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Case Study

TFG Transfracht

Logistics provider: 27% more throughput

"It's now easier for us to integrate with standard components from the logistics sector, for example with trucking software. That works thanks to the use of other technologies in the Infokette environment."

The company

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Locations throughout Germany
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Connections
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Million euro annual revenue

As a specialist in seaport hinterland traffic and a Deutsche Bahn AG company, TFG has provided an ideal combination of rail and road since 1969.

With the extensive AlbatrosExpress network, TFG Transfracht connects the container terminals in the ports of Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven with over 15,000 destinations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland every day.

Each year around 910,000 standard containers are transported, with over 13,000 rail connections.

The Company

0
Locations throughout Germany
0
Connections
0
Million euro annual revenue

As a specialist in seaport hinterland traffic and a Deutsche Bahn AG company, TFG has provided an ideal combination of rail and road since 1969.

With the extensive AlbatrosExpress network, TFG Transfracht connects the container terminals in the ports of Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven with over 15,000 destinations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland every day.

Each year around 910,000 standard containers are transported, with over 13,000 rail connections.

A look back

The containers are managed using IT systems developed by the company that take care of, for example, management of overseas containers or administration of the container depot.

The application systems were programmed in the classic manner in RPG (on AS/400) and Natural (on the mainframe).

In terms of functionality and software, too, TFG’s two logistical core systems were past their prime. These systems are “Infokette”, an RPG application based on IBM i. This handles order processing up to the point of invoicing, which is handled using “GC-Abrechnung” (an application based on Adabas/Natural and VSE).

TFG was therefore faced with urgent questions

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How can you evaluate

whether the existing RPG application provides a solid foundation for continuing with the customised software?

Is it possible

to perform a careful step-by-step renovation in order to continue using the software investment of the last twenty years without endangering operational reliability or performance?

How can the advantages of

customised software sustainably ensure the company's competitiveness?

A closer look

Instead of completely redeveloping the two application systems or replacing them with standard software, TFG decided that their first step would be the targeted modernisation of their software and its consolidation on the IBM platform Power i.

The first clean-up alone reduced the programme volume from 4000 programmes to 3000 – simply by recognising and removing programme areas that were no longer active. In addition, there was a complete switch to the Integrated Language Environment (ILE). That served as preparation for the subsequent migration to FreeRPG as the future language standard and as a bridge to Java developers. What is more, by defining the functional units they were already able to prepare for clustering in the application. This enabled the “Infokette” application to gradually be merged with GC-Abrechnung.

A look ahead

Consolidating and cleaning the two core systems created a foundation for their continued modernisation and migration. TFG management realised that optimising the two core systems would release huge potential for securing competitiveness – supporting the company’s growth strategy in the long term. So the modernisation requirements driven by operational needs led to a strategic modernisation programme that is being drawn up by functional experts and users using the processes as starting point.

The benefits at a glance

100

%
reduction of sources of error in software development thanks to eXplain and Valence

30

%
acceleration in further development and implementation of new business requirements

27

%
increase in employee satisfaction and productivity

Tools / processes

  • IBM i software assessment
  • Creation of a roadmap
  • eXplain
  • Valence
  • User-centered Design
  • Development partnership
  • Project lead implementation

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