Whilst implementing a new warehouse management system, Lagerhäuser Aarau AG, a Swiss full-service provider of logistics and international transport services, decided to simultaneously outsource EDI to its partner Descartes. The result was an intelligent and efficient networking option for more than 40 customers with a variety of interface connections.
“Any company that wants to introduce a new warehouse management system must also evaluate and optimize all interfaces and processes. For Lagerhäuser Aarau AG, outsourcing the EDI part to Descartes has proven itself. Setting up and managing customer interfaces requires a lot of know-how that we no longer need to have in-house. And it's just faster, which of course contributes to increased efficiency.”Jasmin Serifovic, Chief Logistics Officer
Challenge: an intelligent and efficient networking option for customers with a variety of interface connections
When Lagerhäuser Aarau wanted to implement the new warehouse management system LFS, it quickly became apparent that there was a great deal of complexity in the variety of different interfaces to internal and external customer systems.
Some of the more than 40 customers were already using EDI interfaces. Until then, the IT department set this up individually for customers. The effort and thus the costs were high and the throughput times were not ideal. In addition, internal technical knowledge had to be built up and maintained, which represented a major challenge. Therefore, an internal EDI solution was not an option. Lagerhäuser Aarau then decided to entrust this part to Descartes, an expert in electronic data interchange.
Solution: EDI messaging
The connection between Lagerhäuser Aarau AG and Descartes was implemented via a uniform interface (communication AS2 / LFS XML format). Descartes takes care of the preparation and exchange of the data in the structures, formats (UN/Edifact, XML, CSV's, JSON) and characteristics as well as communication protocols (e.g. SFTP, AS2, SOAP) required by the customer. The various interfaces involve a variety of notification types such as delivery orders, inventory lists and notifications, article master, goods receipt notifications, co-packing orders, warehouse transfer postings, article movements, etc.
The connection to the new customer portal MyLagerhäuser and external web shops is also noteworthy.
For customers such as Nestlé, Lindt & Sprüngli, Barilla, Bio Familia and Gustav Gerig, the processes have already been automated using EDI connections. Further connections are already being planned. MyLagerhäuser, an intuitive self-service platform, recently went live. In the future, several hundred smaller customers will be connected via this customer portal for transport order processing. In this portal, larger customers will be able to view contracts, follow KPIs and carry out live tracking, among other things.
Elaborate and complex processing steps as well as mappings by Descartes are necessary for the preparation of the data from the LFS system and the support of the respective processes. Validation rules for specific content guarantee high data quality, and corresponding error messages for incoming and outgoing data are sent to Lagerhäuser Aarau AG.
Efficiency- Significantly less internal effort because Descartes has the expertise and experience with complex systems. EDI projects now have a much shorter turnaround time, saving time and money.
Expertise - There is no need to internally build and deploy expertise related to EDI interfaces, systems and technologies. The IT department can thus concentrate on its core tasks.
Flexibility- High flexibility in the solution concept so that customer-specific needs in terms of interfaces can be met.
Worry-free - Fast and worry-free connection to internal and external systems. The Descartes employees support Lagerhäuser Aarau AG in the projects and can deal with the variety of systems thanks to an efficient solution.