Customers expected to be able to track and manage their deliveries in real time, which wasn’t possible due to outdated and unmodifiable software.
Internal hardware for warehouses, point-of-sale, and drivers were costly and inefficient. And outdated shipping operations, such as a complex back-office billing system for its contractors, routinely resulted in expensive delays, which posed a blocker since the company had its eye on growth.
“Over 18 months, we purchased eight companies in the U.S. and we expected to start delivering packages both ways across the border,” says Serjeantson.
But they realized they were missing some key technical capabilities as they tried to integrate the new smart shipping system with their existing tech stack. Instead of losing time in building a net- new ERP, they decided to build around their existing IBM AS/400.
“Logistics is an extremely specific industry. Certain carriers only support certain protocols, FTP servers, or scanners. Devices ranged from a smart TV to a computer that could barely run the Internet. It’s very deep,” says Lumenalta’s tech lead on the project.