In the series of blogs, we will showcase case studies for digital transformation in different business sectors. First, we will start with the logistics company. Our friends from Ofir ltd. company developed in-house solutions.

Company profile

In this case study, we will look at a lighting company that has a substantial impact in the Croatian market as a distributor for major brands. Doing business for more than 25 years, mostly on the local market but raising numbers in export to foreign EU countries. Currently, there are 15 employees within two branches in bigger cities. The average income in the last three years was over 3.000.000 €.

The company doesn’t have a strict structure apart from the CEO/owner as the main responsible person. Most employees are faculty educated with long experience in the logistics field of business.

Challenge and digitalization status

For business purposes, the company has five cars and three delivery vehicles. Client/partner visits are handled monthly to gain sales and trust. Other orders are realized by delivery services towards mainly other business subjects (some small revenue comes from private persons).

The firm has been moderately digitized for the past ten years. Along with relatively newer computer equipment/server infrastructure, it owns an up-to-date website. Recent interventions in terms of digitization went in the direction of unified e-mail addresses (shared address book) and tracking of received and sent e-mails (common e-mail boxes). Every employee has a company mobile phone and laptop, which can be taken on a business trip or to the home office.

Since the basis for digitalization is set, the owner decided to make the next digital transformation a mini step. Mentioned vehicles were in the focus where expenses weren’t tracked or analyzed regularly.

Every vehicle cost/expense was defined as follows: vehicle purchase, all maintenance (regular, unplanned, preventive), fuel, cleaning services, checking, or monitoring the pressure in the vehicle tires as well as windshield washer fluid refill, fire extinguisher maintenance, radio/service subscriptions, all potential crashes and vehicle damages. Noting all those facts would provide better insight into company assets and efficiency assessment. The situation before digitalization is noted in the table below. 



Lack of information Vehicle cost analysis is challenging since it would cause separate tracking in the posting process. A quick cost and effectiveness picture was unable to get. The idea was to generate a personal vehicle ID where each one will have crucial data, handling records, and current value compared to investing.
Lack of employee attention Since everyday work tasks are overwhelming, it was easy to forget deadlines for vehicle maintenance (ex., Service due, fire extinguisher checkup etc.). The digital solution would cover all mentioned situations and other repetitive tasks that employees could easily forget.
Vehicle indebtedness All vehicles were used by different employees (no specific vehicle was appointed to only one employee), so a lack of responsibility occurred in case of an accident or vehicle misusage. The application aimed to appoint each vehicle to the employee in hours/days when he/she is using it.
Reports In case of any damage, insurance companies are asking for photo documentation. Supervision by the management is also easier if every defect is properly noted when using or taking over the vehicle (ex., the previous employee left the vehicle in an untidy state the day before).

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Solution – approach and realization

As one of the most popular ways in the digitalization approach, the owner of this company decided to contract a software company. It won’t be appointed to produce a solution but to help better understand the long-term development of this new, refreshed process. The owner and his team presented and described problems that were the base for technical documentation for this project. According to the suggested plan, there were phases prepared with defined outcomes. The whole digitalization process was estimated to be finished within eight months.

After preparing detailed technical specifications, the software company tried to offer a faster solution by researching similar commercial and open-source solutions. It is concluded that only software applications can cover the company’s specific needs. Some applications were too broad and others too narrow in functionality terms, so it was decided to go with custom development. Such an approach is more expensive since development is devoted only to one client, but it solves all predicted challenges for a specific company. Web and mobile applications are expected outcomes of the IT project.

For the technical platform Laravel environment was accepted due to its wide usage, standardized code libraries, and the ability for the owner not to be dependent on only one vendor (software company). The agreement pointed out that provided code after the solution is implemented will be in possession of the client where the owner can decide to change software company if needed.

MySQL database was chosen for data storage, which was seen as an optimal and easy-to-scale solution for this project. Cordova framework was chosen for the mobile application that had considerable savings (in time and cost) compared to native development (separate for Android and IOS operating systems).

This specific case was straightforward to explain and understand for developers. Both sides (client and software company) were involved during the design and development phases, especially in coordinating user experience, which needed to be as simple as possible.

After the first development iteration (within six months) and the first alpha version build, a couple of company employees were selected to do an extensive test. Feedback confirmed that current progress is satisfying and that process is moving in the right direction.

 Additional two months of work were invested to provide the first stable beta version. The testing period started when developers were involved and physically participated with the client in real-life scenarios suggesting an optimal approach to note-taking in the application.

This case assumed the involvement of almost all employees in the testing period, so education was relatively simple. This approach also minimized resistance to change since all employees knew what was happening, why such an application was created, and what benefits it would provide.

After a successful testing time frame (two weeks), it evolved to production usage, meaning that all company members started to use an application, getting used to it and taking notes of what could be improved. The last mentioned thing is essential since it provides an opportunity for the whole staff to actively offer solutions to their everyday challenges. Company management decided to award the best improvement ideas every month, which became an extra trigger for employee engagement. 

Application benefits that company management planned were achieved. Usage within six months provided savings (vehicle service prediction and repairing analysis showing vehicle unprofitability), leading to almost half of the project investment return. During a couple of months of active application usage, all employees accepted it and, together with the company management, are planning further development. An update covering working machinery, trucks, and other construction machinery is prepared with partner companies. Covering support for motorbikes or e-bikes is also considered. The extra point recognized as needed during implementation is an option to connect with ERP systems.

It would provide an option to automatize cost invoices towards the accountant process (ex., If the employee pays for the gas, by simple invoice scanning, it will become available as a dealer invoice in the accounting module – no matter if an employee or the company pays the cost).

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This case showed a situation where no current commercial product is suitable for company digitalization. Almost like in real life, if you are tailoring a suite just for you, it will fit the best. Similarly, if you are building a custom application for your firm, it will have an optimum set of needed options. However, such an approach is time- and money-consuming, and it is easy to underestimate it in every resource you may have.

On the other hand, experience showed that by doing so, companies that can afford it are better prepared for further digitalization and full digital transformation steps. By incremental development of digital activities within different departments, it is easier to adopt a new way of business. It is also essential to emphasize employee awareness and preparedness for digital renewal. Company management often tries to do so using shortcuts or as a must.

Many resources in such an approach are wasted when trying to minimize resistance. With a clear vision of digital transformation propagated within all company members, it could succeed or last forever.

Reach out to us, and let’s build a great project together!

Authors of the text: Milan Puvača, Krunoslav Ris

A chapter from the Book: Digital Transformation Handbook (K. Ris 2023.)

Krunoslav Ris

Digital Transformation Consultant | Author | FinTech Specialist | University Lecturer | Executive Director @ Lumen Spei ltd. As a Senior Digital Transformation Leader experienced in driving organizational change and managing high-growth agendas, I have spent more than 20 years bringing technology to life, leading digital strategy across multiple channels, transforming ideas that have led to multi-million-dollar businesses, and executing the profitable deployment of new technologies across multiple industries.