Nissan North America recognized the need for efficient data management… Calavista was their answer.
Large scale changes can be difficult to implement in big organizations, often resulting in outdated software and data management systems prevailing. Nissan North America, one of the largest automobile distributors in the country, needed technology to decide which cars to order each month, region by region (their Mix Management). Buyer preferences vary not only state-by-state, but city-by-city and even zip code-by-zip code, but their system could not keep up with such detailed data.
Nissan North America operates by selling their inventory to dealerships within 7 regions. For a dealer, having the right cars on a lot is critical: carrying inventory of cars that local buyers don’t want is wasteful and expensive, and not having enough of the cars buyers do want could drive them to a competitor. Dealers would order cars from Nissan’s inventory based on the buying patterns they observed, but Nissan had no organized way of predicting what dealers in each region would want. Inaccurately predicting these trends could mean eating the cost of cars nobody wanted and losing potential profits from popular cars not manufactured. In this way, Mix Management and ordering were directly connected to the company’s bottom line: if they could not accurately predict which cars people would buy, diminished profits would affect the whole company.
In 2005, Nissan North America recognized the need for efficient and effective data management. Originally, they sought out another company to create a master system for data management across the company. When this project failed, the Mix Management department started over again with Calavista to develop a sophisticated data mining method to drive their Mix Management. For the next 14 years, we wrote software that generated and populated hundreds of sophisticated reports on a monthly basis, which were in turn distributed to each region across the country, maximizing profits on the bottom line and streamlining their ordering process.
Calavista updated Nissan North America’s data management system without radically changing their internal processes or software. We wrote custom data analysis tools and processed Nissan’s North American sales data to provide month-to-month recommendations to individual lots on the optimum mix of cars and trucks to order for their specific market. Since the department already managed most of their work in Excel, our tools delivered this data in that familiar format, so as to minimize disruption.
Rather than creating new software for Nissan North America, we helped them optimize their process in a system they already understood.
In order to take on this data mining partnership, we provided a development team that handled development, database management, and quality assurance that was able to collaborate with Nissan North America’s existing team to convert data into sophisticated spreadsheets that were UI/UX optimized. Our partnership continued as we generated the reports monthly, optimizing sales for all sales regions. This ongoing partnership allowed us to modify and add to the results as their needs evolved, so they always had the data they needed, even in a changing marketplace.
Rather than creating new software for Nissan North America, we helped them optimize their process in a system they already understood. We converted flat data files and CSV files into multiple complex reports that could analyze metrics such as Time-to-Sale and Days-Supply for every possible vehicle configuration, down to the color and customization of features. Once these were created, we continued to work with the company to populate these reports every month based on new data and projections. We generated different reports for each region accounting for differences in laws, culture, and trends.
As the project continued, Calavista independently developed a way to automate as much of the report generation as possible, without any additional cost to Nissan. Though this automation step was not part of the original plan, our team found ways to make the project more efficient and error resistant, so we took the initiative to implement them. In the same vein, we pushed ourselves to make sure our output was UI optimized to mimic Nissan’s existing ordering system, making it as easy as possible to turn the results into cars on the lot.
Calavista’s Solutions Directors manage team members across the globe to provide a “Development Group in a Box®.” Our decades-long worldwide partnerships give us a flexibility and depth-of-bench that is hard to match. This project originally relied upon one of our talented teams in India. Five years later, to take better advantage of our global partnerships, we shifted the work to another one of our teams in southern Ukraine. However, when Crimea was invaded in 2014, the project was seamlessly transitioned to a western Ukrainian team without skipping a beat. For 14 years we provided updated, populated reports that reflected the changing needs of each region as well as changes in the company every single month.
Over the span of 14 years, Calavista provided a reliable team that was able to consistently deliver sophisticated reports that informed effective ordering to maximize profits for Nissan North America.
Mix Management is the bottom line for a company like Nissan North America, and choosing which cars to order is no small task. Nissan needed to transform outdated processes to an efficient and reliable data mining and management system to inform regions about the most profitable combinations of every possible type of car. For 14 years, Calavista provided a reliable team that was able to consistently deliver sophisticated analyses that facilitated effective ordering to maximize profits for Nissan. We did this while balancing changes in the geopolitical world, the auto industry, and within the company itself – all transparently to our customer.
If your business could benefit from a data mining project, needs help transitioning from old software to a more streamlined approach, or just needs a deep, flexible bench of top-tier developers, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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