Dentsu Tracking, a brand of Dentsu International and a world leader in supply chain tracking and tracing technologies, provides maximum transparency and control over the supply chain. Headquartered in Switzerland, the company is working with the European Union (EU) in the fight against illicit trade through the operation of the world’s largest regulated tracking and tracing platform.

For example, Dentsu Tracking supports EU government authorities in the fight against illicit trade of tobacco. With the company’s platform, every movement in the supply chain is tracked for every tobacco pack circulating within the EU. With over 25 billion product items tracked that are linked to 750,000 registered economic operators across 27 countries, this represents hundreds of billions of records per year.

The Challenge:  Improving the Company’s Data Analytics and Business Intelligence Services

Dentsu Tracking’s platform provides supply chain transparency and data insights. To operate the system, the company records data on 80 million packages every day, representing several hundred million items. The system helps to prevent theft, underdeclaration, and fiscal evasion, and a report by the Observatory for Public Sector Innovation estimates that the system could reduce the circulation of illicit goods by up to 20%.1

Although Dentsu Tracking’s previous data warehouse solution was in the cloud, the company was looking for a new solution to improve performance and provide new features for its data analytics and business intelligence services. According to Dentsu Tracking’s CTO, Dany Lauener, “We made a tough decision. We decided to change the core data warehouse that powers our BI infrastructure even though it was working well. And our instincts were right.” For Lauener, the ambition was not so much a response to a technical problem but rather to open up to innovation possibilities and improved data accessibility.

The Solution: A State-of-the-Art Platform

“Our tests with Snowflake quickly showed improvements, with execution speeds 10 to 15 times faster, while ensuring more fine-grained cost management,” said Lauener.

Dentsu Tracking also wanted to ensure a smooth integration with its existing system provided by AWS. According to Lauener, “The Snowflake setup and experience was great. Snowflake supported us with smart integration within the existing AWS architecture, and we were able to replace the data warehouse like a Lego block in three months. The time it took to migrate the data and the accuracy we achieved on hundreds of billions of records absolutely blew my mind.”

The Result: Scalability, Flexibility, and Team Motivation

Using Snowflake allows Dentsu Tracking to speed up its operations and bring in new features that were not previously available. “Snowflake’s platform is truly exceptional at this point. When your data is parallelizable, you can increase performance and cluster size, and the processing time is reduced,” Lauener said.

Snowflake also has a significant impact on Dentsu Tracking’s team motivation and development capabilities. According to Lauener, “Working with state-of-the-art technology is a great motivator for our developers. For example, they can run more meaningful tests and work on improving our services directly on the production data using the Snowflake Zero-Copy Cloning feature.”

For end users, the innovation with Snowflake means faster access to reports and increased security, because they do not have to copy the data to work with it. “Using Snowflake makes it easy to personalize and anonymize data, and manage data privacy to prevent leaks,” Lauener added.

The Future: Providing a Solid Foundation for New Analytics Services

In the future, Snowflake’s platform will help Dentsu Tracking free up time for teams to improve performance on existing products, and it will pave the way for the development of new analytical services. “Snowflake opens many doors for the future, including enhanced analytical services. Not only can we be faster than our competitors but we can add value with new features, thanks to Snowflake,” said Lauener.