SpiceFactory helps shipping companies harness digital to add new capabilities, increase efficiencies, and reduce operational costs.
Digitizing the traditional quotation and booking process
Brunoni, a shipping industry leader and the largest independent liner agency in Switzerland, approached us to help them build a quotation and booking system that would automate and improve these key business processes. The goal was to increase transparency and visibility throughout internal processes, deliver a better experience for customers, and reduce OPEX costs in the long run.
The main challenge was to develop a system that would bring together a number of shipping line companies for customers to easily search, get a quote, and make the booking, while at the same time enabling smooth collaboration between employees so they can access, share and act on timely information.
Over time, the platform grew to an overall operational management system and is constantly evolving into new fields, further improving operational efficiency. The system is used by employees internally, by customers, as well as expansion points for shipping lines and shipping operators.
The platform turned a grumpy employee covered in paperwork into a happy, focused one!
Creating a better experience for customers and employees
In order to achieve the intended goals for the MyBrunoni.ch platform, we needed to focus both on customer-facing initiatives and digitizing the back office operations. The platform is divided into Customer portal and Management portal which are closely dependent on each other.
Automatic generation of quotes and bookings
The customer portal enables customers to log in, search ships, request a quote, and generate a booking. To make the process from finding the right ship to getting the best quote painless for the customer, we’ve introduced search with relevant filtering and enabled automatic generation of quotes and bookings in the system.
This enables the customer to quickly get preliminary shipping prices for their needs. When they generate the booking, customers can see a related checklist that needs to be completed (e.g. uploading relevant documents, reviewing shipping instructions, etc.).
Task-focused lists to simplify booking management
The Management portal is built to enable Brunoni employees to manage quotes and bookings. The goal was to simplify the internal flow, integrate key data from the existing ERP solution, increase transparency into bookings progress, and make collaboration easier.
The process of tracking and completing quotes and bookings was traditionally quite cumbersome. We’ve built a capability for the Brunoni team to view quotes and bookings as tasks and go through a checklist of items that need to be completed before it gets ‘resolved’ or completed.
Task management made easy
Quotes and bookings are central documents where all the work happens. These documents go through the various stages in the flow and there are many teams involved in handling a full shipment with different assignments.
True innovation was created after spending significant time understanding team roles and internal processes and all the interactions that need to happen to complete and properly track one shipment. This was used as a foundation for creating the system of focused and automatically generated tasks.
Tasks are automatically created with proper notifications and team/person allocations. This allows everyone in the team to log in and see their “quests list.” Management can see who is working on what, check the status for each booking, and view the checklist items that have been completed/are pending. This type of view of the bookings enables the efficient and strategic management of tasks.
Introducing ‘My Day’
Brunoni team has access to the ‘My Day’ area of the platform where they can see their assigned bookings in the form of a task list as well as the details and status for each task. The task-focused checklist minimizes administrative work, greatly speeds up the process, and frees up employees’ time to focus on more important work.
Collaboration is also made easier with ‘Comments.’ Users can comment on a booking, mention each other, meaning that most booking-related communication happens within the system.
Integration of accounting system data
Integrating the legacy accounting system Brunoni was using with the new booking system was key to efficiently controlling payments and managing important accounting microprocesses.The integration enabled adding invoices and documents that need to be approved directly to the bookings.
Useful statistics for further process optimization
The use of analytics that pulls data from multiple sources helps Brunoni’s team to predict demand and facilitate decision making.
Dozen of 3rd party integrations with real time data editing and visualization
Shipping is complex, it involves many stages and many documents created in the process as well as many interactions with 3rd party systems (carriers, customers, suppliers, truck operators, accounting systems, ERP systems).
Our secret sauce that powers all of this are the BaaS services Google Firebase provides, giving us a possibility to create a real-time system with ease in a fully serverless fashion.
The My Brunoni platform is continuously evolving to better optimize the workflow for all of the involved parties. Customers today have a fully transparent communication channel where they can see the progress of their shipments in real time. They also receive notifications if their attention is needed.
By integrating directly into the carriers, the platform made the operations team’s life so much easier. Plus, the automated system that injects all the invoices and processes and verifies them eliminates errors in the process and saves 10x the time it took for the booking to be processed.