The industry: A digital platform for changing the outbound sector

Latvian finished vehicle services provider, Fracht SIA, rolled out its Automotive Logistics Control System (ALCS) in 2014 to aid in the distribution of cars for Volkswagen Group brands, General Motors and a number of commercial vehicle companies. Fracht has invested €3m ($3.6m) in the transport management software tool so far and it now handles everything from purchasing, transport scheduling and supply chain management, to route data services, quality control, KPI performance and financial accounting.

The web-based software, which is supported by cloud applications, is designed to better manage the flow of information in real-time by establishing a shared platform for carmakers, transport providers and other key suppliers of services in the outbound sector.

“The system is a kind of mix between ERP II and a professional social network, where users can share their data with specific partners,” explains its founder and board member at Fracht SIA, Renatas Slenderis.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a business process management software that brings together integrated applications to manage a business and automate office functions. ERP II had the added advantage of bringing in customer relationship and human resources management.

Slenderis goes on: “There is a combination of features from classic ERP II, with its strong business rules, complex data entry forms and restricted access to data, and on other hand, experience of modern web applications and social networks where users are able to share information with their partners in simple and usable way.”

Fracht says that more than 80% of its business processes have been optimised and automated with ALCS, with some impressive gains in efficiency.

“Our reaction time from ordering to execution has been decreased up to 20 times,” says Slenderis. “Fracht increased the transportation of vehicles from 6,700 units in 2010 to 70,000 in 2016 [and] turnover increased seven times without increasing the number of employees. Moreover, we can still grow annual transport of vehicles to up to 300,000 with the management of two dispatchers.”

Since it was introduced, more than 180,000 new and second-hand vehicles have been moved using the software by Fracht and its Lithuanian subsidiary, Fracht UAB (the split has been around 65% new and 35% used).

“Small and medium transport companies, including Vytaro Transportas, Autoriba and Autofastas, to name but three, are cooperating with us through ALCS,” says Slenderis. “About 265 transport companies are using ALCS on a regular basis although our network in total includes 1,289 transport companies and more than 5,000 auto transporters.”

Moreover, larger European transport providers such as Frikus, Hoedlmayer, STS, and Wega-A are using it in a limited capacity as an exchange module to purchase loads on a spot basis, find orders or get information on loading and unloading.

Those finished vehicle transport providers, big and small, are using the ALCS system right the way across Europe and the company is looking further afield for global applications. According to Slenderis, the system supports ten languages, including Chinese, Russian and Spanish, so ALCS can be implemented in a number of regions around the world.

For the full article, please see the Automotive Logistics.