An inflexible, on-premise warehouse management system (WMS) required manual data entry, physical inventory checks and paper-based billing, impacting employee productivity and customer service levels.
A fully integrated WMS system with cloud and mobile technology, developed by IMPEL Technology using Progress Rollbase and Progress OpenEdge, to automate its inventory management and billing processes.
Aintercarga has improved customer service and increased its competitive advantage by reducing inventory and billing processes from two days to real time and giving customers immediate online access to inventory information. IMPEL has accelerated its time to market for new apps by 75%, and increased the number of new deals by 83% using Progress.
Many organizations are under tremendous pressure to optimize inventory management to reduce costs and optimize productivity. The pressure for Aintercarga is compounded by the fact that the company is responsible for its customers’ inventory. Headquartered in Colombia, Aintercarga is an import/export service provider. The company acts as a holding center, collecting a customer’s goods at port and storing them in one of its three warehouses while the proper taxes and other tariffs are paid to the Colombian government.
High-quality, accurate and timely customer service is vital to Aintercarga’s business. Using a cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) developed by Progress application partner IMPEL Technology, Aintercarga has dramatically improved its operations, providing both its employees and customers anytime, anywhere access to inventory information, and streamlining many of the company’s logistics and back office operations. “We needed to implement a flexible and highly customized application quickly and cost effectively. And that’s exactly what we got with IMPEL and Progress,” explains Luis Alberto Flórez, CEO of Aintercarga.
Built on the Progress Rollbase cloud development platform and the Progress OpenEdge integrated development environment, Aintercarga’s WMS is a fully integrated system that uses both cloud and mobile technology to manage inventory on the warehouse floor and back office. Because the application is available through the cloud, the company implemented the solution within weeks and without the high upfront infrastructure costs associated with an on-premise deployment. When the company requires an update or enhancement, IMPEL delivers the changes within one to two days due to the flexibility of Rollbase.
When a customer’s goods arrive at port, Aintercarga employees use a mobile device to scan the shipment into its IMPEL WMS and take a picture of the related documents. Once the goods arrive at the warehouse, their movement and location are tracked in real time, and the information is immediately available via a cloud-based client portal.
Prior to using IMPEL’s WMS, Aintercarga had a very rigid system that failed to meet the specific needs of its business. A majority of tasks were performed by hand, requiring manual data entry, physical inventory checks and paper-based billing. “It was very hard to find things in the warehouse; our customers had zero visibility into the status of their goods and all related paper work was done by hand,” explains Flórez. “The entire process to receive a shipment, process it, get it into the warehouse and then complete the billing process took two days. We often had to deal with inaccurate data due to human error, and we were constantly fielding questions from customers about their inventory.”
The difference for Aintercarga’s business since implementing its new WMS has been night and day, says Flórez. “The entire process is smoother, more secure and more controlled. We no longer have to conduct a physical inventory; the process that once took us two days is essentially done in real time. Our clients have far more visibility and control over their inventory, and the data entry and paper work that once took hours are now generated automatically through the system. All of these benefits result in a superior level of
For Aintercarga, customer service is the company’s key competitive differentiator. “Since implementing the Progress and IMPEL WMS, we have increased our customer base and revenue,” says Flórez. “Showing prospects our cloud-based system, including the customer portal, is a true game changer. Our reputation for superior service is spreading by word of mouth, with new customers coming to us through existing customer references. With vastly improved productivity and efficiency levels, our employees now have more time to
support clients and close new deals.”
The demand for custom cloud-based solutions is not unique to Aintercarga. In fact, IMPEL Technology realized there was a tremendous growth opportunity within the SMB market in Latin America. Established just six months ago, IMPEL Technology already has more than 20 customers using its customized cloud-based applications, and the company is closing two to four new deals per month. IMPEL has secured customers in Colombia, Panama and Perú, and will continue its expansion across Latin America.
The flexibility, agility and performance of Progress Rollbase and Progress OpenEdge have been key to the company’s success. “With Progress Rollbase we can develop an application, such as a warehouse management system or a customer relationship management system, in two to three weeks instead of the four to five months with a traditional development platform. The templates and drag and drop features dramatically accelerate and simplify the development process, enabling us to streamline operations and reduce costs,” explains Daniel Ariza, General Manger for IMPEL Technology. “The underlying Progress OpenEdge database is a rock-solid platform that requires very little maintenance. It gives us the performance, scalability and reliability that is critical to our role as a service provider.”
Also headquartered in Colombia, IMPEL Technology can serve the needs of any industry due to the flexibility of Rollbase. “The ability to quickly provide our customers with a solution that meets the unique needs of their business and market has enabled us to penetrate new industries, attract more customers and significantly differentiate ourselves in competitive situations,” says Ariza. “Progress Rollbase makes it easy to develop an impressive and customized proof of concept (POC), which has proven to be an incredibly powerful sales tool.”
For example, the company was recently up against a competitor that provided a very rigid, on-premise billing solution. IMPEL’s ability to provide a mobile-based system quickly and one that could easily adjust to the customer’s unique needs won the deal.
Ariza says IMPEL is focused on the SMB market for a number of reasons. For one, there are two to three million SMBs versus just 300,000 Enterprise companies in the region. SMBs tend to be more empowered to make decisions and make those decisions faster. They are often less concerned about having their data in the cloud. And with fewer resources, they appreciate that the SaaS model frees them from the time, costs and headaches associated with managing and maintaining an on-premise solution.
“These deals also require far less time and resources on our side,” explains Ariza. “Before Progress, we were closing only one deal every other month because it took so much time and effort to work with an Enterprise customer. And then we spent another four to five months getting the solution up and running. With Progress Rollbase and Progress OpenEdge, we have been able to rapidly penetrate the SMB market, accelerating our time to market with new applications by 75%, and increasing the number of deals we are able to close by 83%.”
IMPEL sees potential in leveraging additional Progress solutions, including the Telerik mobile application development platform. But Ariza says IMPEL’s relationship with Progress goes well beyond the technology. “Progress has been a true partner, providing us with invaluable marketing and sales support. We have hosted joint events to educate and attract new business and they have come with us onsite to meet customers and prospects. Progress is always on top of our needs and those of our customers, willing to do whatever it takes help us close the deal and ensure our success.”