La Poste delivers better processes with data

With billions of rows of data, efficiency is key. French postal service company, La Poste needed to find value in enormous amounts of processing data. The tool needed to provide value to every department, from production to sales—and be able to scale with demand.

La Poste transports and processes over 12 billion items per year. The company collects data on every event within the lifecycle of each item.

This data influences many areas including production, client management, sales, marketing, finance, market segmentation, and more. With Tableau, La Poste discovers outliers—allowing them to spot inefficiencies and optimize processes. Using Tableau mapping, La Poste tracks traffic by point of address, analyzing efficiency of mail delivery routes and transportation networks.

Laurent Dabbagh, Director of Innovation and Operational Performance, explains how executives quickly saw the value in Tableau. Today, Tableau is La Poste’s preferred business intelligence solution across the organization.

Tableau: What data do you analyze in Tableau?
Laurent Dabbagh, Director of Innovation and Operational Performance: Mail consists of over 12 billion items that are transported and processed each year. This generates 25 to 26 billion traces per year—corresponding to events over the life of each of these items. It is these events that we are analyzing and whose value we have optimized thanks to Tableau.

This data, originally derived from the automation of letter processing, not only comes from production but is also of value for many other players, including client management, sales, marketing for aspects of the construction of bids, and market segmentation. Also, financial management, because the exhaustiveness of the traffic makes the cost of our processes and organizations very simple to calculate; the Directorate of Safety being another example, etc.

Tableau: What benefits have you experienced?
Laurent: Thanks to Tableau, we have finally shown what could be called a potential value of this data—which is first and foremost, production data—to performers who are no longer in production. This was the winning feature of the prototype that was made with Tableau.

Visuals were produced very quickly, and not only visuals, but above all, value. Behind the visual, there is value. We made our bosses understand, for example, that regarding security-of-turnover issues, the problems are as they appear

Tableau: Have you had any other “ah-ha” moments?
Laurent: The trend toward the development of traffic by point of address has also been clarified. So what is behind it all poses questions for our organization with regard to mail delivery routes, transportation networks, etc. And this is done in a very visual manner. While in the background, there are tremendous amounts of information. In this respect, Tableau has been a sensational tool.

Thanks to Tableau, we have finally shown what could be called a potential value of this data.

Tableau: How has the company reacted to using Tableau?
Laurent: The bosses quickly saw the advantage of investing in a global, industrialized solution—in terms of an information system—to correctly optimize the value of this information and make it available not only to a few experts at the head office (which is still the case today), but also to hundreds and even thousands of users, with Tableau as the user solution from start to finish.

The snowball effect has begun, and for me that is the starting point of a successful data project. We are actually starting from a certain number of cases of use. To put it modestly, we are working on a certain number of things.

Tableau: What are your plans for the future?
Laurent: Afterwards, once people have understood the advantage of making the best use of this data, things come together suddenly and extremely quickly, and a trend generally gets started that will go on for years. And it is Tableau that has allowed us to do this. It is Tableau that has enabled us to correctly demonstrate the value of all the data in our information systems.

In today's fast-paced world, it is necessary to move towards digitalization and cross-functionality. It is clear that Tableau takes pride of place in this type of configuration.

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