Meet our customer hero
Times have been tough for the logistics industry in recent years. The pandemic and conflicts around the world were challenges that made one thing clear: Real-time information is more important than ever to allow an agile response to supply chain threats. In this market plagued by increasingly uncertain supply chains, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics successfully serves its customers and meets their individual requirements by land, sea, and air with its Airfreight, Seafreight, Road & Rail, and Contract Logistics products. The family-owned company plans to stay on the road to success through growth, acquiring additional business segments, and remaining fit for the future. But the more the company grows, the more complex the integration of the various transport and warehouse management systems, ERP and backend systems, data, and processes proves to be—and all of these deliver the security, availability, robustness, and performance on which Hellmann Worldwide Logistics relies.
“Our previous platform solution—an EDI/EAI platform from a US-based competitor for more than 500 customers and partners as well as for the transport, warehouse, HR, and finance applications— was associated with extremely high operating, maintenance, and development costs," explains Peter Schenk, Head of IT Governance, IT-Supporting Functions & Platforms at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. After a software release and the subsequent loss of important functions, the company decided to choose modernization and standardization with Software AG." After a short, pragmatic market analysis, we chose the webMethods Integration Platform for technical reasons and the ability to create new interfaces that enable us to pursue our journey to growth," states Schenk.
The webMethods Integration platform is designed to integrate interfaces along the entire logistics value chain. The platform not only allows the smooth transfer of data, including validation and customer-specific business logic, it also enables monitoring and easy integration of existing and new applications. Future integrations and changing requirements from customers, partners, and the market can be easily mapped—for instance, the general trend away from EDI processes toward modern API technology. As a result, there are no limits to comprehensive transformation, modernization of the application environment, and expansion of business segments at Hellmann.
After the proof-of-concept phase, the new platform was implemented consistently and quickly, and the knowledge transfer from the Software AG experts to Hellmann's team was secured. Schenk feels that getting Hellmann’s organization involved and explaining the advantages of modernization as part of the change management process is essential for the entire migration to succeed. "In our experience, modernization needs to go hand in hand with standardization: It offers the opportunity to consolidate customer integrations to ultimately cover the same number of customers with fewer implementations and to increase overall efficiency along the entire supply chain," concludes Schenk.
For a global logistics company, resilience is a key topic—and not just since Covid-19 turned the world upside down. Nevertheless, on-time delivery, the ability to correct errors, and real-time communication with customers and partners have naturally become more urgent since then. With the modernization and migration to webMethods, Hellmann is optimally equipped to meet these challenges: The platform ensures error resilience, availability, and conformance to standards when mapping interfaces. It offers high performance as well as transparency and reliability along the entire logistics chain and for platform management. "We see error messages, can correct them, and flow them again into the system. For us, the new platform means that we are futureproof in a dynamically changing and growing market," states Schenk. Hellmann Worldwide Logistics now has all the technical prerequisites for data and process integration and can better focus on its core business—delivering reliable, pioneering logistics solutions that help Hellmann's customers to guarantee reliable, secure, and sustainable movement of goods.