Expolanka leverages on Sharepoint to enhance customer service and business efficiency

Friday, 13 January 2012 00:42 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

In true form to its dare-to-do philosophy, Expolanka’s decision to embark on transforming its business process and moving to an electronic document and workflow environment with Microsoft’s SharePoint 2010 has resulted in delivering superior customer service and deriving real business value for the company.

Commenting on the system upgrade, Expolanka Head of IT Asitha Kaggoda said: “Our company is experiencing the multiple benefits of migrating to the SharePoint platform. We have managed to significantly improve document collaboration and information exchange, search information relating to a customer Job or business context, enable version control, save considerable amount of real-estate and improve overall productivity enhancements. The Group is taking the green initiative seriously and this solution has not only saved us time and cost, it has helped us to reduce paper and become more environmentally-friendly. Much of our business documentation, approvals and so on, are now accomplished online, in real time, thereby enhancing the efficiency of our freight forwarding business which by its very nature necessitates swift decision-making capabilities and speed in responding to customer needs.”

Being one of the largest logistics service providers in Sri Lanka, Expolanka wanted to transform the entire logistics vertical by embracing technology with a view of providing superior customer service and business efficiency and compete with the global market. Integration of the new solution with the main business application, Cargo Drive was a key requirement to enable smooth operation across the entire logistics chain.

The Expolanka IT team spearheaded the development of the document collaboration solution using SharePoint 2010 as the technology platform. Perhaps the greatest benefit of the solution is that it has helped Expolanka to streamline processes and procedures within the organization.

The operational benefits include the ability to share the same documents with multiple users, maintain audit trails of changes, manage information security and access, and archiving and search that have had a marked improvement in the speed of informed decision making. From a business management perspective, the significant improvement in productivity across the organization can be attributed to the speed of access to information that is a direct benefit and the overarching philosophy behind any SharePoint based solution.

In addition, the collaborative platform created by Microsoft SharePoint solution has enhanced the power of internal communications of the company. They have implemented the Intranet capability of SharePoint platform as a social networking tool between departments and successfully integrated Microsoft Lync, as the improved Unified Communications tool across the organization for employees to communicate and collaborate between teams. Moreover, the intranet allows their staff to maintain their own personal sites with contact details, skills, special interests etc., among other information.

“We believe this will help us add value to our customers and provide them an efficient system and better integration with their systems for electronic document sharing. SharePoint has enabled our employees to have information at their fingertips, thereby enabling informed decision making. The familiarity with the Microsoft platform has meant practically no transition woes and the system upgrade has been smooth and user-friendly,” Kaggoda added.

To maximise on their IT infrastructure and investment Expolanka team has also migrated to the Microsoft Exchange Server platform, to render emailing faster and more efficient. As email is a critical function in the business environment, Microsoft Exchange has increased the dependability of email functions at Expolanka Freight whilst offering enhanced security features.

Anton Canisious, Solution Specialist for the Enterprise Partner Group of Microsoft Sri Lanka commented: “We are happy to see the transformation of internal business processes experienced by Expolanka Freight with the adoption of SharePoint 2010. The company is now ideally poised to exceed customer expectations with their ability to make informed decisions that add a distinctive edge to their speed to market. The solution’s sheer ease of use and the ability to integrate with existing business tools and IT infrastructure makes it even more pertinent in maximizing a company’s IT investment.”

Expolanka Holdings PLC – the Holding Company of the Expolanka Group – commenced operations in 1978. The company is listed in the Main Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange as a diversified conglomerate. With diversified interests in transportation, international trading, manufacturing and strategic investments sectors, the Group, which has a global presence in over 12 countries and 38 cities, has 46 subsidiaries and joint venture companies.

Expolanka Holdings PLC posted a net profit of Rs. 1.3 billion in the year ended 31 March 2011.  Additional information about Expolanka Holdings PLC is available at www.expolanka.com.