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The role of IT within Farm Trans: “You are in control in all areas of your logistics.”

The role of IT within Farm Trans Connected Services
30 | 03 | 2023

In this first article of a series of four about Connected Services, you can read how IT has become the driving force behind our logistics services. In the other three articles, we will highlight the role of Account Management, Operational Management and Carrier Management.

 

More insight into the process chain

IT is becoming even more important within logistics. Over the past year and a half, Farm Trans has made huge leaps in data and IT. Van Gerwen explains: “We now have a 2-way EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) connection with 95% of our carriers. This allows us and our customers to follow exactly how the logistics process is proceeding. We provide end-to-end insight into our areas of operation within Europe, as well as into our operational radius.”

 

Prevention is better than cure

The added value is clear, explains Van Gerwen: “You switch from being reactive to being proactive. No more “We are going to be late”, but: “Heads up, is this going well?” We can catch potential problems earlier so that we can prevent them from happening or have enough time to deal with them. Moreover, we can inform our process chain partners and customers in a timely manner, thus improving our service level even more.”

 

Always up to date via the Connected Services Portal

Farm Trans quickly developed a fully-fledged system using Mendix low-code: the Connected Services Portal. This gives Farm Trans and its customers 24/7 insight into the order status and at the push of a button, the current data can be turned into reports and Business Intelligence (BI). Van Gerwen explains: “As a customer you can follow everything yourself, while knowing that we are observing the total process flow. You can look at us as your Control Tower.”

 

Updates at any time

As a customer, what are your transport order tracking possibilities? Via the portal you will receive updates concerning your booked loading and unloading times as well as updates during transit. Van Gerwen explains: “We work with four statuses: Collection today, In transit, Out for delivery and Delivered. Within those statuses you can track everything from when orders are loaded and the driver is present to expected arrival and departure times (ETA and ETD).”

 

Business Intelligence

Using the data from the portal, a company can gain even more useful insights. Van Gerwen explains: “You can create your own reports, with the most up-to-date data from our portal. That is convenient, because within your logistics chain you often have to work together with different parties who can then act based on the data provided. From financial to operational. You can set your own parameters within our system, and thereby can collect your own data and use it for your own needs.”

 

Export documentation in the UK

Farm Trans also processes customs documents automatically via the IT system, for both import and export. Van Gerwen explains: “The correct customer data arrives at the customs agent via our EDI link, and two minutes later we receive the export document. We then inform our agent in the UK and the shipment is cleared within two hours. In this way our carriers can easily get through in one go. Thanks to this solution, we are well placed and have had hardly any problems with Brexit.”

 

IT as fuel for Connected Services

Everything has to be correct for a streamlined logistics process. From the right partners with Carrier Management to correct coordination with Operational Management. Farm Trans calls that Connected Services. IT and data are the fuel for this. As Team Leader Connected Services, Van Gerwen directs account managers who ensure the correct coordination with carriers every day: “Twice a day we do a stand-up and walk through the system together. This gives us insight into the entire operation. Our operational team works mainly from within this system throughout the day. And IT continues to develop the system every week with new functionalities and new services, so that we can respond very quickly to new opportunities and developments.”

 

The future of IT at Farm Trans

Van Gerwen and his team are constantly looking for added value and efficiency within the IT services: “For example, we are working on E-CMR, the electronic version of the waybill. No more paper, everyone gets the same information and more – think of GPS coordinates and photos. We are also working on a new functionality for slot booking, whereby a carrier can book his own time slot and gain more insight into the planning and orders. Lastly, we are working on even more accurate tracking of shipments by means of 2-hour time slots. All for a smooth logistics process from A to Z.”

IT Services is part of Connected Services – your entire logistics process smartly managed. Discover more >