Rudolph Airtransfracht, based in Stuttgart, Germany, specializes in transport, warehousing, and many other air-freight-related services. The main business areas are air freight handling, local and long-distance transport, warehouse logistics, sea freight containers, and document handling. Their customers are air freight forwarders and airlines.
Nothing Works Without Automation
The highest level of automation of fast-moving data processes and maximum flexibility as well as the ability to react to constantly changing conditions are essential elements of this business. For example, in the case of local transport, XML files are generated and stored on the server by the forwarding agent, from there all subsequent processing is done electronically via the MOVEit Automation data exchange solution. MOVEit fetches these files and transmits them to Rudolph’s incoming directory. The customer is identified, the file processed, and the correctly loaded truck departs at the right time. All these intermediate steps are monitored, logged and controlled by MOVEit. MOVEit is again involved in feedback to customers. Frederik Reiter, IT Manager at Rudolph Airtransfracht, summarizes: “All necessary information needs to be available at all times and to be processed in the shortest possible time.”
A complex situation with many variables that Frederik Reiter had to grapple with intensively: “In the past, we have mapped our script-based requirements on various servers using Windows on-board tools, the Windows Task Scheduler for example. This generated a huge amount of scripts.” And this is exactly where potential sources of disruption and error arose: “Not everything was running as smoothly as we wanted in the home-grown system. For example, logging was very time-consuming, confusing, and tended to be very resource-intensive,” Reiter remembers. “Error reporting and similar tasks were very cumbersome with the previous solutions and generated a lot of unnecessary work.” Facing this inefficient situation, Reiter decided upon a new goal: “We needed a centralized solution that neatly maps all tasks using a single application and a single interface.”
The Search for Solutions
Of course, there was extensive research into which manufacturers offered solutions that could meet Rudolph Airtransfracht’s unique needs and complex requirements. “A few came up in the initial search,” explains Reiter.
But the first concerns surfaced relatively quickly: some manufacturers had a difficult licensing model, with only a limited number of data files covered by the license or a maximum data transfer volume allowed. Rudolph Airtransfracht could not and would not accept any such restrictions. At the same time, the company needed to make sure that the solution would be easy to use after the initial setup. “Although our IT team has a good background knowledge and is well acquainted with the required processes, it was important for us to be able to work with a system that is easy to use, handle and maintain,” says Reiter.
In general, Rudolph had one non-negotiable requirement, Frederik Reiter noted: “Our business processes had to be mapped faithfully and without modification via the software, and the downstream programs needed to be operated directly using the software.” All this considered, the short-list of suppliers decreased dramatically. “MOVEit by Progress fully covers our process requirements, meets all our technical requirements and is scalable too, enabling us to exchange our data securely, log it flawlessly and keep control at all times. This provides us with a central, secure solution that also meets our compliance needs,” says Reiter. “Logging, error reporting and similar activities are now running quickly and smoothly—these details are just as essential.”
From Rudolph’s point of view, MOVEit proved to be much easier to handle than its competitors’ systems: “This one gives us clear menu items and a manageable structure, whereas other products have a multitude of somewhat confusing levels. Although simplicity of handling was not a core requirement, it was a significant cherry on the cake in a solution that was already a clear leader in terms of its functional scope and meeting the overall requirements,” Reiter recalls. “Simplicity in handling and intuitive operation also become decisive factors—provided of course the necessary technology, the core functionality, works.”
Partner of Choice
The chosen software soon led to a very logical choice of a suitable implementation partner. Frederik Reiter was quick to notice here: “A manufacturer inquiry and further research immediately showed that anyone looking for data exchange automation gravitates to MOVEit, and from there straight to MFT specialist treeConsult.” There were also offers from large system houses, which offered the services, but turned out not to be providing them themselves, but instead offering services outsourced to treeConsult. “So, the natural choice was to select treeConsult as our direct partner.”
treeConsult, based in Freising, near Munich Airport, specializes in Managed File Transfer, has been undertaking such projects for over ten years, and has in-depth knowledge of their customers’ requirements as well as the capabilities of its software solutions. As a consultant, Aaron Siegl specializes in and extends these solutions: “No two Managed File Transfer projects are ever the same. What seems to be similar at first glance always gets more tricky in practice in the customer’s situation. There are company-specific elements in the processes in every project. These requirements take a lot of experience, skill and expertise to effectively resolve and implement.” The implementation partner’s experience generally pays off on different levels: “Our specialization not only allows us to carry out fast and technologically clean solutions, but also to create very efficient solutions within a tight budget framework.”
Software Minimizes Effort
The task of accurately mapping the client’s complex wishes in the software was delegated to treeConsult. “Of course, MOVEit is always a mature solution,” said Seigl. “Neither we nor the customer have to do too much preparation. The basic installation causes little trouble and the MOVEit solution itself makes no special demands on the operating system which means we can implement and configure MOVEit very quickly.”
After a relatively short implementation period, Rudolph was therefore able to go straight into the test phase to go live. Project manager Frederik Reiter and a small team work with MOVEit. He controls and coordinates the tasks alongside the employees. The system handover to Reiter was unspectacular, as Aaron Siegl reports: “We chose a specific use case for the initial introduction into the system, configured it together in MOVEit and before we knew it, Frederik Reiter was ready to work with the system live.”
In general, Rudolph is a company that needs to constantly change and adapt. “In our industry, requirements change instantly and very frequently, so you have to react immediately,” says Reiter. Automated data exchange with customers will definitely increase in the near future, with MOVEit taking on significant functions. In the area of local transport, there are plans to incorporate new transport data and shipment details very soon, offering shipment tracking at the highest level. This in turn generates an enormous amount of data needing to be processed immediately in MOVEit Automation. “In general, we want to communicate more frequently and rapidly directly with our customers using Industry 4.0 interfaces. We will continue the highly error-free connection to our customers even more intensively, with much more to come,” says Reiter, outlining the near future. “And in this respect, too, our choice of MOVEit means we can implement exactly what we want to implement!”