As a renowned nationwide supplier of emergency relief bottled water and logistical services, Lipsey Logistics was looking for some emergency relief of its own.
Every month, the company created a sizable Excel spreadsheet that listed commission information for all 30 of its brokers. That information was manually filtered, cut and pasted in new files specifically designated for and sent to each broker.
In addition, a weekly report summarized truck performance, including loads, mileage and capacity for the entire fleet. The controller and CFO worked on the report by manually consolidating data from different sources.
The cumbersome process of generating both reports took innumerable hours. It required a careful review of data to prevent mistakes and ensure that everyone was working on the same version. In addition, the hours of manual work left little time for exploring insights from the data.
“We had to deal with this every week, and it was taking a ridiculous amount of time to cut and paste and then check for errors," says Marc Stewart, Lipsey Logistics' CFO.
I thought that there had to be a better way, and then I heard about DataRails.
Swift, automated and
and publishing of Excel
As soon as DataRails stepped into the picture, Lipsey Logistics was able to say goodbye to endless hours checking versions, copying and pasting. Spreadsheets were connected to DataRails, which automatically consolidated, summarized and published the reports. The DataRails customer success team was in regular contact with Lipsey, ensuring that the process went as smoothly as possible and that everyone was working on the most current version.
“As soon as we started using DataRails, we kept seeing more and more value and functionality that helped in additional ways,” says Stewart. “We were able to extract insights from the data in ways we had not been able to before."
He estimates that DataRails saves the company 20 hours of work every week. With that extra time, the company is better able to analyze the data and improve on service and productivity.
All of this was accomplished with no tangible change in reporting to Lipsey’s brokers and management, who continued to receive their weekly reports using spreadsheets. Lipsey Logistics remained with the same Microsoft Excel that had always worked for the company—but maximized its power using DataRails.
It’s really eye-opening to see what we can now do with our spreadsheets and data.