05. September 2023

Do you know the IT manager of swissconnect ag and how much "Swissness" is in our logistics software?

Michael Hauenstein Autor: Michael Hauenstein
Kategorie: Expresslogistik, Technologie

To provide the fastest and most environmentally friendly transport in Switzerland, swissconnect always uses its company-developed logistics software. Do you know how much Swissness exists in the software development, what the current challenges are, and which IT projects are ongoing? Find out more in the interview with Tom Suhr, the long-standing IT Manager at swissconnect ag.

How long have you been working at swissconnect?

I’ve been in charge of IT at swissconnect ag since the middle of 2016. Before I took on this interesting position, I gained experience as a software developer and project manager at various renowned companies. My information systems studies and the certificate course in computer science at ETH Zurich help me to further develop the logistics software and to plan and implement the company’s IT strategy.

What attracted you to swissconnect?

The heart of swissconnect is the logistics software which is used to process every single transport order. We are not a standard courier service, which goes from A to B by car, we offer our customers the fastest and most environmentally friendly transport solution within seconds. The logistics software is pretty clever, and it has encouraged me to further advance the idea of “intelligent express logistics” and to support swissconnect with its digitisation. The decision-making routes at swissconnect are short, the corporate culture suits me, and the working atmosphere is dynamic, which makes my work enjoyable.  

Tom Suhr, Head of IT at swissconnect ag

What do you like about swissconnect?

I am motivated by getting involved in swissconnect’s vision. We solve transport problems for customers relating to laboratory, pharma, spare parts and document shipping. What sets us apart from other courier services is that we do not use a set mode of transport. We use the most suitable means of transport (bike, train, car, etc.), reach the destination before others and do good for the environment.

For me as a father, a good work-life balance is really important. The central location at Lucerne station and the possibility of working part time means I can achieve this. swissconnect has also supported me with further training (CAS “DevOps Leadership and Agile Methods”), which is great. I can use what I’ve learned on a daily basis, use the latest web developments and continuously modernise the logistics software.

How long has swissconnect logistics software existed?

The first company-developed logistics software was commissioned in 2001. That was an absolutely pioneering achievement! This first version recorded and processed requests for national express deliveries centrally. The multimodal courier platform has facilitated the combination of bike couriers and trains for over 20 years. The knowledge acquired is used in subsequent software versions. The software was completely modernised in 2013. At the same time, the courier network was steadily expanded to around 70 bike and car couriers throughout Switzerland, which are connected to the software and to 9 train companies (SBB, BLS, RhB, etc).

The unique logistics software from swissconnect searches for the fastest and most ecological transport connection

How is the nationwide network connected to courier companies via the logistics software?

swissconnect manages the organisation and execution of urgent transport for customers throughout Switzerland. Our front office dispatches and monitors express deliveries by trained personnel. Several local courier companies have access to our logistics software, and we also have telephone contact with some courier companies. We have developed an app so that around 700 bike and car couriers have access to relevant information such as collection address, train departure time, loading location, etc. This “communication channel” also helps us guarantee the highest quality under time pressure, supports the courier on site and digitises our processes.

How does the data exchange with train companies and customers work?

We can use trains from 9 train companies (SBB, RhB, BLS, etc) to handle our fast transport. We can access current information on trains en route at all times thanks to an interface developed with SBB many years ago. We also have an interface in the respective ERP system for certain customers for seamless data exchange. Our customers can then order express shipments from us in their usual work environment.

Couriers receive real-time information on their transport orders via the swissconnect app

swissconnect has been active throughout Switzerland since 1999. How much Swissness exists in the logistics software?

From the beginning, the software has always been developed and improved in Switzerland, and data storage has always been carried out nationally. Secure data processing has always been important to us which is why the decision for the data to remain in Switzerland was made over 20 years ago. I can say with a clear conscience that we deserve the “100% Swissness” award.

What IT projects are ongoing?

In order to ensure suitability for the future, we have decided to change the ERP system. Our logistics software is already connected to the new ERP system via an interface, the last tests are being run now, so that the previous ERP system can be replaced at the end of 2023. The new ERP system includes all core processes and allows us to further advance the digitisation process. Our goal is always to improve the efficiency and quality of our processes.

The combination of different means of transport enables the fastest and most ecological deliveries - throughout Switzerland.
Tom Suhr
Do you have any questions about swissconnect logistics software?

Contact me - whether by phone, e-mail or a personal visit - I am there for you.

Tom Suhr
Head of IT
041 244 20 09