In the competitive market of logistics services, companies are constantly developing and improving their offerings to attract and retain customers. Raben Group, one of the leaders in transportation and warehousing services, is aware of the challenges and at the same time the opportunities facing a company in this industry in the era of digitalization, the development of cloud services and the Internet of Things. For several years, Raben has had a dedicated research and development department, which deals with innovations in the broadest sense, including both the optimization of already functioning processes and the creation of completely new operating models. Raben Group has been introducing innovative solutions for many years, both in warehouse and transport processes, as well as in the field of tools, IT systems as well as automation and robotics solutions.
One of such activities is the myRaben.com platform, launched in 2015. Thanks to the use of the concept of data in the cloud, the Group’s customers and recipients of goods delivered by Raben can instantly obtain Internet access to orders, shipment statuses and invoices, among other things, and use a personalized set of reports with graphical visualization.
The most important advantages of the platform are the modern layout of the user panel and the intuitive menu, which provides customers with an overview of all shipments and warehouse orders in one place. Customers can define notifications (e-mail/SMS) regarding monitored shipments, as well as manage users themselves. The user panel is adapted for use on mobile devices (tablet, smartphone). Furthermore, an account representative can be contacted directly.
Estimated time of arrival
In 2019, the myRaben.com platform was enriched with a new service – information on the estimated time of arrival of a shipment, ETA. ETA is calculated when the GPS position change of the driver’s mobile device is registered, and the driver carries out the transport according to the planned route, visiting delivery and pickup points. The mobile device communicates with the relevant Raben Group IT systems, which process this information and then make it available in the myT&T (Track&Trace) tab on the myRaben.com platform. The supplier and the recipient receive information about the delivery time accurate to two hours. The information is updated in real time.
The ETA parameter is calculated for handling pickups and deliveries using the company’s own fleet and cooperating carriers, and its calculation takes into account a number of additional factors such as traffic intensity, permissible working time of the driver, road incidents, etc.
The ETA system has been introduced in all countries where Raben Group has branches (Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Italy and Bulgaria). Reliable data on the time of delivery allow customers, senders and recipients of transported goods to better plan their resources, shorten the time of unloading, and thus reduce costs.
ETA in SAP
Another innovation that Raben has prepared for its customers using the SAP ERP system is the SAP add-on that integrates ETA downloads with customers’ transaction systems.
The scope of AllforOne’s work included:
- preparation of the interface to myRaben and for the getETA service call from myRaben.com on the SAP side,
- preparation of the test program,
- the process of certifying the solution as AddOn in the SAP Integration Certification Center (ICC).
The SAP interface to myRaben and for the getETA service call from myRaben.com was developed in ABAP technology using webservice in SPROXY.
Innovation is our strength
Innovation is a key source of gaining competitive advantage. The search for better and better ways to provide logistics services, the constant struggle with the duration of a transportation service and loading or unloading operations is a daily reality for R&D departments in the logistics industry.
Ensuring transparency in the supply chain and the integration and flow of online information to all parties in the chain is also one of the areas of implementing better and faster elements of digitalization. Data exchange via the solution described in the article is one such example in which the customer – the SAP system owner – does not have to switch between applications to obtain key information from the logistics operator. The customer can receive it directly in their daily work environment.
Raben Group is a pioneer in providing estimated time of arrival (ETA) for less than truck load shipments, and the created extension and communication channel between the myRaben.com platform and the SAP system guarantees access to this very important information. Thus, it complements the wide range of integration possibilities Raben Group offers for customers, partners as well as recipients of transported shipments.
Zbigniew Kępiński, Genius Lab Manager, Raben Group
How the application works
After uploading the solution to the SAP system, based on the shipment reference ID in myRaben.com, customers can provide data on the time of delivery to the destination (to their business partners), directly to their SAP system. Based on the ETA, users can monitor the delivery and processing of shipments and the distribution of their goods. Integration with the myRaben portal is made on the basis of the service recipient’s proxy, and is additionally separated in the form of a function module that can be easily added and used in the sales and distribution process flows existing in the customer’s business solution.
The application creates a dedicated report that retrieves the estimated delivery time and displays it in the ALV report based on the external reference number (myRaben shipment number) of the delivery. The data is additionally stored in a custom database table, which can be further used in reports. The ALV report can be scheduled as background work, which enables customers to regularly, periodically check deliveries and the estimated time of arrival of goods to recipients.
The knowledge about the estimated delivery date available in SAP allows the customer to manage shipments, issue an invoice with the appropriate delivery date, etc.
The solution is provided by Raben as a ready-made application that the customer can upload to their system (so-called transport). Before being launched, it requires only minor configuration work (based on the manual provided with the application).
To ensure its customers that the solution is compatible with their SAP systems, Raben Group decided to have it certified at the SAP Integration Certification Center. All for One Poland consultants were entrusted with this task as well. As part of the certification, detailed documentation was prepared, and the tool itself was presented at a session with SAP ICC. The obtained ABAP Add-On Deployment Certification is a confirmation that the solution complies with SAP standards and conventions, and its implementation is safe for the operation of the customer’s system.
For Raben Group, which is constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of its services and increase customer satisfaction, the SAP-certified extension it now offers its partners through myRaben.com is a valuable competitive advantage.
Raben Group is a logistics company operating in 13 European countries. It provides contract logistics services (including warehousing, co-packing, co-manufacturing), road transport: full truckload, less than truck load and partial load, including transport to the East, as well as air, sea and intermodal transport. It also specializes in the comprehensive handling of fresh products requiring controlled temperatures. It handles more than 13 million shipments a year. In Poland, the company has a network of more than 50 branches, a modern fleet and 520,000 m2 of warehouse space.