Forwardis, a subsidiary of SNCF, has selected Ramco Logistics ERP solutions across the whole of the Forwardis group. This is a significant win and the first major multinational that Ramco has won in Europe. It is potentially a blow to Infor which has a close relationship to SNCF, the parent company of Forwardis. The deal will also aim to help fulfil the Forwardis vision to “Become THE gateway offering the best sustainable and green logistics.”
Ramco will lie at the heart of an IT Modernisation program. That program has already seen Forwardis implement Microsoft Teams within the organisation and deploy Microsoft Office 365
Forwardis has operations across Europe with hubs in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, the UK, Belgium and Germany. These also support operations across DACH, Benelux, Nordics, Eastern Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Not only does Forwardis operate one of the major rail logistics organisations in Europe, it also has a significant inland waterway barge service too. It charters more than 1,600 barges annually to carry more than 750,000 tons of load.
Replacing legacy in house applications
Unlike many other implementations, Ramco will replace a mix of in-house applications with modules from the Ramco solution. Those modules will include : Transportation Management, Hub Management, Fleet & Asset Management, Rating and Billing , Financials, Procurement and Inventory. Called out in the press release was the visibility module. This uses centralised command centres to visualise the status of the entire supply chain network including partners, suppliers and customers.
Philippe Golder, Managing Director of Forwardis Germany, in Charge of IT Transformation for the Group commented: “We imagine bringing to our clients the most value out of the multiple possibilities offered by the rail freight world and beyond. With this vision in mind, we were seeking the IT tools which would support this vision. We began by drawing a list of 110 potential providers and selected RAMCO at the end as we were convinced their solution best fits our current and future needs. It will support our highly qualified people to design quickly the best solution available on the market according to the requirements of our customers who will also get a real benefit during operation.
“By connecting to Forwardis gateway, our customers will be connected to the rail freight world and get all the relevant information they need regarding their shipment or their wagons whatever transport mode they will use, whatever Railway Undertaking or Shipper will transport their goods, and whatever the owner of the wagon or the container”
First road and air, now rail
Ramco has won significant deals in both road and air freight market. Recent wins include J.P. Enterprise Logistics Corp in the US and LSB Logistics in Malaysia which recently went live. This will be the first major rail freight company to leverage its modern cloud based ERP solution.
Virender Aggarwal, CEO, Ramco Systems, commented: “From the start of our discussion we could understand that Forwardis had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve – to bring rail freight forwarding on the technological edge. We presented our domain capability with next-gen innovative levers such as Bots, AI / ML, Mobility and Optimization to help bring their vision into reality. We are excited to start our Logistics journey in Europe with a prestigious win in Forwardis, which is part of the SNCF, France’s national state-owned railway company.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
The project is targeted to complete in the first half of 2020, an ambitious timeline for project that is likely to have several challenges. Most notable of which is the data migration. Once complete it will be an interesting case study and as it rolls out across Europe could be critical for further success.
If Forwardis becomes a customer advocate across multiple countries in Europe this could see Ramco increase its presence on the continent and expand sales of the logistics solution. It already has a strong presence in the MRO market in Europe but the Logistics ERP deals are much larger.