GRUPO PORTEO: AN IBM i HOSTING CASE STUDY
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• IBM i
Grupo Porteo is a leading logistics company providing warehousing, distribution and consulting
services for consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, industrial and pharmaceutical companies
across Mexico and now with operations in Houston, Texas. With its customized, advanced
logistics system, Grupo Porteo stands above the competition by providing its customers real
time shipping information throughout the delivery process. Learn how Connectria represents
a vital part of Grupo Porteo’s success and growth.
About Grupo Porteo
Grupo Porteo is a top logistics provider in Mexico, offering logistics, storage and distribution services.
With coverage throughout Mexico, Grupo Porteo serves manufacturing customers such as 3M, Bayer,
Johnson & Johnson, L'Oréal, Nabisco, Philips,
Sony and retailers that include Wal*Mart,
Sanborne, Chedraui, Gigante and many
Headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, Grupo Porteo currently employs 700 people and has 22 warehouses so they can reach every store within the Mexican market.
In order to provide the highest quality of service and stay ahead of its competition, Grupo Porteo developed an advanced online ordering and tracking system that monitors each event in the delivery process. A LANSA-based solution, they were the first in Mexico to offer its customers detailed online information across the whole operation, from the initial distribution request of the manufacturer to evidence of timely delivery at the retailer.
Grupo Porteo’s solution has helped them win new business and develop a trusting relationship with its customers, in which they are 100 percent accountable and transparent. Customers can view all details including the date and exact time each task is performed to make timely decisions.
Though Grupo Porteo has specialized in retail and consumer goods for over 20 years, their success and competitive differentiation has enabled them to expand into the industrial and pharmaceutical markets.
In addition, Grupo Porteo is expanding across the border into the United States, with operations now in Houston, San Antonio and El Paso, Texas.
Grupo Porteo Challenges
Providing accurate and timely information has always been a top priority for Grupo Porteo. And the
systems that support Grupo Porteo’s solutions are key toward achieving their objectives. The server
backbone for Grupo Porteo is the IBM i running an AS/400 operating system.
Grupo Porteo owned and managed their systems in-house, however several events and conditions caused them to search for an outsourced solution. During the hurricane season, damage and a leak within their data center caused serious concern. In addition, rising costs associated with technology upgrades, maintenance, and the need for 24x7 administration influenced Grupo Porteo’s decision to search for a managed hosting provider.
As a logistics company, Grupo Porteo recognized the advantage of a strong tracking and delivery solution, however realized data center management was not their strength. A managed hosting partner would allow Grupo Porteo to implement a web-based solution while concentrating upon what they do best—logistics.
When Grupo Porteo initiated its search for a hosting provider, their criteria included IBM i
expertise, responsiveness and affordable pricing. A quick internet search led Grupo Porteo to
Connectria with a very positive first impression. “Within 5 minutes of our electronic inquiry,
Connectria responded and began to gather our requirements,” noted Paul Sarrapy, Grupo Porteo’s
President and CEO. Sarrapy further added, “We were very impressed with Connectria’s System i
pedigree and inclusion of the U.S. government among its customers. Having past experience
working with Westinghouse, I’m familiar with the strict service level and contract demands that
typify U.S. government business. Given Connectria’s ability to satisfy this type of customer, we felt
confident that they would meet our requirements as well.”
In addition to Connectria, Grupo Porteo considered AT&T and TelMex, among others, as potential hosting partners. In a short time it was evident that none of these companies had Connectria’s System i experience. Grupo Porteo did not want to have its hosting partner gain System i experience at their expense.
Grupo Porteo and Connectria moved fast. Within a week’s time, Connectria was selected and within the same month, Grupo Porteo’s solution was fully implemented. Grupo Porteo has since been a Connectria customer for over 6 years and they’ve enjoyed exceptional uptime and performance. In fact, Grupo Porteo was surprised that connection speeds and response times were faster than when they hosted their System i internally. This was due in part to the benefit of enjoying the latest System i technologies, without a significant investment, under a hosted model.
“The reliability of the IBM iSeries servers and the versatile applications developed in LANSA, let us create a solution that gives us a view of the entire operation, tracking each individual shipment at a level that allows us to analyze and continuously improve our entire operation," says Sarrapy. “Connectria has met our expectations very well. One of the competitive advantages that Grupo Porteo has is our system. Connectria Hosting is a critical partner and is intertwined in our success. If the system fails, everything fails. Connectria has played a significant role in our growth and we hope to continue our relationship as we expand our business.”
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