Since Hungary's accession into the European Union, the number of logistics operators in the country has been growing fast. This is particularly true for the region in and around the capital, Budapest, seen by foreign operators as a hub for distributing goods to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The boom in the logistics sector is expected to foster significant economic growth in the region.
A helping hand allows Hungarian firm to fund logistics project
Hungarian software developer Humansoft could see the potential of information and communication technology to advance this vital sector. Specialising in developing solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics AX, it long ago started planning a Microsoft Dynamics AX solution to allow logistics companies to plan their routes via digital maps and to give them and their customers the ability to track deliveries.
Humansoft Director András Fehér says: “Hungary's geographical position makes us one of the top transit countries in Europe. We wanted to take advantage of the growing international logistics investments in Hungary, and develop a solution we could introduce to the international market.” Its solution aims to help logistic companies by organising people, processes, and technologies, and by modernising the industry's IT systems, to allow it to leapfrog years of development.
Although Humansoft had a plan, it lacked the funding to take its idea forward. This is a common barrier for many small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe. But with the help of the European Union Grants Advisor (EUGA) programme – established by Microsoft and its consortium partners – Humansoft successfully applied for funding from Hungary's Economic Competitiveness Operational Programme and was able to start developing software solutions in February 2006.
Last year, Humansoft sold the new solution (named OptimAX) to a leading agricultural company in Hungary as well as to an international logistics A helping hand allows Hungarian firm to fund logistics project company with more than 600 trucks and trailers. Encouraged by the success of the last two years, Humansoft is now developing a version with a new map engine to offer a more graphic and “easy to use” interface. Responding to feedback from OptimAX users, the new solution will also provide enhancements to cover the whole logistics process.
Humansoft is optimistic about the business opportunities in spite of the current economic climate. Fehér says: “The EUGA programme has helped us to grow and with the money from the grant we were able to speed up the development processes and ensure quicker returns on our investment.”