Monday 26th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

Europa goes live with £1.7m IT system

Europa Worldwide has launched Leonardo, a £1.7 million bespoke IT system, across its road freight operations.

LeoRoad includes real time operation monitoring of shipments, discrepancy management, workflow management, and proactive customer and partner daily reporting. The system is integrated with internal CCTV, Masternaut truck and trailer tracking solutions and Europa’s national telephone system.

IT director Richard Litchfield described the launch as a major leap forwards for the company despite a challenging four weeks post launch.

“It is rare for a logistics business to move from outsourced software, and invest and employ a dedicated team of IT developers and designers to build a bespoke IT system on this scale from the ground up. Undoubtedly, this is a game changer for the business, “We had little option but to launch all areas of our road freight management system in one go. We are a 24/7, £100 million turnover business and we anticipated problems in replacing a 15-year-old system which manages the process from data entry to invoice. However, when you are in the thick of it, dealing with over a thousand tickets raised in 4 weeks, we felt the pain, with the software team working very long hours.

“Our priority was to power through these issues as rapidly as possible, which we have successfully done. Frankly, it is easy to say that you should launch systems like this without these types of problems. But in reality, there will always be some flack. We just had to get our heads down and work through the issues as quickly as possible. On balance we are very happy with the launch, and the range of issues, in the context of the complexity of the project.

“While these challenges were frustrating for many concerned, the team has been able to respond quickly to issues and has now begun launching many system enhancements. This is the true power of Leonardo. The pain is in the transition from one system to another. The benefit lies in the rapid enhancement of systems and processes that will occur over the coming months. The ability to convert ideas into operational systems, at speed, without the complexity of dealing with a 3rd party. We don’t have to write long specifications, or negotiate prices for amendments. We focus on the creation of ideas, and their rapid translation into reality, without any administrative burden.”

The company has also invested £400,000 in hardware so that all staff have either been upgraded or issued with new PCs.