Case Study

DB Station&Service AG – Case Study

DB Station&Service AG benefits from a fully digital strategic control process with Board

DB Station&Service AG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG, develops and manages around 5,400 passenger railway stations across Germany. As Europe's leading station operator, DB Station&Service provides access to the rail network and mobility services around the train station for more than 18 million passengers a day. 

The Challenge: Standardizing station control data across 5,400 locations

DB Station&Service's operations division is responsible for the operational management and development of the train stations, including customer service, cleaning, safety, winter services, and travel information. Onsite Operations Managers face several challenges which include ensuring quality and cost efficiency, providing cost and performance planning, delivering year-round management, and hiring contractors.

Internal control must always be dynamic and provided in real time, rather than being delivered in fixed formats at specific times. Wanting to maintain high service levels, DB Station&Service set itself the challenge of standardizing the company’s data management system and front-end platform with a user interface that addressed the target group's specific and individual needs whilst delivering self-sufficiency and data governance.

"Our goal was clear: A holistic solution that provides a full picture of our strategic management system in every control dimension, which is dynamic in terms of time and users and based on homogeneous data management," recalls Christoph Reichelt, Project Manager and Head of Operational Policy, Planning, and Control at DB Station&Service.

With the help of a new management concept, to be mapped in the form of a balanced scorecard (BSC) within a BI solution, the operations team embarked on a strategic transformation process.

To achieve its goals, the DB subsidiary needed a platform that could not only map strategic control models (BSC) and dashboards but also merge and provide data from a wide range of sources and in a wide variety of formats in real time. An extremely dynamic reporting system was called for, with data entry and comment-sharing options.

The Solution: A unified platform providing access to all performance data

In an in-depth selection process, more than a dozen solutions were evaluated and tested on real-life examples with a use case. With its all-in-one approach and ability to write back to core legacy systems, the DB subsidiary was drawn to the Board decision-making platform, which seamlessly integrates Business Intelligence, Planning, and Predictive Analytics in a single interface.

In the project that followed, data on finances, processes, customers, and innovation was merged and aggregated in the Board database from several different sources. Now, all the information can be accessed centrally in Board with just a few clicks. 

The Benefits: Real time visibility, forward-looking insights, and a digitalized strategic control process

The new Board-based solution carries out background calculations to show early and late indicators, and a traffic light system based on KPIs makes the need for action immediately apparent. The analysis of possible measures for early counter-control can then begin onsite immediately. One example is lockers; with the early indicator of the availability rate of lockers, the team can forecast the proceeds from locker use for the following month, based on the late indicator. 

Upcoming project stages will include the addition of detailed functions such as saving action plans and sharing commentary. The number of users is also set to grow thanks to a plan to open up new areas of the application, such as cost center planning and rolling forecasts, further improving dynamism and responsiveness across teams.

"Above all, the application supports us by integrating our analysis and reporting processes with forward-looking functions like forecasting and planning. We work on the same platform all the time for all our analyses, evaluations, comparisons, and conversations around our data, and the support we get from comments and workflows could not be better," comments Christoph.

The DB subsidiary also benefits greatly from a fully digital strategic control process, with up-to-date data in a wide variety of dimensions and measures that helps the teams meet their targets.

The implementation process was based on a 'coaching' methodology. The DB team took over the project along with most of the tasks and adopted it under the guidance of Board consultants. As the programming-free Board platform is extremely flexible and easy to administer, the DB team will be able to further expand the solution without assistance in the future.