Five years ago, Fracht USA realized they had outgrown their old operating system. They decided they needed to make a change in their approach to technology to better serve their customers and remain competitive in the market.
Reiner Wiederkehr, CEO, Fracht USA, says that a number of mergers and acquisitions left the business with multiple patchwork systems that weren’t operating well together, and ultimately slowing down operations.
“We have first-class employees moving shipments day in and day out, but there was only so much they could do on the old system.”
The Fracht Group operates out of 115 offices across 40+ countries. With nine offices across North America, Fracht USA provides freight forwarding, warehousing, distribution, trucking, and ocean, air and rail freight services.
“We’re a global company, so we needed a global system with global support. We took our time and we vetted a number of systems, before the entire management team eventually made the decision to go with CargoWise, simply because it’s the best product on the market,” explains Mr Wiederkehr.
And with Fracht’s Australian offices being early adopters of CargoWise , Mr Wiederkehr says that this was the obvious platform of choice for Fracht USA.
“The management team in Australia are very comfortable with the system and have had great success with it over the last two decades, so it was an easy decision for us, and looking to them for guidance was a major advantage of adopting this platform,” says Mr Wiederkehr.
Transforming the way they do business
Regina Cross, Executive Vice President of Operations and Compliance, Fracht USA says that as an organization, and as a leadership team, Fracht USA embrace technology and recognize the value it brings to their business and to their clients.
When implementing CargoWise, they took the opportunity not only to introduce a brand-new operating system, but to really change the way they do business.
“From a technology and a process standpoint, our customer service approach didn't change. But what we did completely transform was the way we standardize our process in terms of milestones, KPIs and reporting, which was a significant change for our people.”
Recognizing the impact of such a momentous change, the business took a steady approach to the implementation, prioritizing training and change management to ensure their people were informed and on board.
“From day one, we decided to take things slow because of the change to processes. We wanted to give our operations team the opportunity to get comfortable using the system before adding all the bells and whistles,” says Ms Cross.
Mr Wiederkehr adds, “We didn't want to be too aggressive, so we took our time training our people, learning the system and truly understanding its breadth and depth.
“We also brought in several CargoWise super users to help us, and we have consultant teams across the US who are still helping us to this day.”
Julie Melton, Operations Process Manager, Fracht USA adds “It was important that the staff were on board with the change, so we provided additional information to our people before the implementation to give them time to prepare, as well ample training of the system and ongoing support.”
Fast forward three years, and Fracht USA are very much embracing technology and reaping the benefits of their investment.
Real-time visibility, detailed financial reporting and improved data quality have enabled the business to speed up their processes and make strategic decisions faster than ever before.
“The platform’s visibility and reporting functionality is something that many of us in the management team use daily. Whether it's looking at our financial activity, or looking at shipment accounts, CargoWise enables us to really understand what’s happening across the business.
“Particularly from a financial visibility standpoint, CargoWise has helped us tremendously in being able to really break down our finance transactions to a place where we can actually use the information. Visibility has been a huge advantage,” says Ms Cross.
Mr Wiederkehr echoes this sentiment, adding “The reporting is what I love to look at every day, particularly with CargoWise’s accounting module. We have everything in the one place and complete financial visibility across the business which has been a huge benefit.
“Data quality has also improved tremendously. We can look at the reports at any given day and within two minutes, we have the insights and the visibility we need to make major decisions.”
Building stronger client relationships
With CargoWise, they’re now able to spend time doing what they love to do – providing tailored, non-traditional solutions to their clients.
Efficiency gains have helped the business focus on serving their customers better, reducing the need to duplicate and replicate data like they previously did in the old system, explains Ms Melton.
“We operate in a fast-paced industry and our customers want everything as quickly as possible. With CargoWise, we’re able to deliver quickly, with the added bonus of flexibility and visibility.
“We can provide accurate data, we can schedule and customize reports, and we can give them shipment visibility immediately, and that’s what they value the most.”
Mr Wiederkehr adds, “We have built relationships with some of our clients over decades, and CargoWise has enabled us to strengthen that trust because we’re honest, we’re transparent, and we deliver.”
Continuing their digital transformation journey
Over the next year, the focus will be on providing even better service and visibility, not only for their customers, but for their internal operators as well, explains Ms Melton.
“The feedback we consistently hear from our customers is how quickly we’re able to adapt to their needs. So, continuing to improve the customer experience and provide real-time support is a priority for us.
“To achieve this, we're implementing customer portal tools, and we’re looking at AI and machine learning to further automate and streamline processes. We want to enable our operators to support our customers and provide them with updates of their shipments and answer their questions as quickly as possible, and to have that information at their fingertips,” says Ms Melton.
Mr Wiederkehr says that the future for Fracht USA is bright.
“We are a global company with 125 offices around the world, and we have a strong vision and strategy, and exceptional employees across the globe who are committed to achieving our vision.
“With CargoWise we will have the potential to have more of the Fracht Group network roll out the platform in the future.
“We know there is so much more potential to leverage CargoWise and expand into different modules, and we plan to do this as we work towards achieving our milestones.”