On 6th June 2018, the ‘A-team’ from Polymatica London were greeted by a warm welcome from ArrowXL in St. Helens, Liverpool. ArrowXL are a leading home delivery specialist with operations across the UK and they were in the midst of hosting a fun-packed ‘Innovation Week’ that Polymatica had been invited to participate in.
With customers such as SMEG, House of Fraser, Very and Made.com, and up to 2 million orders per year, ArrowXL are no strangers to large volumes of data.
However, the purpose of the #AXLInnovationWeek was to help support a major transformation programme that the company was undergoing, including analysing their route, delivery and collection data to see where operations and customer service could be improved.
So after some invigorating bacon sandwiches for breakfast, the Polymatica team consisting of Jamie Davies, Jane Usoskina, Natalia Lokhova, Alex Bradley, Andrey Pashkov and Jason Myers (a representative from the King’s College London ‘CANES’ programme), got to work on understanding ArrowXL’s business background and objectives for the two-day data hackathon.
Alongside teams from PWC, Brown et Al, Dudley Consulting and others, Polymatica then delved into the data – doing some clean-up and data sorting at the same time as loading it into the Polymatica platform.
Then the fun began! Taking into account ArrowXL’s business context and goals, the data was sliced and diced in many different ways using the platform’s in-built ability to do tasks such as clustering and association rules at the click of a button. This in-depth work took the rest of Day 1 and then part of Day 2, as the team started to see patterns in the data and formulate recommendations that ArrowXL could implement.
As the afternoon on Day 2 drew in, it was results presentation time! And Polymatica were up first.
After some great presentations from all the teams involved, the winner was announced – PWC just pipped us to the post of first place, with Dudley Consulting coming in third. A lot of fantastic effort was put in from all teams and it was fascinating seeing all the different approaches and platforms in action. As James Robbins, CIO ArrowXL, said of the event, “Our hackathon was a huge success. We were so proud of what was achieved throughout the week and look forward to working further with the teams on implementing some great solutions!”
Huge thanks to James and the team for organising it all, and for inviting the Polymatica team to participate – it was great fun and we look forward to the next one!