Success Story: DB Schenker - Logistics

  • Headquarters

    Essen, Germany
  • Industry

  • Challenge

    Ensure business continuity and mitigate risk for a mission-critical business that governs vast flows of data

  • Solution

  • Results

    • Proactive, preventive and predictive services
    • 24/7, follow-the-sun support and efficient escalation management for rapid resolution of issues
    • Dedicated MCS Account Manager coordinates all support services, provides regular calls and onsite visits
    • Dedicated technical support team and access to development teams
    • SLA with Axway, with monthly reports to track performance
    • Axway test environment in India replicates DB Schenker Logistics production system, for fast, accurate testing and updates
    • Regular system health check, including volume forecasting and production environment assessment
    • Product improvement process, with road map, product updates and enhancements, product optimization

With 62,200 employees and sales totaling €14.87 billion in 2011, DB Schenker Logistics is a world leader in its industry, providing European land transport, global air and ocean freight, comprehensive contract logistics solutions and global supply chain management. The company holds top positions in the automotive, high-tech and consumer-products sectors.

The Heartbeat of the business

Schenker Worldwide Online Data Network (SWORD)

DB Schenker Logistics established SWORD to govern the vast flows of data generated by its business operations.

Often called the “heartbeat of Schenker,” SWORD is a global, multi-enterprise business-to-business (B2B) integration platform for electronic data interchange (EDI). SWORD as a central EDI platform is based on Axway’s B2B product portfolio to provide B2B services across all business areas globally.

Currently, SWORD handles:

  • More than 10,000 customers connected directly or via local environments
  • Over 25 million messages per month, supporting all common protocols and message formats
  • 4.5 terabytes of message volume per year, growing at a rate of 15 percent a year

To provide a maximum level of support for this activity, DB Schenker Logistics adopted Axway’s Mission-Critical Support (MCS), a comprehensive package that includes preventive and proactive services, rapid problem resolution and efficient escalation management.

Mission-critical support

Essential for SWORD

Axway MCS performance is monitored by a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between Axway and Schenker. In turn, DB Schenker Logistics has established SLAs with some of its largest customers.

”With SWORD so vital to the business operations, we needed something beyond the typical support organization,” said Thomas Endries, Senior Vice President Corporate Customer & Enterprise Integration, DB Schenker Logistics. “Nearly every single B2B message, every data communication within Schenker is run by this system, including data communications with our customers, Schenker entities worldwide, with our external partners, and our back-end applications.”

“For example, an export from Singapore that becomes an import shipment to the U.S. involves messages for booking, transport, tracking, customs declarations, and status messages to customers, in addition to invoicing. All this is handled via SWORD.”

“Together with Axway, we developed a customized mission-critical support organization that’s essential for DB Schenker,” said Endries. 

Axway MCS

A proactive, preventive, predictive approach

DB Schenker Logistics needed a full range of MCS services, with an emphasis on proactive, preventive and predictive services that help to eliminate downtime and mitigate risk, while leveraging Axway’s detailed knowledge of the DB Schenker environment. Key services include:

  • 24/7, follow-the-sun access to support. Support is provided in all three regions (APAC, Americas and Europe, including headquarters) and is available regardless of issue severity.
  • MCS Account Manager. “We have an MCS Account Manager in each of the three regions,” said Endries. “In addition, we have a top-level MCS Account Manager who provides companywide oversight.”
  • Technical support team. “The MCS Account Managers are backed by a dedicated team that supports us 24/7 and is in direct contact with us on a working level,” said Endries. “When needed, we also have direct access to the development teams at Axway.”
  • Escalation procedures. “If there’s an issue, we have a clear escalation path based on the priority levels we set. We also have access to top management at Axway. It’s great to work with Axway due to their commitment,” said Endries.
  • Regular calls and onsite meetings. “Once a month, we have a regular call or onsite meeting in Essen,” said Endries. “In addition, twice a month, we have calls between the MCS Account Manager and my global operations staff.”
  • Product improvement process. “We have a structured process with Axway to improve products,” said Endries. This includes product optimization, patch review and deployment, product updates and product roadmap.
  • Regular health checks. “Twice a year,” said Endries, “we have a meeting to look at the environment. Our system administrators and technical staff, along with the Axway product experts, look at the production environment to see if everything is as it should be to run stably. There is a lot of communication, a lot of collaboration.”

Monitoring performance

Meeting SLAs

Axway performance is continuously monitored through a SLA with DB Schenker Logistics. “We get a monthly report from Axway with key performance indicators (KPIs): the number of tickets, their priority levels, how quickly they were resolved,” said Endries. “The bottom line is that Axway is meeting its SLA.”

In turn, DB Schenker Logistics has established SLAs with some of its largest customers. “We have SLAs with very large customers for whom we do warehouse management and enormous volumes of transport,” said Endries. “These SLAs concern the business side, such as warehouse operations, delivery times, etc. for which the IT system provides support.”

“If there’s an issue, we have a clear escalation path… It’s great to work with Axway due to their commitment.”  


Build proactivity, prevention and prediction into your logistics operations