Westerman Multimodal Logistics provides so-called multimodal logistic solutions, namely transport by rail, road, and water. The company provides distribution services in the Netherlands and several European countries, and has its own warehouse to facilitate storage, cross docking and fulfillment. Westerman has around 400 employees, its own container terminal, and a vehicle fleet of 150 trucks. The company was looking for software to improve the efficiency of the planning of paper transport for a new branch in Sweden. Thinkwise turned out to be the perfect solution for Westerman to achieve this objective.
Bert Venema, Westerman IT manager: “We are a company that wants to quickly respond to their customers' wishes and processes. We can develop these processes with Thinkwise and create flexible connections between our existing applications and the systems of our customers.”
From Excel to an automated planning
Currently, the most important trend in the logistics branch is improving the delivery of services to customers. Furthermore, there is also of course a lot of focus on topics such as sustainability and efficiency. Westerman's vision is that control of software is crucial to the optimal organization of its processes. In addition to the existing software solutions such as a Warehouse Management System (WMS) and a Transport Management System (TMS), the company was looking for a flexible and modern software solution with which to develop their own applications.
Thinkwise convinced Westerman with a Proof of Value project, and since then the company itself has developed the first comprehensive application for planning the rail transport of rolls of paper. This process was previously carried out manually using Excel, but now for the most part is fully automated. This has achieved an immense time saving, from half a day to just one minute. Furthermore, the more efficient planning helps reduce both the transport costs and the CO2 emissions.
Tom van der Sluis, Account Executive at Thinkwise: "We are proud that Westerman Logistics has opted for Thinkwise to modernize its business processes. This progressive company understands the strength of our ‘never-legacy’ technology, with which you create software that will never become obsolete.”
Saving transport costs and less CO2 emission
The first Thinkwise application has been specially developed for a new process that could not be easily achieved in the existing software. Since then, the Westerman IT team has gained a lot of experience with the platform and sees ever-increasing application possibilities.
Venema: “During our daily work we are regularly faced with challenges, where we think: wouldn't it be great to be also able to do this in Thinkwise? Nowadays, if there is anything for which we need software, we first check whether we can do this in Thinkwise.”
Westerman is now working on a solution for a more efficient control of contracts and maintenance activities for the Fleet & Facility department, including connections with the RDW (Dutch vehicle registration authority). Many benefits for customers are also recognized, for example, by using Thinkwise to develop user-friendly portals for customers. Westerman currently uses three large software packages, each of which has its own web portal. With Thinkwise we can create one portal, which is much more user friendly and clearly organized.
The choice for Thinkwise is already providing the necessary benefits and it is expected that these will only increase as the platform is more broadly deployed.
Venema: “We are delighted with the professionality and technology of Thinkwise. This modernization allows us to reduce our CO2 emission and save on transport costs. We have plenty of ideas for the optimization of more processes. For example, in the future we want to optimize order picking in the warehouse with AI and algorithms.”