With all the logistical challenges facing the trade, South African fruit exporter Delecta Fruit needed a central point in its IT landscape, where all the relevant information on shipments comes together. When CFO Johan Basson heard about the new web platform LogisticDocuments.com - that originated as a solution for international fruit trading company Hoofdman-Roodzant - he was immediately enthusiastic. After a one-month process, the technical integration of the ERP system with the LogisticDocuments.com platform will be delivered this week. One of the advantages is that the ERP system of Delecta Fruit now automatically receives updates about shipment dates.
David van den Heuvel (LogisticDocuments.com) and Johan Basson (Delecta Fruit)
Delecta Fruit supplies stone fruit, grapes, apples, pears, and citrus from key growing areas in South Africa to retailers and wholesalers worldwide. "The logistical challenges in our business are many due to the global container shortage and all the delays that are common now. Currently, so much time goes into checking the sites from shipping companies about the status of the cargo. Virtually no one can provide a track-&-trace at container level and most of the time one doesn't get a notification when a container is delayed, or if it does happen, it’s much too late. The availability and sharing of up-to-date information is a challenge for many companies, both internally and towards people outside the organization, especially considering the time differences we have with our customers in, for example, the Middle East and the Far East, from South Africa. Often, the data is not up-to-date and it takes a lot of emails and Excel sheets to get a schedule to the customer."
We’ve looked for an end-to-end solution worldwide, but the LogisticDocuments.com platform is really unique in the market. It's comprehensive, but at the same time it’s not overly complicated. LogisticDocuments.com automatically tracks all containers and bulk shipments. This means that all our shipments are displayed in one single overview and they can be managed at a file level, where all necessary documentation and correspondence is stored. By making this documentation available to our partners in real time, we can reduce uncertainties and unnecessary calls and we can work pro-actively instead of reactively," says the CFO of Delecta Fruit.
What is unique about the platform is that its own employees can manage the shipments in their company environment, while suppliers, customers, and external logistic service providers have insight into the relevant shipments via portals. Employees and external parties can also send each other messages and upload and download documents at file level. "This results in 90% less contact via e-mail and telephone and far fewer errors. After all, wherever people are involved, mistakes will be made. Moreover, labor is expensive and sometimes your employees will take a vacation or move to another company. Then it is ideal to be able to fall back on a platform with all the up-to-date information. The tests we conducted with our current data looked very promising. This will certainly contribute to making our processes more efficient and effective," says Johan Basson.
LogisticDocuments.com is rooted in the fresh produce sector, and according to Business Developer David van den Heuvel, that is a big advantage. "Although our platform is suitable for many other industries, given our background we have chosen to focus on serving the fresh produce sector and other sectors that work with perishable goods.” That focus is very important, according to Johan Basson. “The platform was clearly developed from the perspective of the fresh produce sector. In addition, David visited us and listened carefully to our wishes, and implemented them in the platform. He and his team understand the jargon and customs of our business. We can't wait to get started with it."
Delecta Fruit chose to integrate its ERP system with LogisticDocuments.com through the platform's API, but David says the portal can integrate with any up-to-date system, or even several at once. "Think for example of WMS and forwarding systems," he says. "When a customer chooses integration, LogisticDocuments.com excels at full integration with a company's IT systems. Then, the benefits of the platform will come into their own. It can serve as a central point where all information about shipments is available to all stakeholders, both inside and outside the organization. However, if a company prefers to use the platform separately from the other systems, a customer will be able to get online and be up and running within an hour. That’s what we call plug-&-play! This way, we are able to assist importers and exporters of every size."
"We are only at the start of an automation spurt within the fresh produce industry. There is still so much to gain in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, especially regarding the cooperation between the different companies involved in shipments. With this platform companies are ready for this development. It also addresses the demand for transparency within the chain. The future of automation in the fresh produce chain is very promising, which is why we will continue to innovate in collaboration with our customers," says David.
During Fruit Logistica, the team of LogisticDocuments.com will be present for meetings with both new and established partners.