Seiler Logistics of St. Gallen embodies all the typical Swiss virtues, small, fine, agile and globally networked. Philipp Seiler learned freight forwarding from scratch and developed his skills in large Swiss forwarding companies. In 2015 Philipp felt the time was right to found his own company, Seiler Logistics, which was always envisioned as a thoroughbred among freight forwarders, but a thoroughbred with ambition. Fine, agile and global yes, but never small. Seiler Logistics is confidently positioning themselves for growth in a market that is highly competitive in Switzerland.
Their strategy is based on a good Swiss tradition – avoiding growth at any price. Growth must be financially viable, delivering profits and maintaining the high quality standards that the customers of the Swiss freight forwarder already value. In the age of digital logistics, businesses strive for the greatest possible degree of automation without alienating, but rather motivating their skilled employees to make this work.
From digital update to the Digital Standard
Automation and the resulting increase in efficiency should be the initial spark that powers a growth strategy. With this in mind, Seiler worked to replace several obsolete systems with a single new one and bring about a digital update. This proved proved more difficult than expected, the initial solution seemed attractive, but required unexpected additional internal effort and support was lacking. Then unplanned additional costs began to mount and the project was discontinued. With this experience behind them, the company knew a different, better and financially acceptable solution had to be found.
There are plenty of systems offering digital Nirvana, but for Seiler the human factor was also key. Apart from an exceptional technical solution, the technology vendor and their employees must fit in with Seiler’s company philosophy. All these virtues were found at Riege, the personal support given by Damir Galijasevic, Senior Sales Manager at Riege Software. There was also the familiar, uncomplicated manner of all key persons involved in the implementation, and of course Scope, the Digital Standard for digital logistics, which enables forwarding operations including customs declarations within a single integrated system.
One system for everyone and everything
Growth needs a market ripe with opportunities, but also free resources within a company ready to exploit these opportunities. This is why, in addition to the requirements for modern and future-proof freight forwarding software covering all areas in a single system, Seiler were also looking for time saving and increased efficiency. These factors played an important role in the decision to choose Scope.
Despite a somewhat longer implementation phase, from Seiler's point of view the wait was worthwhile. The desired increase in efficiency became noticeable in only three months. The clearly structured entry fields, smooth workflows without interruptions and no system changes increased user satisfaction as they adapted to the new system.
Complete solution without compromises
Making compromises should be done where there is a benefit to the business, but being forced into unsatisfactory compromises is unpleasant and undesirable. Seiler had no tolerance for ugly work-arounds. The aim for the new system was to make all other software, apart from the classic office tools, superfluous. After considering the alternatives, there was no option but a decision in favor of Scope. The purchase of the complete solution was proof of this, Seiler uses the modules for freight forwarding, customs, finance and CRM. The result is a remarkable improvement in all areas and fields of work.
Forwarding company programmed for growth
The forwarding module allows complete order processing from door to door. For air freight and sea freight, but also critically for overland freight, which plays an important role in Switzerland due to its geographical location. Data exchange with external databases, communication with airlines, shipping companies and ports works smoothly directly within order processing. There is scalability from one to an infinite number of users creating the best conditions for planned growth. Scope will grow with the company.
Integrations that pay off
From Seiler's point of view, the CRM function integrated in Scope has everything needed with no superfluous frills. The clear mapping of status during the acquisition phase supports and attracts new customers. The quotation tool accelerates submission of quotations and when successful, Scope easily converts quotes into orders.
There is an interface to the popular Swiss accounting system ABACUS, which smoothly transmits financial information. The mapping of all financial transactions in Scope ensures maximum transparency and provides conclusive information about business development and the economic situation of the company.
The interface to the FedEx portal is of particular importance to Seiler because they have an intensive and economically significant business relationship with FedEx. The electronic connection permits enormous synergies to be realized, work steps are reduced and capacity freed up.
The next step into the future
The next steps to further increase efficiency and promote growth are already planned. These include
- Scope Connect as booking and tracking tool for customers and agents
- an interface to FedEx for bidirectional transmission of shipment data
- another interface for the exchange of shipment data including pre-alerts
Management and monitoring
The changes and improvements resulting from the introduction of Scope are already obvious at all levels of the company. The administrative department has automatically become leaner and simpler. In financial management, the time required has been reduced to a quarter. The acceleration of individual work processes is verifiable because it is measurable. The performance of the entire company as well as individual departments and employees can be seen at a glance, necessary adjustments can be made promptly and controlled in a targeted manner.
While driving growth, Seiler refuses to lose sight of the human side. There will be no meaningless check-boxes as in large companies, nor will there be a manager permanently look over employees shoulders. Seiler is only concerned with the essentials: fewer errors, less effort, less time. The basis for profitable expansion.
The forwarding agency of tomorrow
Seiler believes that growth is not only dependent on technical equipment and available tools. He knows that freight forwarding without humans cannot and will not work. And he knows that attracting and retaining well-trained, qualified employees is not just a question of salary. Individual life planning and a satisfactory work-life balance make a company attractive. Really good staff increasingly expect flexibility and alternative working models from their employer as a prerequisite for commitment and loyalty.
Here too, Seiler can rely on Scope and offer a location-independent infrastructure. Employees are basically able to do their job at any time and any place. In the company, in the home office, full-time, part-time. Whether, how and to what extent such offers are accepted can be decided by each individual. But changing times demand new concepts. As a modern employer Seiler is ready for this. And with Scope, he is optimally prepared for it. Tomorrow may come.