Delivering more than just cash
by Monica Mehta, May 2009
Not many companies can count historical figures as exciting as Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Wyatt Earp among their past employees. Then again, not many companies operate in the high-stakes field of cash transport. Loomis has been in business for 156 years, and its clients know they can trust a company that has such a long, rich history with their most valuable assets.
Much has changed, however, since the days of armored stagecoaches and gun-toting men on horseback. Today, Houston, Texas-based Loomis US operates an electronically linked service network of nearly 200 locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, employs more than 8,000 people, and utilizes a fleet of 3,000 armored and other vehicles. For the past 10 years, Loomis has also successfully transformed itself from a nineteenth-century trucking company into a twenty-first-century cash management services business.
In 1999, as a trusted partner of financial institutions and retailers, Loomis saw a natural opportunity to get more involved in the business of cash handling. In addition to armored transport, it now offers products and services such as electronic safes, cash and check processing, and ATM maintenance and servicing. The decision to expand from the commodity business of trucking, with its attendant low margins, to customized products and services has paid off with higher margins for Loomis.
But the addition of new products and services has also increased the complexity of Loomis’ operations. The timeliness, reliability, and security of its data, from asset management to client support and customer relationship management (CRM), must be flawless. Information entered by users from sales to order fulfillment must be consistent and available in real time, so that the entire company has a single, up-to-date view of each customer. And customer service must be highly reliable and responsive to the needs of clients.
As its main IT partner in achieving these goals, Loomis chose Oracle. Oracle Database helps Loomis manage its data; Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Contact Center, and Oracle CRM On Demand make up its core applications; and Oracle Application Integration Architecture helps pull together end-to-end business processes, allowing the company to handle everything from assets to customers. The story of how Loomis harnessed Oracle solutions to redefine its industry is a lesson in how businesses can use technology proactively to achieve business goals.
More Business for the Buck
When Loomis made the decision to broaden its offerings to include cash management services in 1999, it recognized the need for consolidating and standardizing its data and applications throughout the company. It also needed to ensure the security of the data, because it involved the transfer of large amounts of cash.
Loomis decided to implement Oracle E-Business Suite for financials, service contracts administration, and order management. With Oracle’s help, it also customized the applications to efficiently schedule thousands of pickups and deliveries each day. When messengers reported to their branch at the end of a delivery day, the data they had collected on paper forms was entered into the central Oracle enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for use throughout the company.
“Ten years ago, we realized that as our customers became increasingly national in scope, we needed to work seamlessly across our entire national network,” says Loomis CIO Wayne Sadin. “‘Islands of information’ wouldn’t cut it anymore. Oracle E-Business Suite allowed us to connect those islands into a seamless whole.” But to serve its customers even more efficiently, the company realized that it needed to do two key things: collect data in real time, and fully integrate data and processes in customer service and sales.