Largest U.S. Automotive Auction Network Deploys Capacity Planning with Dash Enterprise
- The United States’ largest used automobile auction network leveraged Plotly’s expert Professional Services team and the power of Dash Enterprise to realize a nationwide capacity planning solution.
- Plotly quickly delivered an interactive data application that provided Cox Automotive’s non-coder business users at the local, regional and corporate levels with self-service data access, demonstrating ROI to corporate leadership and unlocking further analytics investment.
- Out-of-the-box branding and security capabilities made Dash Enterprise the competitive choice for deploying the mission-critical capacity planning solution.
Manheim, a Cox Automotive brand, is the world’s largest wholesale marketplace for used automobiles. The Manheim Auto Auction network hosts more than 70 automobile auctions within the United States, the largest in the country, by combining brick-and-mortar vehicle service sites with digital solutions for buying and selling used vehicles at auction.
By partnering with Plotly’s Professional Services, Manheim gained a powerful analytics tool that supports decisions at the national, regional and local levels, ensuring a greater investment for its Planning and Analytics group and furthering the mission to democratize data access and use across the organization.
"Plotly’s professional services have helped us fully leverage Dash Enterprise to propel our capacity planning models into the hands of business users with a level of speed and quality I could not have accomplished on my own, coming from a mechanical engineering background."
John Kang - Director of Planning and Analytics, Industrial Engineering, Cox Automotive
Manheim’s corporate managers required decision support for site staffing and equipment stocking across all regions of their U.S. network. Regional and site leaders required similar support at local levels.
Manheim’s Director of Planning and Analytics had developed capacity planning models to forecast demand, equipment, and labor supply, and to project repair capacity across the network.
However, it was complicated to convert insights into actionable business decisions:
- Low stakeholder visibility: Large spreadsheet calculations were hard to share with end users and never conveyed real-time information.
- High platform costs: Data analytics platforms priced on a per-user basis were deemed too costly for the limited functionality they offered.
- Low development velocity: While some models had been transformed into interactive web applications with the Dash Open Source Python framework, Manheim required additional capacity to achieve a fully featured, robust application for end users’ needs.
Partnering with Plotly’s Professional Services team accelerated Manheim’s existing work, producing a fully-featured, proof-of-concept Capacity Application that was presented to corporate leadership to secure further investment.
- By licensing Dash Enterprise, Manheim leveraged the expertise of the Plotly Professional Services team, including:
- In-depth knowledge of Dash libraries and application components to accelerate the Capacity Application’s development and expand its functionality.
- Development best practices, including continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), code reviews and application testing.
- UI/UX accompaniment of Manheim’s internal UI/UX team to demonstrate the styling and branding capabilities available with Dash Enterprise and actualize Manheim’s design mockups
Manheims's Monthly capacity forecasting application
Capacity analytics dashboard, supporting decisions at the national, regional, and local levels
Manheim’s Director of Planning and Analytics was equipped to demonstrate ROI to corporate leadership and secure further investment for developing an analytics solution with Dash Enterprise:
- Accelerated proof-of-concept: Plotly delivered a solution faster and with greater functionality than would have been possible with Manheim’s capacity alone.
- Non-technical business users gain self-service access to explore data at the local, regional and corporate levels through an intuitive, fully interactive web-based interface, lowering barriers to insight across the organization.
- On-brand asset: Leveraging Dash Enterprise’s styling capabilities resulted in a clean, branded application to present to leadership, helping to secure greater investment.
- Security compliance: Deploying the Capacity Application with Dash Enterprise’s out-of-the-box user authentication ensured Cox Automotive’s internal security requirements were met.
- Avoid costs of a full-stack team: The Capacity App is built with the Dash Python framework, allowing the capacity planning models, written in Python, to convert directly into an interactive, browser-based application without the need for front-end developers or designers.
- Multi-page expansion: Working together, Manheim and Plotly’s Professional Services team have expanded the Capacity Application into a multi-page app that addresses several business needs.
- Back-end data pipeline support: Plotly Professional Services helped Manheim eliminate clunky workflows with large flat files and avoid external databases by supporting back-end database infrastructure that supplies the Capacity Application in real time.
About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. makes buying, selling, owning and using vehicles easier for everyone. The global company’s more than 27,000 team members and family of brands, including Autotrader®, Dealer.com®, Dealertrack®, Dickinson Fleet Services, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, VinSolutions®, vAuto® and Xtime®, are passionate about helping millions of car shoppers, 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents and many others throughout the automotive industry thrive for generations to come. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately-owned, Atlanta-based company with annual revenues of nearly $20 billion.
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