of those standards, the dealer will “set a can drill down into the data, moving from the condition” and is suggested for entry into average cost of repairs or the number of Ford’s Warranty Counseling Process. For repairs per thousand vehicles, to charts and example: If a dealer is more than three data showing repairs by components, such as standard deviations from average – and 99.7 engines, transmissions, suspensions, or percent of dealers will fall within three electronic systems. standard deviations – a warning condition is set, and shown in the report. Most important, the big picture is clear immediately. If a dealership’s warranty record Since most of the alarms are triggered by is out of line, or even starting to creep out of problems in only a couple of areas of a line, one or more elements of the graph will dealer’s warranty work, fixing a few show up as yellow or red, indicating that the outstanding processes will usually bring a dealer’s warranty record has exceeded dealer’s warranty record back to normal, Lollar acceptable standards. says. If a dealership reads the 126 Report carefully, it can, for example, find out if cars Building on a Legacy are coming back because repairs weren’t done The tool that made this possible is Information right the first time. Maybe, given a high Builders’ WebFOCUS, software with unique incidence of ignition repairs, the shop needs capabilities to deliver what Ford needed. more training on ignition systems. WebFOCUS turbocharged the 126 Report, and yet kept the best parts of Ford’s information Making Information Accessible technology legacy intact. The trouble, says Lollar, is that not everyone reads the printed, tabular report carefully. For example, Ford’s dealer warranty Most dealers have other important business information comprises more than 80 million to worry about, such as selling cars. detailed records, spread across Oracle and Teradata (from NCR) databases stored “A dealer who loses focus on warranty on mainframes. expense control may look at the warranty trend report only when he gets in trouble,” Lollar says sympathetically. “All dealers know how it should run but it’s hard to keep your eyes on all the balls.” Though Ford recommends that dealers graph the data so
  3. 3. Customer Profile Ford Motor Company In addition, the diagnostic reports and claims The Unique Powers of WebFOCUS “It’s been quite successful. lists that supported the analysis were built Lollar considers WebFOCUS the only product We can literally draw a with sophisticated code that Ford was that the team could find that met Ford’s needs picture for people, and they reluctant to pull apart and rebuild. for Web-based warranty trend analysis. can explore the picture to get the information “There are about 139 modules in there, and “We needed something that could talk to they need.” some of the logic had been working for 20 disparate data sources,” he says. “We wanted years,” says Lollar. “Moving to another graphics and we wanted graphs that you language would have probably taken two to could drill down into. We wanted to build three years.” something so dealers wouldn’t have to back up to previous pages on the Web, but could With WebFOCUS, “we were able to save about just keep drilling down into the data to get 80 percent of the code,” Lollar says. what they wanted. This really puts us on the The application only took about eight months cutting edge.” to build and test. Built on the fourth- The interactivity Ford wanted usually requires generation programming language used by special client software, but Ford wanted a Information Builders’ FOCUS product, product that dealers could use without putting WebFOCUS presented Ford programmers with any special software on their computers, and a short learning curve, since they were already that would work with the computers many familiar with FOCUS. “They were ready to start dealers already have. WebFOCUS was the programming almost immediately,” Lollar says. answer again, delivering powerful interactivity Ford’s system design team occasionally but demanding no more of dealers than an needed help from Information Builders while ordinary Web browser. building their application, and that assistance WebFOCUS delivers performance as well, was easy to get, Lollar adds. dipping into the huge database to pull out the “They were very helpful,” he says. “The fact records, report the complex statistical that it was started in April and for all practical calculations, and draw the graphs with their purposes was ready in the fall – that’s six drill-down links – all within 60 to 90 seconds. months’ or nine months’ turnaround for a full- While the standard 126 Report is limited to blown application – that’s not half bad.” nine months of data and other limitations on what it can display, the graphical version can tackle up to 25 months of data, Lollar notes. Another benefit for users: a simpler, yet more flexible package. The original COBOL-based reporting package relied on several separate mainframe reports. With WebFOCUS, Ford’s development team created a unified package that gives field users one place to go for all their reporting needs.
  4. 4. Find Out More New Power for Dealers The new 126 Report gives dealers not only a If the warranty trend for brake repairs edges To find out how our solutions can quick reading of their warranty performance, above the zero, “the team gets on the guy help your company succeed, but also remarkable new tools for examining doing brakes to bring the number down,” their businesses. Oswald says. talk to an Information Builders representative today. A “find highest variance” button lets a dealer The payoff for Ford: savings of more than identify potential trouble. By highlighting the $25 million a year as a by-product of fast and Contact your local Information areas that are furthest from the norm and accurate delivery of information to dealers. Builders office, visit us at providing information about the magnitude of Even before the graphical report has been, the problem, this function spotlights rolled out to dealers, Ford’s warranty component groups that are most likely to cost or in the U.S. and Canada, call department is using it to help dealers extra money or give customers more grief than (800) 969-INFO. understand what’s happening in their they should. business, which means lower warranty Currently, only Ford personnel are authorized expenses and happier customers. to generate these reports. Once dealers are “It’s been quite successful,” says Lollar. “We provided access, those who want to do their can literally draw a picture for people, and own analysis will be able to click a button and they can explore the picture to get the load the raw data onto their own computer, as information they need. Ultimately, we have a an Excel spreadsheet, for example. They will dealer who has graduated to a new level, also be able to create custom graphs on the whose warranty spending is occurring in a fly, selecting data and generating natural manner.” corresponding graphs. Al Oswald, Warranty Lead Specialist for the Central Region, which covers six Midwestern states and the Canadian province of Ontario, says one dealer is so captivated by the graphical power of the new report that he now puts similar graphs on large poster boards in his service department. Mechanics may not understand the statistics behind the graphs, but “they know that if they are above zero, they are in trouble, and if they are below zero, that’s good,” Oswald says. Corporate Headquarters Two Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121-2898 (212) 736-4433 Fax (212) 967-6406 DN7503039.00404 Canadian Headquarters 150 York St., Suite 1000, Toronto, ON M5H 3S5 (416) 364-2760 Fax (416) 364-6552 For International Inquiries +1(212) 736-4433 Copyright © 2002 by Information Builders, Inc. All rights reserved. [10] All products and product names mentioned in this publication are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Printed in the U.S.A. on recycled paper