In the highly competitive global economy, victory goes to those who best manage time, finances, and human resources. Markets are constantly evolving, and companies use IT solutions to optimize production processes and improve relationships with business partners. The trend towards digitalization is not an accident; it offers an effective way to increase business performance and win the daily struggle for clients.
“Digitalization starts with streamlining processes for company personnel. 10 years ago, the AsstrA team developed and implemented IT Help Desk, an online platform where each employee can describe technical problem and ask the IT Department for help. The technology streamlines the collection of user feedback and helps the IT Department assess how quickly and effectively we are responding to support requests,” says Aleksej Bogdanovich, Head of the System Administration Division at AsstrA.
On average, over 80 support requests are made via IT Help Desk every day. During the last 10 years, 155,000 requests have been recorded. Meanwhile, IT Help Desk has evolved from a technical support platform into a tool that helps guide the further development of corporate applications and service offerings.
“With the increasing prevalence of information technology, users’ computer literacy is growing. Today there are fewer requests concerining "everyday" issues like the interoperability of applications or difficulties connecting to wi-fi. Now, employees ask more questions about how to best use the company’s software, e.g. Oracle Transportation Management, our Human Resources Management System, or Business Inteligence tools,” says Aleksej Bogdanovich.
The company is introducing more proprietary IT products every year. That is why IT Help Desk has a section with instructions on how to work with applications. In addition, AsstrA has developed a corporate training process overseen by the Training and Development Center. The use of advanced technologies improves the way clients’ requests are processed. Supplier’s Portal and AsstrA Track & Trace Visibility software provide a platform for communication with transport carriers and add value to services provided to clients.
“Supplier's Portal opened access to clients’ orders for our transport partners. Carrier companies joined our processes as full-fledged participants,” explains Marina Syroezhkina, Information Technologies Director.
AsstrA Track & Trace Visibility started with an idea and has grown into a complete solution. It is interesting for its cross functionality, as it involves both the IT and the Supplier Relationship Management Departments.
“Thanks to this software, AsstrA clients can monitor the movement and location of their cargo in real time. If a vehicle does not have GPS sensors, the Track & Trace Visibility mobile application comes to the rescue. AsstrA also acts as an integrator and collects information directly from GPS providers,” adds Marina Syroezhkina. To improve the quality and reliability of AsstrA’s systems and applications, the company’s European data center has implemented a project to deploy its own cloud system. The corporate group branches’ separate infrastructures were combined into a single cloud environment.
“The design work was completed within a year. Now it is possible for all AsstrA branch employees to access the right data and applications. The cloud system became the basis for the deployment of a unified environment for remote access to the corporate information system. This made it possible to for AsstrA employees to efficiently transition to remote working when pandemic-related quarantine measures were introduced,” says Aleksej Bogdanovich.
Advanced hardware and software and reliable Internet-based communication channels facilitated links between AsstrA offices and the data center and helped the AsstrA team provide uninterrupted services during the lockdown. The IT team regularly monitored the state of the infrastructure and optimized the functioning of regional VPN servers.
“The IT team is improving existing business applications that support transport order management, document flows, and our analytics and financial systems. Soon, the suite of IT solutions will be complemented by a machine learning system for the for recognition and reconciliation of invoices. The new Customer Relationship Management system is already in testing. The corporate portal and AsstrA Wiki knowledge base were launched in May,” summarizes Marina Syroezhkina. “We’re all about continuous improvement!”