Driving Efficiency, Empowering Collaboration, and Transforming Logistics Management
Revolutionizing Logistics: Empowering Econt with an Innovative Marketplace Platform

Nikolay Sabev

Chairman of the board, Econt

Driving Efficiency, Empowering Collaboration, and Transforming Logistics Management
Driving Efficiency, Empowering Collaboration, and Transforming Logistics Management

"We've transformed the way we manage logistics. It's not just a system; it's a game-changer that empowers our teams and enhances collaboration across our supply chain."

Case Study: Implementing Econt Shop – A Revolutionary E-commerce Platform by Econt & Plana

Background

Econt Express, Bulgaria's leading logistics company, operates over 450 offices and employs more than 5,000 people. Recognizing the need to streamline their supply chain, particularly the procurement of packaging materials essential for daily operations, Econt Express partnered with Plana Solutions to develop Econt Shop (Еконт Шоп). This integrated marketplace platform is designed to centralize and automate the procurement process, ensuring efficient logistics management​

Objectives

1. Centralize Procurement Method

Create a unified platform for Econt offices to order packaging materials, stretch films, boxes and etc.

2. Implement a Triple Logistic Model

Enable seamless multi-company operations within a single, integrated logistics framework.

3. Automate Transaction Processing

Ensure automatic generation of purchase and sale orders between Econt, its partners, and vendors.

4. Integrate Accounting Functions

Automate the generation and posting of accounting documents, including invoices, into the general ledger.

5. Еnhance Operational Efficiency

Improve the overall efficiency of logistics and supply chain management.

6. Provide a User-Friendly Platform

Develop an intuitive interface for Econt employees to place orders easily.

Implementation

1. Platform Development

Plana Solutions focused on developing a robust, user-centric e-commerce platform:

  • Vendor Portal: Designed a comprehensive dashboard for vendors to manage inventory, orders, and customer communications efficiently.
  • Customer Interface: Developed a user-friendly interface for Econt employees to browse products, make purchases, and track orders easily.
  • Secure Payment Integration: Integrated multiple secure payment gateways to offer diverse payment options and enhance transaction security.
  • Third-Party Platform Integration: Ensured seamless integration with WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify, enabling users to manage orders and inventory across multiple e-commerce platforms efficiently.

A key innovation in Econt Shop was the integration of a triple logistic model: 

  • Unified Database: Developed a unified database architecture allowing multiple companies to operate within the same logistics framework. 
  • Automated Shipping Labels: Implemented automated generation of shipping labels and tracking numbers, streamlining the fulfillment process. 
  • Real-Time Data Sharing: Facilitated real-time data sharing among all entities involved, improving transparency and coordination. 

The platform’s success hinged on seamless integration with Econt Express’s logistics network:

  • API Integration: Integrated Econt Express’s API for real-time data exchange, enabling efficient order processing and tracking. 
  • Automated Order Creation: Implemented a system where orders placed by Econt offices would automatically generate corresponding purchase orders in Econt’s system and sales orders in the vendor’s system. 
  • Real-Time Notifications: Vendors receive real-time notifications to prepare and dispatch orders, with the system also generating courier references for tracking.

A critical aspect of the project was the integration of automated accounting functions: 

  • Automatic Document Generation: Implemented automation for the creation of accounting documents such as invoices and purchase orders. 
  • General Ledger Posting: Enabled automatic posting of all invoices and financial transactions into the general ledger of Econt, partners, and vendors, ensuring accurate and timely financial records. 
  • Exporting to the centralized tax accounting system of Econt
  • DAC7 compatible - exporting reports for the European Union DAC7 directive

To maximize efficiency, Plana Solutions employed several strategies: 

  • Centralized Warehousing: Utilized Econt’s numerous warehouse logistics centers across Bulgaria to optimize inventory management and reduce delivery times. 
  • Route Optimization: Leveraged Econt’s advanced route planning algorithms to optimize delivery routes and minimize costs. 
  • Inventory Management: Implemented a sophisticated inventory management system to maintain optimal stock levels and streamline reordering processes. 

Before launching, Econt Shop underwent rigorous testing: 

  • Beta Testing: Conducted with select offices and vendors to gather feedback and refine the platform. 
  • Load Testing: Ensured the platform could handle high volumes of simultaneous orders. 
  • Integration Testing: Thoroughly tested the integration with Econt’s and vendors' logistics systems for reliability. 

The launch was accompanied by comprehensive training and marketing efforts: 

  • Training Programs: Provided training for Econt employees and vendors on using the platform effectively. 
  • Marketing Campaigns: Utilized internal communications and digital marketing to promote the platform within Econt’s network and to vendors.

Results

The implementation of Econt Shop delivered significant positive outcomes:

  • Operational Efficiency: The automation of order processing reduced manual intervention, minimizing errors and accelerating order fulfillment. 
  • Streamlined Procurement: Econt offices could easily order packaging materials, ensuring timely availability and reducing stockouts. 
  • Vendor Collaboration: Vendors benefited from automated order processing, which improved their order handling and customer service. 
  • High User Satisfaction: Econt employees found the platform intuitive and efficient, enhancing their daily operations. 
  • Accounting Accuracy: Automated generation and posting of invoices and purchase orders ensured accurate and up-to-date financial records. 
  • Scalability and Reliability: Econt Shop successfully handled large volumes of traffic and transactions, demonstrating its scalability and reliability. 
  • Enhanced Integration: The platform’s compatibility with third-party e-commerce systems like WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify allowed for efficient management of complex fulfillment processes.

Conclusion

The successful development and implementation of Econt Shop by Econt Express & Plana Solutions highlight the strategic benefits of integrating advanced e-commerce solutions with existing logistics infrastructure. By automating the procurement process, integrating accounting functions, and seamlessly incorporating multiple companies into a unified logistics framework, Econt Shop has set a new standard for operational efficiency and collaboration in the supply chain. 

This case study demonstrates the potential for innovation and growth through strategic partnerships and technological advancements in the logistics and e-commerce sectors.