An SAP Analytics Case Study: DIFOT (Delivered in Full on Time)

[A case study with an APS Partner: Blueprint Intelligence]

INDUSTRY:Logistics, Heavy Industry, Mining
PROBLEM:DIFOT reporting processes were manual; inefficient and inaccurate.
SYSTEMS:SAP PM, SAP SD, DB2 Mainframe, Rail management system and in-house service planning tool. 
SOLUTION: Blueprint Intelligence Custom Dashboard, ETL, Datawarehouse
RESULTS:Improved visibility into DIFOT – down to the customer and to different delivery cycles – and issues contributing to service delays or interruption for remedy.
The Project At A Glance

The Background

Delivered In Full, On Time (DIFOT) or On Time Performance is commonly used in a supply chain to measure delivery performance.

An industrial rail operator, transporting coal to port for shipping required greater visibility into DIFOT for billing, planning and fulfilment purposes. They needed to know:

  • How much of what was expected actually reached the customer
  • Did the customer receive the goods at the expected time, according to service level agreements (SLA)
  • What events are occurring operational that are having the largest impact on fulfilment

The DIFOT report was required, in particular, to prepare for financial penalties applied to deliveries outside of an individual client’s SLA.

Operations were performing manual reports in Excel, losing time on each report. One report was required daily, in the yard control room to allow the team to know what trains were expected according to schedules or delays. And each month, reporting was required for billing and corporate updates. By relying on Excel, the reporting process was error-prone and provided no visibility, making it near impossible to identify contributors to delays without involved analysis and sometimes, guesswork.

Blueprint Intelligence was engaged to provide a more accurate, efficient way of reporting DIFOT, in addition to capturing key data points to track incidents or events that impacted on time performance.

The Solution

We started at the business process and broke the journey or cycle of delivery into legs – that is, each department and destination point, from loading at a coal terminal, to arrival at the port.

These were presented in a waterfall graphic to help the client to visualise various different legs, or stages of the journey and interdependencies that affected on time performance.

We also presented ‘systems’ that were involved in the process – that is, the particular yard, mine and port combination or sequence involved in each cycle.

By breaking the process of delivery into systems and legs, the company could drill down very efficiently and accurately on problem areas to identify where additional resources, or process improvement was required to fulfil services.

We also helped the business to track their performance on a client level by capturing each cycle by client (either the mine, or the port). The company gained an operational view of delivery performance as a percentage, in addition to performance as a traffic light and percentage per client, according to individual service level agreements.

Taking a look at the technical side: reporting on delivery performance required the integration of data from an old Rail Yard Control System (DB2 Mainframe), Asset Register (SAP PM), Service Planning Tool (an inhouse system), and Order to Cash (SAP SD).

The Results

By capturing key events across the supply-chain, the client found poor maintenance standards on loading equipment was contributing to regular breakdowns and delays on service. They also gained visibility into services cancellations, and trends on the individuals or the customer (either the mine, or the port) that regularly contributed to delays and penalties on SLAs.    

By presenting the client with a strong visual representation of the end-to-end journeys required between different mines and ports, and all factors affecting DIFOT, Blueprint Intelligence helped the client to:

  • Accurately measure delivery performance for billing purposes
  • Drill down to identify and remedy maintenance and resourcing issues that affected on time delivery
  • Optimise execution of services to reduce fines for delays
  • Improve client satisfaction and reduce complaints
  • Support operational decision-making

For more on APS Analytics Services and Blueprint Intelligence – the Analytics Agency powered by APS, click here.


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