GEFCO is a leading global logistics company that provides integrated solutions through its extensive expertise in overland, air, sea and rail supply chain flows. It offers multi-modal logistics services in industrial, automotive, aeronautic, electronic, FMCG, retail and business-to-business markets over a network of 300 destinations worldwide.
When the company won a large project that required the precise tracking of automotive parts as the items moved across the UK and Europe, GEFCO knew building a custom logistics management app was the only solution.
Here’s how they used Caspio’s no-code platform to streamline their logistics processes, save on development costs and introduce profound growth for their company and their clients.
Limited by Enterprise Supply Chain Software
GEFCO provides global logistics services for its industrial customers, with applied expertise in automotive logistics from supply to distribution.
Founded in 1949, GEFCO has 80 hubs and 65 logistics platforms operating in 39 countries. Having a particularly strong connection with the automotive industry, the company acquired a new project to supply and manage packaging for a major European auto manufacturer.
However, GEFCO’s enterprise applications at the time lacked the features to address the new project’s requirements.
“The system needed to have multiple role-based permissions, restricting access to data by role. Users of the system are spread across the offices in France and UK,” said GEFCO UK IT solutions manager Simon Verdon, who was tasked to bridge the gap.
“The first approach is to always consider currently available corporate resources,” he said. When existing resources within the company proved inadequate, Verdon looked into various external off-the-shelf solutions but quickly discovered that these also missed the mark.
He then decided to develop their custom logistics management application.
Stability, Scalability and Security
Verdon explored different rapid application development tools. However, he was disappointed that there always seemed to be something lacking with each of them — whether it was limited scalability, complicated implementation and maintenance procedures, inadequate support or unreasonable visible and hidden costs.
His search eventually led him to Caspio.
“We realized that Caspio’s powerful platform provided the stability, scalability and security we needed for our system at a reasonable price,” he said. The platform satisfied both GEFCO’s corporate IT and their client’s key stakeholders.
The web application Verdon built automates several vital processes, including the collection of orders from the head office in Paris, the compilation of orders from the UK planning team and the assignment of authorized haulers to multiple collection and delivery requests.
Since GEFCO’s client was a high-profile multinational organization, a critical requirement for the tracking system was the ability to restrict application access based on user identity. Caspio’s flexible user management and authentication capabilities enabled GEFCO to implement the necessary security measures it required.
“We love Caspio’s extensive user management and security features. Each of the collection sites around the UK can log on to the application and view only the data relating to their site, while the UK Planning and Corporate teams in Paris can view data for all sites in real-time.”
Low Development Costs, Faster Time-to-Market
Caspio’s visual application builder and point-and-click wizards enabled Verdon to accelerate his application’s time-to-market significantly. He took advantage of these Caspio platform features:
- Easy-to-Use Interface – Caspio’s visual point-and-click user interface allows GEFCO to create custom business applications quickly and easily without writing a single line of code.
- Flexible User Management – Caspio’s flexible user management capabilities provide secure access for GEFCO employees across several locations.
- Rapid Deployment – GEFCO is now deploying custom database applications on their website quickly and at a fraction of the cost.
“Using no-code development, we were able to develop the system in just a few days,” Verdon added.
Since Verdon developed and implemented the tracking application as a side project while maintaining his full regular responsibilities, using Caspio also allowed GEFCO to save in application development and maintenance costs.
He also praised Caspio’s technical support team, who he said became “just like my own team members.”
Moving From Excel to a Secure Online Database
Another challenge that Verdon and his team faced was the delay in invoicing, mainly due to their use of numerous Excel spreadsheets.
While he acknowledged that Excel is a “wonderful” tool for businesses, he also said the MS Office software might be abused by users — especially in large organizations like GEFCO that deal with multiple, outdated files.
“There are lots of mistakes being made. Invoicing was 13 weeks behind, and we’re talking millions of pounds,” Verdon said.
GEFCO decided to build their invoicing system, migrating from legacy Excel spreadsheets to Caspio’s online database.
Due to the sensitivity of data they manage, Verdon needed a platform that can act as a central database with advanced security features and multi-user functionality. Caspio ticked all the boxes, enabling them to move their entire invoicing process to a unified cloud-based system that automatically updates data in real-time.
GEFCO’s ultimate goal was to fast-track their entire invoicing process from 13 weeks to two weeks. They achieved that with Caspio.
“I tried lots of different companies, lots of different solutions just to make sure I was getting the right angle, and Caspio was the right solution for GEFCO,” Verdon shared.
Profound Business Growth With Caspio
The success of the logistics management system encouraged other teams within GEFCO to use Caspio to create their own business applications. However, the profound change GEFCO experienced extended beyond the walls of their IT team and even the entire company.
GEFCO’s clients also continue to benefit from Caspio.
The automobile manufacturer for whom the initial application was built was able to automate its manual processes and save over GBP 100,000 (USD 142,000) annually from that project alone.
The tracking system has become so valuable to its users that when asked what would happen if it was ever switched off, they replied: “Don’t even joke about taking our application away from us. We would be lost without it.”
“Caspio fills a crucial void in our organization. Without it, we would not have the fantastic relationships we have with the businesses that we have acquired.”Simon Verdon
IT Solutions Manager
Try Caspio free today to discover the possibilities with no-code development.