Wizrom Software: Distribution companies have doubled their requests for process automation software solutions in the last 6 months
The increasingly volatile economic environment over the last year, caused by a combination of factors such as the armed conflict in Ukraine, economic sanctions imposed on Russia, unprecedented increases in energy and fuel prices, inflation, etc., is putting increasing pressure on the chains European and worldwide distribution.
The effects are also felt in Romania, where companies in the distribution market are looking for solutions to optimize their routes and reduce delivery costs, so as to ensure their competitiveness in front of the competition.
Perhaps more than in other areas, the automation of processes in distribution companies is proving to be the best answer to new challenges. Proof that IT solution providers notice in recent months a spectacular increase in the interest of companies in the industry towards the digital reorganization of delivery processes to reduce, over time, operational costs.
“In the last half year, requests from distribution companies have at least doubled. Most of these companies had this transformation planned, but the new context led them to accelerate the process and come up with concrete requests to adapt and apply our solutions to the specifics of the company. Against the background of the massive increase in fuel prices, they realized that if they do not invest quickly in a system that optimizes operating costs, they will not be able to meet the challenges”, says Zemy Apfelbaum, CEO of Wizrom, one of the most important developers and integrators of IT solutions for businesses in Romania.
A decisive impetus was also given by the new legislative changes in the tax field, which require large companies to report data to ANAF through the new SAF-T computerized system. In the absence of well-structured and automated data from the operational phase, this reporting can prove to be a major challenge.
Cost reductions of 10 – 20%
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Transportation Management System (TMS), Supply Chain Management (SCM) software solutions are currently the most effective tools to ensure increased functionality of the distribution chain, as well as cost reduction. “The transition from the classic mode of operation to digitized solutions can reduce delivery costs by 10 to 20%,” emphasizes the Wizrom manager.
The good news, he points out, is that abandoning the classic mode of operation by implementing an IT system also has the role of structuring processes in a company, especially where the situation leaves much to be desired. In order to maintain competitiveness, certain operational flows are required that are not so much about information as about structure. Therefore, it is not so relevant the size of the company and, implicitly, of the distribution network, but how well it is organized.
“Specifically, from the moment a customer decides to start this digitization process until the actual implementation of the automation solutions can take a minimum of 4 months and a maximum of a year, depending on the complexity of the business,” says Cristian Popescu, manager of the Wholesale & Distribution Division within Wizrom.
“Our consultants know the industry very well and can help the client clearly define what they need. In the first phase, a business analyst from our company analyzes the client’s situation, then comes up with concrete recommendations, for example related to the optimization of transport routes. Then, together with the client, a customized solution is reached, which is subsequently created by our specialists and which can be effectively used after a few months”, he explains.
Fuel savings of up to 15%
The most significant cost reductions can be achieved by optimizing transport routes, reducing the operations required for deliveries, optimizing the activity of field agents and, last but not least, streamlining the activity in warehouses, so that delivery errors are eliminated and, implicitly, customer returns.
“I give a fictitious example: if a company has to deliver to 200 customers and has 10 cars at its disposal, transport automation will help it significantly optimize deliveries, because the application will quickly take into account all aspects, such as traffic restrictions, lead times operation, restrictions related to the work of drivers, etc. At the end, the program generates a graph with the transport route for each delivery. Thus, with the same number of cars, a larger number of deliveries can be made or fuel costs can be reduced”, Cristian Popescu says.
According to him, the optimization of transport routes can lead to a 15% reduction in fuel-related expenses, a percentage that also coincides with the new European objective of reducing the carbon footprint for this type of consumption until 2025.