Case Studies

Case Study - Contraload

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Case Study: CONTRALOAD | SUPPLY CHAIN/LOGISTICS infrastructure to improve customer service, business agility and operational efficiency. "The objective is business innovation and transformation using technology to connect with our customers [and to] be more efficient and create additional improvements throughout the supply chain," Fonteyn says. "Boomi is a fundamental part of making that shift and achieving our business objectives." Contraload has quickly scaled up its use of Boomi across eight integrations, saving the equivalent of three full-time employees in IT and operations. And it's poised to capture data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to improve pallet tracking. Ease of Use and Fast, Agile Integration Previously, Contraload had some limited custom scripting in place for data exchange but mostly relied on employees manually entering data across multiple systems, including a Microsoft Dynamics CRM application and Avalanche, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for the rental industry (from Dutch software vendor Bexter). "Applications were set up as silos that didn't talk to each other, so a lot of data had to be manually keyed over two or three times, which meant the risk of errors," Fonteyn says. "We needed a tool to integrate information automatically and make it efficient and scalable." In Contraload's evaluation of integration vendors, Boomi emerged as the clear choice for its ease of use, speed of development, reliability and market leadership. And Contraload foresaw that beyond integration, it could use other components in Boomi's unified platform, such as workflow automation, data governance and API management. "Boomi is easy to use and faster to learn and implement than any other comparable integration technology," Fonteyn says. "Speed of development wasn't just a catchphrase during the sales cycle — Boomi has proven to be more agile, more efficient and faster than anything else." Understanding and Connecting With Customers With implementation by B-flow, a Boomi partner in Belgium, Contraload used Boomi in a project called EDI 1.0. The initiative focused on ways to more efficiently capture up-to-date data about how Contraload's customers are using its inventory of storage and shipping products. The better, more timely data is critical for helping Contraload evolve and scale its inventory tracking, billing processes and customer service. That data originates from customer-based enterprise resource management (ERP) systems in a variety of formats, which Boomi captures from file servers and converts for use by Contraload's internal business systems. The process is similar to electronic data interchange, though the data is not in specific EDI formats like UN/EDIFACT. In a second EDI phase, Contraload standardized the input format again, and set up automatic and near real-time retrieval/collection of customer data to be processed through Boomi. Also in EDI 2.0, Contraload is rolling out the Boomi Flow workflow automation development platform to help route usage data to the Contraload customer support team. This will give support reps greater visibility into processes to improve service and troubleshooting. In an EDI 3.0 phase, Contraload will be adapting the process to connect Boomi directly to customer ERP systems, such as SAP or Oracle E-Business Suite. "Boomi is not only 5 to 10 times faster than other techniques we've used, it's also a reliable and structurally sound platform for business-critical processes." Raf Fonteyn ICT Director, Contraload

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