“Enabling the exchange of real-time data has significantly improved operational visibility,” says Ingo. “Several of these processes are complex and involve multiple integrations. Our stakeholders were virtually dancing on the table when we launched this. They were amazed that we had delivered such a powerful application in three months. From my perspective, we probably saved a year of development and around €250,000 by using OutSystems.”
Predictive Maintenance App
Developed on OutSystems by two developers in three months, this app has helped Green Cargo reduce in-service wheel bearing failure by 50 percent—resulting in significant train operation cost savings.
The app receives real-time telemetry from sensors from Green Cargo’s infrastructure partner to detect overheating in brakes and wheel bearings. The app then processes the IoT data using a predictive algorithm and triggers maintenance alerts before the overheating leads to a failure.
“Performing this maintenance in planned downtime rather than responding to in-service failures has a huge impact on reliability and operational efficiency,” says Ingo.
A multi-phase project—already live in Sweden—the portal dramatically improves customer experience. In the past, customers placed orders via email, telex, and phone calls. A customer service team of 25 had a highly manual process for entering orders, which required duplicative entry to mainframe and SAP.
When fully rolled-out, all customer orders will arrive via the web portal, and rekeying will be eliminated. “The portal provides a much better experience for customers, and our staff can devote more time to serving them,” explains Ingo. “The portal makes our customer service operation much more scalable.”
Green Cargo now offers integration back into its customers’ ERP systems, which improves transparency, removes admin, and avoids settlement delays.
The roll-out continues and will support intermodal haulage across Europe, full track and trace of consignments, real-time information, and invoicing. “Now we have real-time information, new business models are possible,” says Ingo. “We can implement dynamic pricing to fill spare capacity, which attracts new business and maximizes our green credentials.”
“The alternative for this portal project was to heavily tailor a major CRM package,” explains Ingo. “That could have cost 10 to 15 times more and taken four or five times longer. With OutSystems, we had our pilot up and running in the time it would have taken to select a CRM vendor—plus the configuration cost, and ongoing licensing of a CRM product would have cost a fortune compared to OutSystems.”
Innovation and Legacy Migration Running in Parallel
Considering the situation that Ingo inherited eighteen months earlier, the picture could not be more different today. With a track record of successful and fast delivery, his budget is up, and IT headcount is expected to rise this year. Ingo says, “There’s an avalanche of demand, and we have a development schedule right through this year.”
“To digitize this company, we had to bring innovation and development in-house and get the business and IT collaborating effectively,” says Ingo. “OutSystems gives us the agility to make that possible. By comparison, if we were doing traditional development, five to ten years from now, we’d have built a new legacy.”