Food Logistics Service Provider, Farm Trans, Streamlines and Accelerates European Supply Chain with Mendix-Built Solution

  • New app called “Logistics Management System” created in just 6 months in close collaboration with Farm Trans business team
  • Application streamlines logistical processes and delivers transparency to customer, suppliers, and partners
  • Flexibility of the Mendix platform enables Farm Trans to quickly adapt LMS to support new Brexit customs regulations

BOSTON September 14, 2021 Mendix, a Siemens business and global leader in low-code application development for the enterprise, announced that Farm Trans, an international logistics service provider specializing in bulk and conditioned (temperature-controlled) food products, has used the Mendix low-code platform to  streamline logistics processes and connect suppliers, partners, and customers. The new application, Logistics Management System (LMS), provides transparency to everyone involved and ensures flawless delivery of goods throughout Europe.

Research by Gartner states that supply chains are in a continuous state of reform as they adapt to ever-changing customer demands. Logistics and customer fulfillment is the part of the supply chain most directly impacted by shifting customer expectations. Farm Trans turned to Mendix to create a solution that enables them to be resilient, cope with these expectations, and make logistics processes smarter and more transparent.

Since its launch in 1987, Farm Trans has focused on innovation and grown from a local company to a European logistics service provider. The company has offices in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Poland, and works with partners to serve locations throughout all of Europe. To deliver more added value, Farm Trans provides connected services to manage logistics more efficiently, with advanced IT systems and real-time data management to capture the data streams of customers and partners. Based on this input, Farm Trans advises customers and partners on areas to optimize, such as on-time performance, sustainability, and food safety, so customers and partners can optimize performance and seize market opportunities.

Logistics Management System built with low-code

The new LMS application is a key digitalization initiative aimed at providing innovative service to customers and partners. The business team at Farm Trans collaborated with Mendix partner CAPE Groep to think about how to optimize and future-proof the logistical process. All data, from order management to transport data, is processed and visible in the Mendix application, providing transparency for all parties about for example order statuses, conditions and schedules. The application drastically improved the logistics process, allowing the company to maintain its position of front-runner in international logistics. The new solution was built in just six months.

More economical transport patterns

“By leveraging the analytic capabilities of our Mendix-built application, we now have the opportunity to serve partners in a more streamlined, customer-friendly way. The new application enables us to act on our data very fast,” says Michiel van Gerwen, team lead, Connected Services, at Farm Trans. “For instance, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we were able to suggest more economical transport patterns to our customers. Margins in logistics are slim, so these suggestions are very valuable to our transport partners and customers.”

Using the Mendix platform also allowed Farm Trans to quickly comply with changing regulations within weeks. Van Gerwen: “Brexit caused a lot of confusion and insecurity in our market. The flexibility of Mendix enabled us to easily add customs administration to the application. We managed to speed up the new process a lot; it took the old system over an hour to receive fully signed customs administration papers, now it only takes two minutes, which is a giant leap in efficiency.”

One single source of truth

The LMS application aggregates all ordering information from its customers. Before using the application, Farm Trans and partners organized the data with Excel, which didn’t provide real time insights and left room for errors. As Farm Trans’ partner, supplier, and customer base grew, it became increasingly hard to maintain an accurate overview. Van Gerwen says: “By digitalizing the logistics process, we created one single source of truth. Data can’t be interpreted differently anymore, preventing incomplete or wrong deliveries. And in the rare case of an error, the application allows us to intervene immediately.”

Customers, transport companies, and suppliers now all have access to the data. Email traffic has decreased dramatically, as the data is accessible at every stage and to every party involved in the process. Involved parties no longer have to wait for approval by email to release goods, resulting in a more efficient business process and higher customer satisfaction.

Innovation is written into Farm Trans DNA

The LMS is certainly not the end of the digitalization journey at Farm Trans. CFO Pim van der Boom is an important advocate for digitalization and sees more opportunities for further innovation and optimization. He says: “Logistics will always stay relevant, it just will be executed in a different way. To stay ahead of the curve we constantly need to adapt. One of our main pillars is sustainability. In order to reduce CO2 we need to think about how we can drive less kilometres while delivering the same product at the right time to our customers. Using data and technology like low-code can help us cope with these challenges.”

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