After the opening of one of the divisions, we came up to the conclusion, that we needed an IT-system that would optimize and unite the work of our large enterprise.
We launched the grain export terminal in the port of Chernomorsk in 2016. Since then we introduce, modernize and improve more and more parts of it.
Last year, for its more efficient work, we launched transport galleries, silo-type tanks and other engineering and transport infrastructure of the world’s best manufacturers.
Due to this, the terminal increased the processing capacity. Now we are planning the installation of equipment for loading on ships, increase in transshipment to 20-22 thousand tons/day. In 2018, we set the target for transshipment at 4.5 million tons. Of these, about 1 million tons is our export plan.
Reference. The group of companies Risoil Ukraine is engaged in logistics of vegetable oils, bulk and general cargoes in the Black Sea ports, sale, and production of vegetable oils, trade in oilseeds and crops by ship and container consignments, storage and processing of various agro-products. Owns linear elevators and oil terminals in the ports of Chernomorsk and Southern port.
To achieve these plans with the beginning of the new season, on the eve of harvesting, to optimize and improve the organization of purchases, Risoil decided to create a special tool for this process.
They decided not to expand staff, but to optimize and partially standardize business processes with software solutions.
We needed a system that would manage all trading activities, supply chains and control their implementation, as well as relationships with suppliers, financial part – payment, reports and obtaining financial results more quickly.
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The question arose about choosing a software vendor. The market uses a lot of software products at the port elevators to account for quantitative and qualitative grains. And a dilemma arose: to take something ready or to develop our own.
We chose a modular solution. When searching for a software vendor, we learned that in each of the sectors in which we work, there is a fairly high-quality modern software product. But there was not anything complex, that would work for us 100%.
At our enterprises, processes were partially automated. We needed a functionality that would complete the trading sector and would synchronize with all existing projects. That is a certain central base.
Between all the software in a single system it’s very easy to set up synchronization, they are built on the principle of spreadsheets, which we can transfer from one module to another.
An important thing is saving money and time, as the development of a global project can take up to two years and require large resources and money, and labor and greater involvement of software professionals.
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But you can not be completely sure that during this period you will get what you want, and then you will not have to change it taking into account the rapid trends of the information technology market.
That is, you can create your own “shuttle”, but it’s more expensive and longer than creating a station from the modules.
At first, we looked towards CRM systems, which are oriented more towards buyers, and their communications with suppliers, their activity accounting. But after using it, we realized that we wanted something more – to look at the procurement processes in a comprehensive manner and take into account all the links involved in it.
The product was supposed to complete both security and finance issues throughout the supply chain, and a legal service that would monitor the contracts being signed. Therefore, we combined the CRM-part and ERP-part – for management and accounting.
The next stage was the question of placing this software. There were options: on their servers, on leased data-center sites both inside the country and abroad, and, finally, cloud-server.
We chose the latter. In my opinion, the cloud solution is the most optimal for any IT project because it provides the necessary security, protection against data loss, as there are many ways – backups, recovery.
Cloud solution significantly complicates the withdrawal of our information from both the audit authorities and unfair colleagues.
Most of these services give a guarantee of work – 99.99%. Failures, if they occur, are invisible to the end-user.
We can also monitor the productivity we need. If there are more employees, it takes 15 minutes to call the software vendors and increase the capacity of virtual servers and so on.
This is also a cost saving, because we pay only for what we use. This is mobility, and access from any of our offices or from mobile devices.
Among the shortcomings could be named a sudden loss of the Internet, when work stops. But in fact, this problem is solved simply: you pre-add the backup Internet provider to the office.
At the same time, virus attacks, for example, the same “Petya” virus, revealed the shortcomings of companies that stored all their data on the internal server.
We use our system fully in the test mode for six months and we are going run it by July 1.
When we had a choice, whom to order it, there were a lot of startup guys. Some of them have already worked in grain trading companies, someone in the IT sector. Over the past six months, they have stepped far ahead. Today it is a start-up, and tomorrow it would be already the company with a huge package of users. In a word, the selection is wide.
Now everything is working for us, we not only do not need additional employees, but we can reduce the available staff.
But in fact, we were not looking for a solution to all problems, but a tool that would help to optimize and establish communication between all units. At the previous stage, we were a bit scattered: the purchases for the factory were the separate business line was and the business was trade was another separate line.
As a result of software implementation, we have an electronic archive with all the documents, there is control over the status of the counterparty, we have introduced their ratings.
In the long term, we are moving in the same direction as all companies and solve similar problems. The company plans to make this service even more client-oriented, creating a web page of counterparties.
So that they can go there and get a list of necessary documents, upload them. We, in turn, receive data about it to verify it and assign it a rating.
Cloud solution significantly complicates the withdrawal of our information from both the audit authorities and unfair colleagues
The system is synchronized with instant messengers – Telegram and others. They allow you to integrate into any other software product. Thus, using a mobile phone, it is possible to agree on any transaction.
That is, you go to any application, select a counterparty, terms of delivery, quantity, and price. This request comes to the top manager and you just need to click “ok”. All this will be immediately fixed in the system.
All this is very interesting and you should not be afraid of such technologies, consider them too complicated. This does not require additional training, so computers have deeply entered our life. Nobody taught you how to use Facebook, right !?
Modern products are so tuned to the end-user, that mastering them takes very little time. We had literally one remote training of personnel, and literally two weeks later the specialists came to us and checked the operation of the system in practice.
Edvard Kovalchuk, project manager of the group of companies Risoil Ukraine
Talking points at the IV agrarian conference of procurement specialists of the information company Pro Agro Group