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Data-Driven Digital Transformation of a Car Rental Business

How ELEKS helped Russmann to integrate their IT systems and use data science to make better operational decisions
About the client

Russmann is a Germany-based company that provides rental cars and vans, as well as vehicle sharing and leasing solutions

Industry: Logistics
Location: Europe
Client since: 2016
3% increase in fleet utilisation rate
95% accuracy of demand prediction
The Situation
Russmann wants to increase business efficiency by revisiting its IT ecosystem

In 2016, Russmann understood the need for redesigning their operational processes to improve cost-effectiveness and increase its fleet utilisation rate. They wanted to transform the fleet management process and enable informed and more accurate fleet transfer decisions by making them centralised, automated and data-driven.

Russmann aimed to integrate and orchestrate all its IT systems to improve operational efficiency, reduce errors and minimise IT risks. They also wanted to adopt an automation solution that would eliminate the need for station managers to distribute vehicles manually, and would work towards higher fleet utilisation rates and lower transfer costs.

Russmann contracted ELEKS as a technology partner to help them address their needs with an efficient IT solution.

The solution
A centralised fleet management solution reinforced by data science
We were impressed by ELEKS’ attention to detail and willingness to analyse how our business works. They consider issues from both business and technology perspective and work out a well-envisioned and carefully designed solution. We had a pretty tight timeframe of just two months for creating the first working version of the system, but ELEKS managed to rapidly build up a team and scale it efficiently, which helped us meet the deadline and successfully develop the solution further.
Peter Russmann, Managing Director
at Russmann GmbH + Co, KG

As a first step, ELEKS performed an on-site discovery for Russmann, to understand their key needs and translate them into a technological solution. As soon as the scope had been agreed with Russmann, ELEKS proceeded with MVP development. One of the critical challenges for the team was the timeframe of two months for the MVP, delivered from scratch.

The Central Disposition System that ELEKS designed and delivered for Russmann works as a complex solution for the customers’ needs. The solution provides centralised fleet management, data-driven car disposition and fleet planning. The system also includes a customer service module and a dashboard to facilitate managerial decisions.

The solution uses data science to provide a weekly forecast on car rental demand, based on the historical data and taking into account seasonality and other factors. ELEKS’ data science specialists also created a number of analytics modules for fleet relocation optimisation, advanced fleet planning, customer segmentation and behaviour prediction.

The solution was installed on each Russmann’s station, helping managers make long-term and short-term decisions about fleet disposition. The ELEKS team provides ongoing improvement and maintenance.

The Results
Reduced costs and higher profits with a single point of orchestration

The Central Disposition System established a single point of orchestration for all of Russmann’s previously disconnected systems. A streamlined communication among our client’s systems eliminates the need for manual car management. Currently, five disposition managers coordinate the whole fleet as the tool has automated 90% of car distribution decisions.

Russmann can now predict demand with a 95% accuracy for a period of three to nine weeks. Our client’s profitability improved with a 3% increase in their fleet utilisation rate while their car transfer costs and idle time significantly decreased.

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Right from the start, we really liked ELEKS’ commitment and engagement. They came to us with their best people to try to understand our context, our business idea, and developed the first prototype with us. They were very professional and very customer oriented. I think, without ELEKS it probably would not have been possible to have such a successful product in such a short period of time.

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