Nedcargo is innovating together with Globis
Platform for growth
If a company or business wants to secure its future, it must innovate. That also applies to logistic service suppliers. And that means innovation with reference to the range of services that are offered, as well as the technological platforms that support the services. Logistic service provider Nedcargo is determined to make a leap forward and be ahead through supply chain solutions that have a solid technological base. A first step in that process is Order Desk, an application that enables customers to outsource the complete customer service. The producer of spirits and liquor, Disaronno, was the first customer to believe in the story and get on-board. ERP service supplier Globis was called upon and rose to the occasion to take care of the technological settings and environment.
Nedcargo is the new group name for all services and activities provided by logistic service provider, “Van Uden”, with inter alia “Schouten Logistiek” and “Eurobrokers” from Belgium as subsidiaries, as a result of business takeovers. The company has six warehouses in The Netherlands and three in Belgium, jointly totaling more than 260,000 m² in storage space, and it has a fleet of approximately 150 trucks. Internally, the company is organized in the following three divisions: logistics, forwarding and inland navigation. Nedcargo mainly provides services to customers in the food industry, the beverages industry and in retail. In 2015, the company realized an annual turnover of over 100 million euro.
Process to end-to-end providing of services
“We want to make a difference for our customers by jointly thinking proactively together with our customers on supply chain optimization. In that process, IT is increasingly playing an important role. To be able to expand the services that we provide, we needed ERP functionality”, Roderick de la Houssaye, Managing Director of Nedcargo, explains. Disaronno, the well-known producer of spirits and liquor, was very much interested in what we had to offer. The company was already outsourcing its order management, and was looking for a new partner, one who could offer a better technological platform. That was a direct call to action for Nedcargo to start looking for a partner who could provide a logistic platform that adequately copes with order management.
The search ended when Nedcargo was convinced by ERP supplier Globis. “In total, we invited about ten companies to propose their solution. It was important for us to find a system that is flexible. Gradually, data exchange is becoming the core element of supply chain management. However, then you require applications that can easily link up with other applications, and which allow you to easily upscale or downscale. It was also necessary to be able to integrate the specific processing of e.g. excise administration and management in the solution itself. More precisely, the flexibility of the solution, as well as the entrepreneurship of Globis convinced us”, Roderick de la Houssaye clarifies.
A new level in the existing system landscape
Nedcargo called upon an external partner to cope with the functionality requirements. The delivery of the solution occurred within 6 months of undersigning the contract, and less than one year after Nedcargo and Globis first met. The Globis Online ERP cloud solution now runs alongside the WMS provided by Van Boxtel, the planning software from Quintiq and the financial tools pack from Exact. Within Nedcargo, the solution was given the internal name “Order Desk”.
The message traffic system between Globis, Nedcargo and end clients runs via an EDI solution provided by Descartes. Orders, order confirmation, as well as digital invoicing to end clients all occur via that process. Customization was not really required, however a number of specific rules had to be implemented in the business rules to comply with the functional requirements from Nedcargo and Disaronno. “Such a flexibility to carry out adaptations in the business rules, was a major asset”, Roderick de la Houssaye specifies.
Separate invoice flows
“The customers of Disaronno, retailers as well as independent beverage/spirits & liquor dealers, automatically place their orders (via EDI), by e-mail or by telephone. The orders are registered in Globis, and they are then transmitted to WMS, where they are converted into picking orders. Once the goods have been delivered, we also take care of the invoicing to the end client. For, as provider of logistic services, we are best placed to know exactly what has been delivered where. Therefore, it is a logical step to also use such information for invoicing purposes, for stock management & administration, and eventually also even for forecasting. Customers of Disaronno now place their orders directly with us, and we make sure that the invoice is sent directly to the customers. Disaronno receives a daily report created by Pentaho, the Business Intelligence Solution from Globis, listing an overview of the volumes that have been sold, including cost-price and other information.”
Since the beginning of April, the solution has gone live. Scarcely two to three weeks were required for the fine-tuning, and in the meantime, the application is complete running as it should. When going live, especially the specific rules with reference to the excise administration and management caused a few hiccups. Also the fact that the timing was quite tight and that good fine-tuning with Nedcargo, as well as with Disaronno, was required, increased the pressure. “On 1 April, the first orders and deliveries had to be processed through the system, and the result was successful”, Roderick de la Houssaye explains. Apart from Disaronno, “John West”, a producer of tinned fish, is now also connected to the platform, and soon, Landal GreenParks, who owns approximately 70 bungalow parks, will also follow.
“The major benefit for our customers is that we take care of the entire customer service component for them. The complete processing, from the ordering up to and including invoicing, lies with us. We receive a complete overview of all orders in Globis Order Desk, whereas the customer, naturally, can only view his own data. Just like he would be working in his own ERP environment. Currently, we only provide this service for Disaronno in The Netherlands, but, in due time, it is our intention to roll out the services also in Belgium and other countries/areas. Especially for smaller companies, who currently have two or three persons who are responsible for the customer service, such a solution could quickly become profitable. Our solution is more flexible for them – because upscaling and downscaling goes faster – and it is also less expensive. Moreover, we are able to offer an enhanced quality because we are providing the services not for just one party but for several parties. Also, we are able to rapidly start up the process. If the master data is good and if an EDI connection can be quickly installed, it is possible to go live in not more than two months.”
Would larger companies also benefit from the solution? “In principle, they would. However, you will notice that large companies with an extensive dedicated customer service department will outsource this kind of activities not that easily. Also, there are some companies who also call upon their customer service staff for the purpose of phone sales. In principle, we would also be able to take such a commercial task upon us, but that is currently not a main issue”, Roderick de la Houssaye clarifies.
Working on growth
The objectives for the next year are clear. “By the end of next year, we are striving for 20 customers who will be users of Order Desk. In addition, I can also see many possibilities with reference to enhancing the functionality. E.g. in terms of stock forecasting. Once we invest in a solution for stock management, we can provide it as a service to our customers. That is surely an option on which we are focusing. Moreover, we would like to be able to also integrate orders originating from webshops.”
From a technological perspective, Nedcargo wants to continue examining how the interaction with other systems can be further expanded. “In theory, we are able to disconnect such services from our own logistic activities, and also take over the customer service from companies who outsource their logistics to another party. That is possible, on the condition that the integration with the logistic level is guaranteed. That is also exactly why flexibility of IT systems is so important nowadays. To be able to enhance the providing of our services, we will have to look to which extent we can apply the system to interact with other systems. Would that be possible directly, or would an extra level in between be required? We will have to look at various scenarios for that”, Roderick de la Houssaye explains.
According to Roderick de la Houssaye, it is evident that supply chain optimization is more and more about data exchange. By way of the Globis ERP pack, Nedcargo has taken a new step in laying the base for innovative logistic services. “Currently, not all customers are already receptive to jointly looking at end-to-end chain optimization together with their logistic service provider. In fact, we are really convinced of the potential of a more extensive and extremely data-driven manner of providing the services and we are fully committed to it.”
Roderick de la Houssaye, Managing Director of Nedcargo specifies: “By the end of next year, we are striving for 20 customers who will be users of Order Desk. In addition, I can also see many possibilities with reference to enhancing the functionality. E.g. in terms of stock forecasting.”
Nedcargo is the new group name for all services and activities provided by logistic service provider, “Van Uden”, with inter alia “Schouten Logistiek” and “Eurobrokers” from Belgium as subsidiaries, as a result of business takeovers. The company has six warehouses in The Netherlands and three in Belgium.