The unprecedented challenges the freight forwarding industry and global supply chains have faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of having advanced, reliable digital solutions.
For Fracht France, the rapidly changing industry and new economic environment made it all the more important to prioritize their digital transformation in order to remain competitive.
Real-time visibility, seamless communication across their network, and the availability of accurate, up-to-date data on a single global system were the key reasons Fracht France made the move to CargoWise.
Lionel Tristan, Managing Director, Fracht France says, “Having a secure system that specializes in transport, logistics and customs matters was very important for us, because up until now, our future growth opportunity was uncertain in the current market.
“We realized we needed an up-to-date system that is linked to all the actors of our environment - the shipping lines, the airlines, and customs – if we wanted to increase productivity and keep up with our customers’ needs.”
Part of The Fracht Group which operates out of 115 offices across 40+ countries, Fracht France has a presence in five local offices and specializes in providing logistics solutions for sea, air, road and rail freight, as well as customs clearance and industrial projects.
Following the lead of their colleagues in Fracht’s Australian and USA offices, who have been using CargoWise for a number of years, Fracht France implemented the logistics execution platform in early 2021.
“The main advantage of moving to CargoWise for us was the global database, which is something we didn’t have previously. This allows us to exchange files between countries without having to key in data each time in each country. So ultimately, this results in significant productivity gains for our employees, which also benefits our customers”, says Mr Tristan.
Communication and transparency led to a successful implementation
Recognizing the importance of having their people on board with the change, Fracht France spent a year preparing for the implementation, which included building a dedicated internal CargoWise team.
“We knew that we could have rolled out the system in three or four months, but we decided to spend a year defining our goals and communicating with our people why we were making the move to CargoWise, and the benefits that both individuals and the business would gain from this change”, explains Mr Tristan.
According to Aurélie Broquet, who is part of Fracht France’s ERP CargoWise Project Team, this calculated approach significantly helped with internal adoption of the system, ultimately increasing productive in the long run.
“Consistent communication and education were crucial to the successful implementation of the platform. Our CargoWise department organized remote workshops and training sessions for our superusers, and we encouraged them to practice using the platform daily so that they were fully prepared for the roll out.”
Mr Tristan adds that their people have an entrepreneurial mindset and are encouraged to put forward ideas and look for different ways of doing things, which meant that the change was ultimately embraced by staff.
“Our people are used to facing new challenges every day and we encourage them to look for ways to improve our business, so once they understood the platform’s capabilities and how it could make their lives easier, they didn’t need any convincing that this was the right choice.”
Productivity at the centre of their business
Since implementing CargoWise, the business has enjoyed increased operational efficiencies and productivity, as well as improved communication, collaboration and transparency with their internal and external networks.
“Thanks to CargoWise, we’ve been able to harmonize our internal processes between all of our branches. We’ve also seen efficiency and productivity gains, as previously we didn’t have airlines and shipping lines linked or files that automatically updated”, says Ms Broquet.
“After just the first three months, the reporting and the KPI’s that we get from the software is providing us with accurate data that is enabling us to make more agile, customer-focused decisions. We also have the ability to easily share this data between each country, which was previously a much more complicated process.
“The advantage of CargoWise is that each freight forwarder can customize the platform for the way they work. So we now have a system that is able to do a lot of things in our industry, and we have customized it to the way we work and in a way that benefits our customers”, adds Mr Tristan.
Keeping customers updated on the status of their shipments has always been critical for Fracht France, but now more than ever their customers are expecting automated, near real-time reporting based on their unique requirements.
“CargoWise is linked with the airlines and shipping lines, so we can easily provide our customers with accurate, up-to-date data and KPIs so that they can track and keep records of their transport. This is a huge advantage for our business and for our customers.”
Remaining flexible and innovative through digitalization
As customer demands and environmental factors continue to fluctuate, remaining flexible and innovative will be a key challenge for freight forwarders in the future, says Mr Tristan.
“The pandemic accelerated digitalization across our industry, and it’s completely changed the way we deliver logistics solutions, so having a solid IT system and infrastructure in place that can quickly and easily communicate with shipping lines and airlines is crucial.
“Implementing the right digital tools allows us to be flexible and to provide solutions that we know will have minimal impact on our customers’ business. This is why we chose CargoWise, so that we can be resilient in the face of internal and external pressures and secure our future growth.”
Over the next 12 months, Fracht France plan to continue training their people and empowering them with the knowledge, confidence and competencies they need to use CargoWise effectively. They also have plans to leverage the platform’s powerful workflow and automation tools to further optimize their operations, increase productivity and deliver even more value to their customers.
“What success looks like for Fracht France, is of course the satisfaction of our customers, but also the satisfaction of our employees. This is really important because when our people are happy, our customers are happy, and this leads to a sustainable and profitable business”, concludes Mr Tristan.