Europa Group installs bespoke IT system for road freight operations

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Logistics operator Europa Worldwide Group has launched Leonardo, a new £1.7m (US$2.2m) bespoke IT system, across the company’s road freight operations.

The IT solution provides Europa with in-house control over its systems and will improve responsiveness, efficiency, productivity and scalability across its 11 UK sites.

LeoRoad, part of the Leonardo suite, includes real-time operation monitoring of shipments, discrepancy management, workflow management, and proactive customer and partner daily reporting. The system is fully integrated with internal CCTV, Masternaut truck and trailer tracking solutions and Europa’s national telephone system.

Richard Litchfield, IT director, Europa, said, “It is rare for a logistics business to move from outsourced software, and invest and employ a dedicated team of IT developers and designers to build a bespoke IT system on this scale from the ground up. Undoubtedly, this is a game changer for the business.

“We had little option but to launch all areas of our road freight management system in one go. We are a 24/7, £100m (US$130m) turnover business and we anticipated problems in replacing a 15-year-old system, which manages the process from data entry to invoice. However, when you are in the thick of it, dealing with over a thousand tickets raised in four weeks, we felt the pain, with the software team working very long hours.

“While these challenges were frustrating for many concerned, the team has been able to respond quickly to issues and has now begun launching many system enhancements. This is the true power of Leonardo.”

A further £400,000 (US$530,000) investment in hardware means that all staff have either been upgraded or issued with new computers. This gives employees a consistent and more efficient desktop user experience, enabling greater mobility and connectivity to hot-desk and work from any location. All Europa employees were given extensive pre-launch training, and have access to dedicated IT services.

Andrew Baxter, managing director of Europa, said, “This is Europa’s biggest IT investment since the company was established in 1966. The company has been through some major restructuring projects since it was acquired in 2013. LeoRoad is the last major restructuring within the business, and we can now focus on growth.

“This investment is another major statement of our intent to create a market leading business. The loyalty and dedication of all our employees during these changes has been instrumental in positioning Europa on a path of faster growth.”

The next phase of Leonardo, called LeoFinance, is due to launch in 2017. The project will overhaul the company’s finance systems and will be fully integrated with LeoRoad. The aim is to optimize processes, improve transparency, tighten credit control, create greater supplier management, and visibility of account systems. Phase two of LeoRoad will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Europa Worldwide Group employs 600 people across 11 sites in the UK and Hong Kong and is represented in 100 countries.

September 13, 2016

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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