Challenges & Considerations
DB Schenker wanted to develop an online registration and service booking facility. Exhibitors, agents and stand-builders would be able to reserve transports, order on-site unloading and reloading services as well as storage and plant and labour hire. The system would provide a facility for online payment, tracking of order progress, as well as live dashboards for customers and large-screen displays at the event.
The two main options considered were a) to continue developing the existing SharePoint site or b) to start from scratch with a completely bespoke cloud-based application. As the client's requirements became clearer we realised that the system needed to be very flexible, and this did not suit SharePoint's rigid structure well.
The Fairs and Events team at DB Schenker UK is responsible for the smooth running of transport and on-site logistics for numerous large tradeshows and exhibitions across the UK, Europe and further afield. Until 2018 the F&E team had relied on a combination of in-house managed SharePoint forms and spreadsheets. Bookings from customers were all handled manually, and information flow was difficult.
Qdos proposed a complete overhaul of the logistics booking system, built on the open-source Drupal platform. Drupal is an enterprise-grade CMS, known for it's flexibility, scalability and top-level security. It allows rapid application development and easy ongoing evolution of a product likely to grow in size and scope.
LIFT (Logistics Interface For Tradeshows) was launched in summer 2018 and piloted on one of DB Schenker's largest events of the year. The feedback was excellent, reporting massive efficiency gains for the team and a vastly improved customer experience. A long list of additional features and improvements has led to continued development of the system which now includes creation of shipping labels, assignment of drivers, and analysis of order variations.