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Logistics adventure: BinMan® masters container management at Swiss Post

Whether it’s the steep wall of the Eiger north face, the Hoernli ridge up to the Matterhorn or the peak of the Dufourspitze – adventurers are attracted by the Swiss Alps. LOGSOL’s logistics software experts also set out for Bern in the summer of 2022: Swiss Post was looking for an innovative system that would revolutionize its container management at all postal locations and over 800 company-operated branches. Including vending machines and business customer offices, there are more than 4,800 access points nationwide, and they are being expanded all the time. With 1.7 billion letters and 194 million parcels handled annually, Swiss Post faces major challenges in container management. BinMan® was among the favorites in the selection process.

Tender winner: BinMan® convinces in test system

Instead of hiking maps for the Swiss mountains, LOGSOL first received detailed specifications with functional, quantitative and qualitative basic requirements for the project “Container Management System Post” (“Gebindemanagementsystem Post”, GMSP).

For LOGSOL, this was anything but unfamiliar territory – after all, efficient container management with BinMan® is part of their DNA. But before they could get started, they first had to run operationally through selected scenarios in a test system with BinMan®. At a one-day workshop in Bern, BinMan® emerged as the winner of the tender. “LOGSOL’s expertise, flexibility and professionalism convinced us right from the start. BinMan® brought many solid functions that were of central importance to us,” says Raphael Bolliger, Project Manager for the overall GMSP project at Swiss Post, explaining the decision.

Then it all happened very quickly: In December 2022, LOGSOL was awarded the project, and in February 2023 something like a challenging climb to the peak began. LOGSOL Project Manager Dr. Sten Morawietz was well aware that this “entailed considerable responsibility”. The trust encouraged the LOGSOL team: “The communication at eye level, combined with the organizational and technical expertise of the client, set the fire for the project in our minds.”

Project goals: Reduce transport costs, optimize container stock

The project goal can be outlined like this: A renewed and improved container management system was to enable uniform, simple processes in postal logistics. Customers needed to be able to order containers online and precisely schedule pickups. But the mountain tour went even further: The long-term goals included reducing transport costs, optimizing the container inventory, and efficiently providing containers at the right place on time.

To achieve this, the agile development method Scrum was chosen, which reacts flexibly to changes and constantly adapts the project process to the knowledge gained. First, LOGSOL implemented several interfaces to Swiss Post’s peripheral systems in order to seamlessly integrate BinMan®. An internally developed web frontend, via which customers can order containers online, is also taken into account.

“The correct and functioning interaction of the various systems and components is very challenging in this project. BinMan® assumes a central function for container management at Swiss Post,” says Raphael Bolliger. For him, the flexibility, combined with LOGSOL’s proven working methods, is “a crucial part of the success of the overall project”. The project team built new menus with many user-friendly functions for dispatching and picking.

Weekly refinement meetings keep the project on track, while requirements and interfaces are thought through down to the smallest detail. Just as climbers eventually become one with the mountain world with every rock, step and move, the LOGSOL team is delving deep into the technology of Swiss Post. The GMSP project is scheduled for successful completion in September 2024. Dr. Sten Morawietz is looking forward to shaping the future of container management at Swiss Post with BinMan®: “Together, we want to uncover the treasures of logistics and send Swiss Post on a journey to an even more successful future.”

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