DSV is a leading global logistics company headquartered in Denmark, with a strong presence in over 80 countries. Often considered the modern day embodiment of a global 3PL, DSV have grown both organically and through impressive M&A, such as the acquisition of Panalpina, and more recently that of Agility Global Logistics.
As with any new strategy, acquisitions come with their own set of challenges. In our information intensive industry, data is both a company’s greatest asset and their biggest challenge. And when it comes to integrating multiple data sets from different freight management systems such as CargoWise, the challenge is real.
- DSV acquired Agility Logistics and needed to transfer key data from one production system to another
- The preference was to avoid building a full blown integration as it would have been surplus to requirements down the line, and too time consuming
- Prompt provided a solution operating in a completely external environment as access to both production systems wasn’t possible
- GDPR, data security standards, and DSV’s strict data protection requirements were met
- DSV managed to transfer bookings and consolidations from Agility’s system with zero need for data rekeying or disruption to operations
- Removing the need for an integration saved DSV both time and money, and allowed their resources to focus elsewhere
- The solution remains relevant for future needs, and creates a framework for DSV to move data from 3rd party systems to CargoWise
Consolidating databases without impacting operations
When DSV acquired Agility Global Logistics for $4.2bn in 2021, they already had M&A experience, having acquired Panalpina in 2019 and successfully integrated the business in what can only be described as record time.
But could they do things better this time around, reducing friction, removing operational disruptions, and maximizing the power of data?
The need was to transfer active bookings and consolidations from Agility’s system to DSV’s CargoWise installation, while keeping both platforms live in a production environment. As internal IT resources were tied-up between daily operations, strategic initiatives, and the acquisition, they needed to find a third party solution.
There was a non-negotiable constraint that made the need all the more complicated. This entire project had to be completed without any access to DSV’s or Agility’s systems.
“Prompt’s Automate handled complex issues with ease during the transfer process. Any unexpected or unique obstacles were handled by the Lading team, Prompt’s sister company of logistics and software experts.” – Director of Regional IT Services and Innovation Services, DSV
Complying with strict cybersecurity rules makes a difference
DSV has extremely stringent data controls and procedures in place, similar to what we faced when working with CEVA. This meant that you cannot access any of their production systems. We pitched a solution to DSV that would operate in an external environment, from where data could be collected, validated, and then pushed into DSV’s CargoWise installation.
This solution not only met the stringent requirements, but also provided DSV with a scalable way to move data from Agility’s system to their own. An added advantage was that this approach removed the need to build a full integration, which would have taken too much time and resources.
Once DSV gave the go-ahead, we moved forward with our solution: “The Bridge”.
Planning data extraction down to the finest detail
Prompt offers multiple software solutions for freight forwarding companies, including Automate. Automate’s AI enhanced logic allows users to successfully capture, process, transform, and share data across multiple formats and platforms. The entire process is highly automated, requiring some initial set-up and management as new formats and file types are added.
Using Automate as a base, we set out to solve the two big problems we’d identified for DSV: facilitating data transfer without database access and extracting significant quantities of data quickly and accurately.
We leveraged our infrastructure to design a way to ensure that trading partners personal information and identifiers would flow correctly into CargoWise without creating rework or the need for manual intervention. This step also needed to meet GDPR and other data security standards.
Data extraction was planned in detail to avoid any unnecessary surprises. Every field needed to be right the first time otherwise rework time would greatly impact results. This entire operation was about meticulous planning, using the right tools, and leaving no room for error.
Automated data adjustments and a successful post M&A transition
DSV converted significant volumes of house and master bills created in Agility’s platform into bookings and consolidations in DSV’s CargoWise by leveraging data entry automation solution “Automate”. This included attaching all supporting documentation, and within the strictest Service Level Agreement parameters we’ve seen. By the end, we’d realized that over half of the data extracted had required some sort of automated adjustment to ensure that it adhered to DSV’s data entry processes when it arrived in CargoWise.
The bridge remained in place for about a year, with DSV achieving its main goal of transferring data from Agility’s proprietary platform to its CargoWise environment without building an integration or having to hire a team for manual data rekeying.
DSV now has the architecture in place should they need to transfer further data between the two systems in the future, again without requiring an integration between both platforms. Aside from the financial savings, the end result allowed DSV to transfer data from one system to another without any operational disruption or impact on their own resources.
A post-acquisition data conundrum solved by building reusable architecture – teach a man to fish.
The project came to a successful conclusion, with the bridge remaining in place, in case any future use case should arise. Prompt are ready to step in should DSV make another acquisition, which in a highly acquisitive industry, could be just around the corner.
Lading, our sister company focusing on consulting and support for both freight forwarding companies and the tech companies that serve them, took on the role of implementer and project management for DSV. This allowed DSV’s internal teams to keep their focus on the overall M&A integration and tasks at hand, with Prompt and Lading delivering on all the data transfer needs.