Recently, Leon Goncharenko- Awery’s project manager came back from a business trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where is located one of our customers- Serve Air, so we decided that this is a good opportunity to tell you about the Customer and project in detail based on the latest news from the scene, as they say)
Serve Air is the biggest cargo airline in DRC, it started operations in 2003 and the airline now operates a fleet of 12 aircraft - B727-200F and B737-300F serving both domestic and international markets through scheduled and charter operations.
We asked Leon for some details about the cooperation with Serve Air.
“We started our collaboration with Serve Air in 2019 and it has flourished since.
Serve Air provides regular flights between 13 cities in the DRC. At each airport the company has staff offices, hangars and warehousing infrastructure. Serve Air was looking for a system which could link all these offices, depots and their staff. One of the main aims was to also build a clear and transparent dashboard reporting system to help track their KPIs in real-time.
What software solution was used previously and why did they decide to move to another system?
“Serve Air used one system for managing their accounting and another for cargo management processes. This software is convenient for “fast” bookkeeping and documents issuance, but, because of rapid company growth, it was necessary to have an integrated system which supported all the company’s business modules. We had to develop a solution where entering data only once into the system to populate all the various modules. Serve Air has doubled in size two times in the last 2 years, so it was also important that the new system had to be scalable both in terms of volume and functionality to support further growth.”
Leon what were the implementation stages and where are we now in this project?
“Within this project, we implemented the two first stages and are going to start the third one.
The first stage included the main modules for covering flight operation and cargo operation processes and accounting. After these first priority areas were covered, we delivered the tools to speed up Serve Air people's performance in their workplace. The Cargo Track tool for the warehouse team, Crew Portal for pilots and crew.
At the third stage, we are going to provide additional features for Serve Air’s customers to improve the customer their experience during the whole cargo delivery process.”
How do you interact with Serve Air in the project?
“Normally, we deploy the system and provide support remotely, especially since last year when, because of Covid many borders are closed and restrictions are in place. Usually, for customers of 15-20 users it is possible to go live with without any issues through online conferences and remote support. We install the system, make customizations, set users up and provide training.
However, with this project, we realized that a successful implementation required a hands on approach. The reason was that all parts of the project were complex - the target goals demanded a parallel launch of several modules, at the same time. It is quite difficult to do this, so we decided to provide basic customization which will be enough to support all Serve Air's lines of business and, after that, to send me to the Customer’s headquarter for coordinate the next stages.
So this business trip you returned from was a part of the next customization stage?
“Yes, exactly, and as expected, having a coordinator at the customer’s office gave the project a real energy. I want to thank the Serve Air team for their cooperation in this project and especially during this 4 week period. Server Air’s project manager, Dinesh Swami, has done a great job to harmonize all the teams and departments’ schedules and arranged intensive training and brainstorming programs.
Prior to arrival in Kinshasa I had already gathered from Serve Air a list of the most important questions and topics for discussion, and on Awery’s side was a dedicated team of developers for providing customization at a fast pace.
I provided training, received feedback from the end-users and managers team, and then each day created tasks and had calls with the Awery development team. It was a really busy period but due to it we have delivered the project.
Now I am happy to say, the system delivers the customer’s business needs and we share a clear roadmap for the final stage. Of course, Awery ERP improvement and tuning never stops but the core of the system and the first scope of additional tools and instruments have been delivered already.”
Leon, what are your feelings about the Trip?
“I was really impressed by Serve Air’s scale and structured processes. I know that they started from one plane so this is a great result. The company has big ambitions and I am glad to take part in helping to automate the workflow and supporting the next growth.
During my trip I saw that there are a lot of new reconstructions and facilities in Kinshasa, also, I was surprised by the amount of business activity when I went downtown. I think this is the most developed city in Central Africa and still has great potential. It is a hidden jewel of a city - I recommend a visit!”
But what does the Customer think about the Awery ERP and how it helps in day-to-day work?
We asked Mr. Dinesh Swami, the Project manager from Serve Air side to share with us his opinion about the new ERP system.
"Our Objective was to go completely digital inclusive of all the verticals of organization, with Awery we could be able to do that. This ERP system provided us the basic flexibility so as per our SOP’s we can be able to digitize our maximum processes."
And what are the company's next plans in development and digitalization?
"Serve Air's plan is to make a customer centric approach so that they can be able to see the complete movement of their goods and be assured that as per commitment they will receive it fastest delivery. Our organization is planning to shift the maximum process through digital medium so the customer will receive quick and correct information and Operation of the organization will become more transparent and smooth.
The current Africa cargo market requires the adoption of technologies and automation so customers will get the clear status of their goods and receive them in the quickest possible time. Awery can help us and others deliver this vision”