Logistics group links European network

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Polish logistic group Raben has brought in an integrated transport management system to link its seven business units across Europe.

Kewill developed and supplied the system, which was designed to help synchronise inter-company planning and reduce supply chain complexity for the third party logistics provider – whose total warehouse space totals some 4.5 million square feet.

The biggest challenge for the two companies was to provide all seven business units with one integrated system, so the software needed to be phased in and rolled out step by step in every business unit individually – it took three years.

Oracle provided a database to sit behind Kewill’s transport management system, to help support the running of the software.

Slawomir Pawlak, chief information officer at Raben (below) says: “In the beginning we weren’t able to find software that would fit 100 per cent to our business model and it seemed that only a few vendors that we engaged with had the functionality in their software to manage the transport via transport networks. After testing we recognised that Kewill’s transport management software was the best fit to our requirements.

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“The implementation took three years due to the complexity of the project, the phased approach and the detailed requirements and specifications we needed to be able to use the software to differentiate our service to customers.

“In the beginning there was a big gap between what we required and what was available ‘off the shelf’ from Kewill. It started by implementing the standard solution then started to add new functionalities based on our needs. That detailed development exercise took nine months, after which we began with the first roll-out.”

Poznan-based Raben now has one centralised and integrated transport management system that has replaced the multitude of disconnected systems – each previously installed separately in every location.

This centralised approach has helped Raben reduce the errors in data transfers and to control reporting.

“Having one central system gives us the easiest way in which we can maintain the software. You can keep the team in one place and you can discuss with suppliers more easily.

“We now have lower costs, easier maintenance and better security and back-up procedures in place. From the business point of view, Raben can offer more accurate information, add additional services, and receive and use it faster than used to be the case. Nowadays, having fast, accurate information is a crucial requirement for Raben’s customers,” says Pawlak.

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