Increased Integration from SEEBURGER drives efficiency for P&O Ferrymasters
Since implementing the SEEBURGER Business Integration Server (BIS) in 2004, P&O Ferrymasters (POFM) has steadily expanded its integration capabilities throughout the organisation. This year, the company expects its systems to handle more than 4.5 million electronic messages and 180,000 orders, in a huge variety of formats and protocols. This seamless integration capability has led to increased efficiency and the ability to minimise operational costs while maintaining high service levels.
Through innovation, quality and flexibility, P&O Ferrymasters leads the market in the design, implementation and provision of integrated asset and non asset based road and intermodal Freight Management solutions for the European industry. The organisation consists of 590 people, based at 54 strategic locations, spanning eleven countries across Europe.
P&O Ferrymasters, part of P&O Ferries, is wholly owned by Dubai World. The DW Group provides a stable financial base and a wealth of dedicated resources across the globe, focussing on the supply of market leading international port terminal operations, logistics and related services. To maintain a leading edge in its market, P&O Ferrymasters (POFM) continuously invests in technology to harness the opportunities and efficiencies opened up by e-commerce and integration. SEEBURGER’s BIS allows POFM to interface directly with customers over most leading communications protocols, such as EDI and XML, as well as enabling greater integration within its internal business systems.
The flexibility of SEEBURGER has always been key to POFM as the company operates on behalf of a huge array of customers, each of which has its own very specific supply chain, logistics and communication requirements. Customers confirm how they want to operate and POFM designs the right model around their requirements. The company provides a complete distribution and warehouse management service that drives down operational costs using its experience and technical advancement to ensure it can adapt to the requirements of all customers.
Thanks to BIS, POFM has saved large amounts of time and cost by integrating seamlessly with customers’ systems. “With margins getting smaller and customers wanting to keep costs down, more and more companies are demanding that we trade with them electronically. Having implemented SEEBURGER many years ago, we are ideally placed to not just handle customer demands, but really drive technical innovation. This helps to give us a keen edge in a very competitive market,” says Phil Chapman, P&O Ferrymasters’ Development Manager.
POFM now uses SEEBURGER’s BIS in a number of ways. Typical supply chain operations, such as order, inventory, despatch, delivery, invoice and remittance information are transferred seamlessly between POFM and its customers using a variety of electronic protocols, mainly EDI, but also email, internet, fax and XML. The company has also taken advantage of BIS’s application integration capabilities and is able to post invoices and supplier costs directly into its core back office systems. Development is on-going and most recently, BIS has enabled posting of costs directly into the procurements database as well as into the financial systems.
“We aim to meet the specific demands of each of our trading partners so that we can provide the most effective route to increased efficiency and cost savings,” says Phil, adding, “We are continually discussing the best approach with partners, enabling us to develop an advanced and seamless workflow to fulfil even the most complex supply chain requirements. This can stretch beyond the direct relationship between us and the partner to encompass other parties within the workflow.”
SEEBURGER has demonstrated time and again that it can handle the most complex of integration requirements and is helping us cut costs throughout our trading environment. We now receive electronic orders from customers and SEEBURGER manages an entirely automated fulfilment of that order through communications with suppliers, bookings with ferry companies, alerting third party organisations and posting to all necessary internal financial and logistics systems. It can also handle those partners that have outsourced their invoicing systems.”
Since BIS was implemented, the number of electronic messages POFM handles is fast approaching 5 million per year. “When BIS sends or receives a file it integrates directly to our central database, which means the information is available in many other areas of the business where it can add value. This dramatically cuts down the amount of work required in updating systems. We have a policy of developing our own systems and with BIS we can change or create interfaces that are of huge benefit to the business,” adds Phil.
With more and more customers dealing with POFM via EDI or other electronic messaging protocols, like XML, SEEBURGER has become a vital component of the business and its reliability is paramount. Phil Chapman concludes, “SEEBURGER is essential to POFM and we are very happy with its resilience and reliability. Over many years of continuous use it has rarely let us down and the support we receive is professional, responsive and knowledgeable. We have always been able to work with SEEBURGER to deliver the solutions we need and keep driving efficiency and cost savings both for us and our partners.
SEEBURGER’s objective is to seamlessly integrate external and internal processes – the interactions between different application systems or business partners – while eliminating media discontinuity.
The product portfolio covers the integration of B2B business processes, the integration of business partners, logistics/RFID solutions, the automated processing of paper-based documents, and end-to-end, independent consulting services for the introduction of product data management systems. The company’s managed services include a SaaS B2B platform as well as traditional outsourcing services for B2B processes.
SEEBURGER has a long-standing partnership with SAP. More than 30 EDI adapters that were developed in-house enhance the integration platforms of SAP customers.
A range of additional services such as consulting and support allow SEEBURGER to complete its holistic approach.
Customers benefit from SEEBURGER’s extensive industry expertise and experiences from more than 8,100 successful projects .Founded 1986 in Bretten, Germany, SEEBURGER has offices in 19 countries worldwide.