Vellex streamlines their freight and logistics operations

Vellex is a family owned and operated company that provides freight distribution and logistics services to customers across the eastern states of Australia. Established in 1985, the company has more than 30 years of service and experience in the sector.

Vellex prides itself on providing services to its clients with a focus on safety, consistency, reliability and accuracy. It has 400 staff and distribution depots in Adelaide, Brisbane , Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle.


The challenge

While growing consistently since its establishment, Vellex had adopted a range of IT systems to support its operations. Deployed at different times to meet specific needs, they lacked the flexibility and integration that the company required.

“We had a separate customer management system, warehouse management system and finance system in place,” says Managing Director Charles Vella. “While this approach had supported us over the years, we were keen to shift to a more modern platform.”

“Because of the age of the software, it was difficult to maintain and adapt to any changes with the company. It was also cumbersome to move information between systems which led to a lag when it came to reporting and gaining insight into our operations.”

Vella says there were also a range of manual and paper-based workflows across the company that he was keen to remove, including the usage of paper-based consignment notes by a number of large customers.


The solution

About three years ago, a decision was taken to find a replacement application that could support all areas of the business. A number of options were examined and thorough due diligence completed on a shortlist of three before the final selection of InfoMotion.

“We could see that InfoMotion had a solid track record in the industry and they displayed a thorough understanding of our business and what we were trying to achieve,” says Vella. “They also stood out from the competition because they were large enough to deliver what we needed but not so large that we would simply become just another anonymous customer.”

He says the InfoMotion solution was also appealing because it was based on the Microsoft .Net platform and an SQL database. This would ensure it could continue to be evolved and additional capabilities added in the future.

Working closely with the Vellex IT team, InfoMotion configured and deployed the software over a three-month period. Significant customisation was undertaken to ensure it could effectively support the company’s operations across its administration team, its depots and the delivery fleet.

Thorough staff training was also completed to ensure all members could quickly come up to speed and make use of the features and capabilities of the software.


The benefits

Once the new software was operational, significant business benefits quickly became evident. Manual processes were removed and workflows streamlined across the company.

“Rather than having three different applications doing different things, we now have a single platform supporting all areas,” says Vella. “This means that we can readily obtain a real-time perspective on what is happening. We can see the status of deliveries and how things are tracking within our depots.”

With a single platform in place, there was also no longer any need to manually transfer data between different applications. This helped to significantly reduce the administrative overhead and assist in reporting and month-end accounting activities.

“We are also now able to offer our customers the ability to arrange freight dispatches via an internet portal. This removes the need for them to manually address packages and fill out paper consignment notes.”

Vella says that, in the three years that InfoMotion has been in place within the company, consignment volumes have grown from around 2000 per day to more than 5000. While the number of delivery drivers and warehouse staff has increased over that time, it has not required any expansion of the administrative team.

“With the same number of people in the office we are able to deal with a more than doubling in our freight volumes,” he says. “This would not have been possible without the InfoMotion platform being in place.

Vella says there are still significant features within the InfoMotion software that are yet to be put to use, so he expects further business benefits to be realised in the future. One area of focus is the rollout of mobile devices to warehouse staff and delivery drivers that will remove the need for any paper-based documentation.

“We’re always on the hunt for ways to make our operations more efficient and InfoMotion will continue to support us in this task,” he says. “We now have in place a long-term partner who will deliver value to the business for many years to come.”

Established in 1998, Metro Beverage Company is Australia’s largest independent drinks distributor. Serving more than 10,000 business customers, the company has close working relationships with a range of manufacturers including Unilever, Nu Pure Beverages and Red Bull.

Headquartered in Victoria, MBC operates three warehouses in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. With just under 100 staff and a fleet of more than 35 delivery vehicles, the firm continues to enjoy strong growth.

The challenge

Soon after opening its doors as a new business, MBC deployed Attache ERP software to support its day-to-day operations. The software was used for everything from stock control and warehousing to accounting and report generation.

MBC Managing Director Aleksandar Velkovski says that, while this worked well for a number of years, continuing growth meant the software struggled to keep up. “It reached the stage where, as a company, we had outgrown our core software,” he says. “It did not have the ability to be extended and was becoming an impediment to operations.”

Velkovski says that, because of the important role the software played, there was some reluctance to change. However, with customer numbers continuing to grow, senior managers came to the realisation that an alternative needed to be found.


The solution

The MBC IT team undertook a comprehensive review of alternative ERP solutions on the market. This process involved demonstrations from a number of vendors and visits to other sites to see different products in action. After careful evaluation of a shortlist of contenders, a decision was made in late 2015 to deploy LOGISTICS from InfoMotion.

“We could clearly see that the InfoMotion software was best suited to our requirements,” says Velkovski. “The interface was very user-friendly and we also liked the ability we had to customise the software to match our particular requirements.”

Working closely with InfoMotion, MBC initially rolled out the new software in its Melbourne warehouse, followed by Adelaide in late 2016. The Perth warehouse is due to go live in March.
“The migration process from our legacy system to the new platform was seamless and very impressive,” says Velkovski. “I had never experienced a software deployment of this nature where there have not been issues. It could not have gone better.”


The benefits

The LOGISTICS software now underpins all aspects of business operation. As well as sales, warehousing and stock management, it also supports back-office functions such as finance and administration.

“It is at the very core of our business,” says Velkovski. “It has removed a range of manual processes and streamlined workflows. We have noticed a significant improvement in accuracy and the time to fill orders has been reduced. The scan-to-load capability we now have means cartons can be scanned onto each vehicle against predetermined orders and runs, speeding operations considerably.”

Velkovski says a particular benefit has been the improved ability to handle stock promotions. Where previously this would have to be managed manually, all customer requests and fulfilments are captured by the software automatically.

“Our dispatch planning process has also been significantly upgraded,” he says. “Where it had been taking one staff member a full day to draw up schedules, this can now be completed in less than half that time.”

With the core software now operational, attention has shifted to deploying PTV Smartour, provided by InfoMotion. This software will improve the efficiency of delivery runs by automatically creating the most efficient routes based on multiple delivery destinations.

“This process is currently done manually and makes use of the judgement of individual drivers. While this works to a degree, being able to automate it will reduce the number of kilometres that need to be completed on each run.”

Velkovski says MBC will continue to work closely with InfoMotion to ensure the software adds as much value as possible to operations.

“They have worked hard to understand our business and to configure the software to match our requirements. It’s given us the robust and scalable platform we need to support our future growth.”

InfoMotion’s integrated 3PL logistics management software has gone live at Sydney-headquartered M3 Logistics, an independent specialist in warehousing and distribution for suppliers of electrical appliances.

InfoMotion LOGISTICS is a single-platform, fully integrated logistics, warehousing and transport software system with a modular approach covering daily transport operations, management and planning, maintenance, fatigue compliance, traceability, 3PL warehousing and distribution planning. It brings together all sales and operations related information into one central location that can be accessed from anywhere at any time. It was developed completely from the ground up in Windows.NET Framework 3.5 on Microsoft SQL Server.

Initially, M3 Logistics deployed the full functionality of the InfoMotion icsLogistics solution except for mobile scanning, which will form part of a second deployment phase.

Managing director of M3 Logistics Malcolm Stanton said: “Our mission as a business is to provide a real alternative for suppliers and retailers who wish to improve the performance of their supply chain. At the same time, we invest in the latest technologies to improve information flow for our customers and to take advantage of technology cost savings.“

M3 Logistics reviewed three systems and chose InfoMotion LOGISTICS based on several key features, including its rich customisation functionality and overall simplicity.

“We also liked its common sense design for a business such as M3 Logistics where each of our customers has an individual way of doing things and we need to be flexible to our customer requirements. A lot of processes are different for each customer and InfoMotion LOGISTICS will absolutely be able to handle this approach thereby speeding up processing and providing even better customer service,” said Mr Stanton.

Specifically, InfoMotion LOGISTICS will enable M3 Logistics to scan products in and out, handle service tracking, and provide support in changing locations as products are moved around the warehouse. It will also handle reporting so that M3 Logistics can report on scan and pick rates and the duration of time required for picking product, handling features such as stock holding, dispatching, order processing, receipt processing and managing transport and financials. Manual filing at M3 Logistics will all be but eliminated once InfoMotion LOGISTICS is fully implemented

M3 is an independent specialist in warehousing and distribution for suppliers of electrical appliances and deliveries into major retail outlets. The company provides a national solution for warehousing, line haulage, wharf cartage customs clearance, store deliveries and home deliveries. The company operates 75,000 square metres of warehousing nationally and processes around 400,000 orders annually.

InfoMotion was established in 2006 and is a provider of end-to-end software for the warehousing and logistics sector. The software and technology are designed for small-to-medium sized businesses that employ between 50 and 1,000 people that want to streamline the process and maximise efficiency.