SEVERAL SYSTEMS – ONE SOLUTION
Lobster’s software solution Lobster_data is used to automate KP Logistik’s IT communication.
“Lobster_data has done wonders for my marriage”, laughs EDI Consultant and Software Developer Torsten Sentz. His employer, logistics service provider KP Logistik, has long relied on a wide array of IT systems with interfaces that constantly needed installing and managing. In the past, the company had opted to arduously program each interface individually with Java and PHP. Today, this is taken care of by Lobster’s data integration software.
In addition to its warehouse management and forwarding system, KP Logistik operates more than 15 in-house applications which are each designed to meet the specific needs of the respective customers in the given sector. As the number of customer orders grew, however, this had soon created an increasingly complex and confusing IT infrastructure and – along with it – the need for ever more interfaces between systems.
As the only programmer at KP Logistik, this meant that, during this time, Sentz worked an average of 11 hours a day, every day. He was even answering calls at the weekend. “I couldn’t even escape when I went on holiday. I would still get up to 15 calls a day. At some point my wife decided to put her foot down.” Today, Sentz is no longer the only KP Logistik employee who understands the ins and outs of the firm’s interfaces. For, thanks to the solution’s clearly structured UI, Lobster_data users no longer need to have any background knowledge of programming languages in order to operate the system. What’s more, KP Logistik employees are also trained annually by the Lobster specialists on how to get the most out of the software and any new updates.
Efficient warehouse management through automation
KP Logistik now relies on the Lobster_data software as a transport management communications interface, which comes into play in their logistics warehouse in Leipzig, for example. Once an order has been processed, the system uses a bar code to automatically determine the correct 20-digit SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code) before creating a digital delivery note. Previously, an employee, such as a forwarding agent, would have had to manually input this code into a computer program. Processing as many as 400 codes a day would quickly become a very time-consuming and costly affair with transposition errors being a regular occurrence. Today, however, thanks to the Lobster software there is no more manual inputting, as data is now entered automatically and is thus error-free.
The firm also stores perishable goods in their logistics buildings. In the past, employees would have to check the thermometer at regular intervals to make sure the temperature had been set correctly. Today, Lobster_data automatically alerts the responsible technician via SMS if the temperature has deviated from a pre-set value. This saves KP Logistik time and ensures the buildings stay at precisely the right temperature.
The software is also useful when it comes to clocking working hours. Sales reps and IT employees can access the attendance system by simply logging in via the Internet or a mobile app. Previously, they had needed to clock their hours manually.
Phenomenal feedback when it comes to process management
The improved efficacy of KP Logistik’s warehouse management has also had a positive knock-on effect when it comes to the business’s corporate image. The firm is a member of Cargo Trans Logistik (CTL), a network which has set itself the goal of optimising logistics processes. The members are known throughout the sector for their high-quality services and regularly undergo evaluations based on strict criteria in a number of areas, including process management. “Since using Lobster_data, we have received much better CTL ratings, which has also improved customer perception,” Sentz emphasises. “If we hadn’t changed our system, companies might have opted to move to a competitor, and so would no longer be our customers today.” After all – customers, like wives, have expectations. Thanks to Lobster_data, it is now possible to keep everyone happy.
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