Grupo Porteo is a top logistics provider in Mexico, offering logistics, storage and distribution services. With the help of LANSA business partner eSipo Technology, Grupo Porteo has implemented eSipo®, a LANSA-based Web solution that allows end-to-end tracking of each event in the delivery process between Porteo's manufacturing customers, such as 3M, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, L'Oréal, Nabisco, Philips, Sony and retailers that include Wal*Mart, Sanborne, Chedraui, Gigante and many others.
Paul Sarrapy, CEO at Grupo Porteo, said, "With our LANSA-based solution, we were the first in Mexico to offer our customers detailed online information across the whole operation, from the initial distribution request of the manufacturer to evidence of timely delivery at the retailer. The solution has helped to win new business and generates a climate of trust, because we have made ourselves 100 percent accountable and transparent. Customers can view all details including the date and exact time each task is performed."
The solution has helped to win new business and generates a climate of trust, because we have made ourselves 100 percent accountable and transparent
- Consolidating Four Systems
- An Integrated Solution
- Instant Benefits
- Robust Agile Solutions
- Company and System Information
Consolidating Four Systems
Providing accurate and timely information has always been a top priority for Grupo Porteo. However, this has not always been easy, since the company was born from a fusion of four logistics providers, each with independent Windows-based systems. The lack of system integration made it difficult for the divisions to operate efficiently as a single entity.
Sarrapy explains, "None of the systems we inherited with the merger was up to the challenge to consolidate our voluminous business and give customers real-time Web access to detailed information. When manufacturers hand over their distribution to a third party, they want to feel as much in control as if they were accessing their own information system."
"We want to be an extension of our customers' business, by providing, through our Web site, a tool that allows them to be informed at all times of the progress of their order."
After an unsuccessful search for a packaged solution, Sarrapy discussed his requirements for a customized solution with LANSA Business Partner eSipo Technology, headquartered in the city of Monterrey.
Eduardo Esquivel, president at eSipo Technology, comments, "Grupo Porteo presented us with the challenge of developing a multi-company, multi-location application that provided reliable and up-to-date information. The solution was also to offer step-by-step tracking of every event in the delivery process from the manufacturer to the distribution channel, both internally and to Grupo Porteo's customers."
"In addition, it was imperative that the solution could adapt to a dynamic market and react in a timely manner to the wide variety of industry specific requirements that any of Grupo Porteo's customers may require."
Sarrapy and Esquivel decided to use Visual LANSA to jointly develop a distribution and tracking solution called eSipo® for manufacturers and third party logistics providers.
"The LANSA architecture allowed us to develop an integrated application in a 100 percent Windows environment in a very short time," says Sarrapy.
"With LANSA we built an integrated solution for all branches, with one database for a multi-company, multi-location environment. Before LANSA, every branch had its own copy of the application for each company. Grupo Porteo is the integration of four companies, and eSipo® is one solution for one group."
We want to be an extension of our customers' business, by providing, through our Web site, a tool that allows them to be informed at all times of the progress of their order
An Integrated Solution
eSipo® handles the operation and administration of Grupo Porteo's 13 offices that cover delivery routes throughout Mexico. Grupo Porteo is the only logistics company in Mexico that has nationwide operational coverage, as well as a nationwide consolidated IT solution.
Design and development of eSipo was quick, but implementation was more time consuming because of the conversion effort involved to manipulate the company's four disparate and large files systems into one. Extensive and nationwide analysis was required to get a clear picture of the operations and IT structure in each division.
Now all information is centralized in a single database that can be accessed from all remote locations through Grupo Porteo's own private communications network, and by customers through the Internet.
As an order progresses through each stage of the delivery process, the system automatically generates and sends email messages to the people involved at the client side and to Grupo Porteo's branch offices. The email informs about the most recent status of the order and contains a link to Grupo Porteo's Web site for additional information.
eSipo has a productive Windows interface for internal staff, and a secure and intuitive browser interface for customers. Customers can view real-time and detailed information about orders, available inventory, returned items inventories and goods in transit.
The solution offers extensive query and reporting facilities as well. Business users can enter selection criteria and generate their own reports. The reporting solution integrates tightly with MS Excel, and resulting spreadsheet documents are automatically emailed to the customers.
Several of Grupo Porteo's customers use eSipo information to evaluate the performance of their sales division, because their internal solution does not show them reason codes and associated cost analysis for partial or total rejection of goods, devolution and re-shipping.
Now all information is centralized in a single database that can be accessed from all remote locations through Grupo Porteo's own private communications network, and by customers through the Internet
"The most notable change is the revolution in the exchange of information with our customers," says Sarrapy. "We don't need to send or fax paper-based reports to our customers anymore. All parties involved can see the current status of orders in real-time. This allows our customers to make informed decisions at the very moment it is required."
Diego Martinez, Nationwide Distribution Manager at Reckitt Benckiser, says, "The indirect savings resulting from being well informed are enormous. Grupo Porteo helps us to efficiently manage our supply chain to retailers like Wal*Mart, Sanborne, Chedraui, Gigante and many others. Grupo Porteo's Web site contributes significantly to this efficiency."
"The Web solution has generated immediate and direct savings for our customers and us," says Sarrapy. "It can answer any query our customers have instantly and accurately. Our customers don't have to put up with their calls being put on hold. The number of phone inquiries has been dramatically reduced."
"By offering on-line inquiry, electronic reporting and integration with Excel we have taken a big step into a paperless office culture, another achievement in costs reduction."
"The solution has generated a climate of trust and a stronger bond with our customers, because we have made ourselves 100 percent accountable and transparent. Customers can view all details including the date and exact time each task is performed."
"The site is also a vital instrument in attracting new customers. In our industry, IT is also very much a selling tool and the site is a large part of our presentation to prospective customers. It confirms to them the efficiency of our internal systems and shows how securely we communicate information. Many customers evaluate us on what IT services we can offer and whether that meets their requirements."
"The reliability of the IBM iSeries servers and the versatile applications developed in LANSA, let us create a solution that gives us a view of the entire operation, tracking each individual shipment at a level that allows us to analyze and continuously improve our entire operation," says Sarrapy.
"Maintenance and adaptations are now much easier and the costs of rapidly meeting our customers' requirements are very low," says Sarrapy.
Esquivel adds, "Creating the Grupo Porteo solution with LANSA meant we didn't have to train new programmers in RPG or JAVA. LANSA's short learning curve lets new staff become productive in a very short term and take advantage of the business experience of existing staff."
"With LANSA, as a small software house we get the opportunity to grow with a very simple and productive development tool. We can offer big integrated solutions in a very short time, and our customers are always happy to ask for changes to their applications because they know that is not a problem for us to maintain a solution built with LANSA."
The Web solution generated instantaneous savings for Porteo and our clients since any doubts about orders can be solved by accessing our Web page
Robust Agile Solutions
"LANSA let us create a robust and flexible solution in little time and with low maintenance costs. And soon we can benefit from other technologies such as EDI, SOAP Web Services, RFID and Wireless PDAs," says Sarrapy.
"Our customers have requested many food, health, confectionary, cleaning and fragrances industry specific enhancements, and we have always been able to react to their requests in a matter of days. With LANSA our IT capabilities have proven to be endless."
"We have plans to package eSipo® for sale to companies like Nestle, Unilever, Colgate that do not require Grupo Porteo services because they consolidate deliveries themselves."
"With the help of LANSA and eSipo Technology we have taken a step ahead, demonstrating our capacity by being the first in Mexico to offer online information across our the whole operation, from our client's initial distribution request until we deliver evidence of timely delivery to the retailer."
"The Grupo Porteo name now stands out in Mexico for its excellence in providing logistics, storage and distribution services, counting among its strengths extensive experience in the market and the use of information technologies," concludes Sarrapy.
LANSA let us create a robust and flexible solution in little time and with low maintenance costs. And soon we can benefit from other technologies such as EDI, SOAP Web Services, RFID and Wireless PDAs
Company and System Information
- Grupo Porteo is one of the largest logistical operators in Mexico. The company was formed from the merger of four companies: Porteo del Norte (based in Monterrey), Porteo y Almacenaje de Occidente (based in Guadalajara), Fletes Express de Yucatan (based in Coatzacoalcos and Merida) and Smartfreight, S.A. de C.V. (based in Mexico City).
- Grupo Porteo's customers include, L'Oréal, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Grisi, Reckitt Benckiser, Zero Johnson, Freudemberg, Johnson Diversey, Nabisco, Alberto Culver, Huhtamaki, Rayovac, Fruit of the Loom, Berol, Bic, Del Monte, Macma, Osram, Philips, Sony, Varta and 3M Mexico. For more information about Grupo Porteo visit: www.grupoporteo.com.mx
- Grupo Porteo uses an iSeries model 270 for development, operation of internal applications and as Web server. 45 internal users in 13 cities use the system and more than 55 users from 23 customers use the Web solution.
- eSipo Technology is a LANSA business partner headquartered in the city of Monterrey, Mexico. For more information visit: www.esipo.com.mx/