Establishing a fully digital strategic control process for 5,400 stations

Integrated Business Planning and Analysis at DB Station&Service

No matter whether it's the CEO or an employee within a region, we didn't want to have different solutions for different roles, we wanted to have one visual surface for everyone.

Christoph Reichelt
Head of Principles, Operations, Planning, and Control


00:00:06We are a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn - to 100% - and we are responsible for all the 5,400 stations within the German train system. We have been doing that every day for approximately 20 million customers, and with 5,300 employees. We have three organizational layers. That means we have a headquarter, we have seven regions all over Germany, and within those seven regions we have 46 station managements in total - that are really responsible for executing those services and those topics to the customer.

00:00:40I am the Head of Principles, Operations, Planning and Control. Coming to the project itself, we took the decision to implement Board as a Business Intelligence solution in our company and we had two clear results we saw at the beginning of the project that we wanted to achieve in the end.

00:00:59The first one was having a digital dashboard that visualizes our data to provide anything that is necessary to have real performance management process within the company. And the second one was, in a second step, to enlarge this solution to a solution that enables us to perform the integrated and rolling planning process. So the message and the scope of the project was very clear. We wanted to start a transformation and the transformation did not only mean buying a Business Intelligence solution, implementing them and digitizing the state we had. For us, it meant to really establish a complete process of performance management.

00:01:39The three crucial points we wanted to attack were clear: we needed a strategic framework that gave us a focus in which dimensions we wanted to look at the topics we are managing. The second one was: we wanted to derive from this strategic framework a very focused, slim KPI set that really described and reflected what happened outside of stations and not any possible process around it. And the third thing was: we wanted to establish a clear process of performance management within the organization. So, changing responsibilities,assigning roles to people and functions in order to improve the business in the end.

00:02:20I think it is still important to know that the dashboard we wanted to build should reflect the value stream of what we are producing every day and the crucial challenge in the end is to bring all of that together. When you think about data structure, and even more about the structure of a dashboard, to bring all those things together you want to reflect the value chain with many different indicators and units. That is quite a challenge when you come to the topic of benchmarking and comparison of performance and indicators.

00:02:50So we created one single point of truth that is reliable and where we know we have a data management and a database we really can work with. We have a clear process of who is doing it, when and that it takes place a quality check before - so we don't have the situation anymore that seven different people in seven regions are starting to type in data in Excel and nobody knows who did what, when. We have a clear single point of truth of data.

00:03:18We developed a strategic framework, or a strategic structure of our business, within the operations division. We needed a clear focus within operational controlling to see what kind of dimensions we wanted to look at for every single topic. Looking at the financials, looking at the process topic, looking at the customer, and the innovation view for every single topic. Looking at those four dimensions for cleaning, for security, for service, and so on. That gave us a clear framework that was necessary in order to derive, in the next step, a really focused and slim KPI set.

00:03:52You need a framework and something that helps you to focus that. Because, in the end, we want to have a product which offered to every user - no matter whether it is the CEO or an employee within a region - to have one visual surface for that customer. We didn't want to have different solutions for different roles; we wanted to have one visual surface for everyone. We opened this topic to the complete organization and we took in our local Heads of Operations, our employees from regions and stations management.

00:04:23This is the home screen - our aggregated surface of the dashboard we are working with today. Looking on financials, looking on processes, looking on the customer perspective, and looking on the innovation perspective for every single topic: for cleaning, for security, for service, for information in the system within Board.

00:04:40We cannot only deliver information out to the organization, we can also write back this information and see in Headquarters how this performance develops. We attacked the data management topic and we have a single point of truth today for data. We are not discussing anymore about data and whether it is right or wrong. We just skip that point and we save lots of time for having professional data management.