CSM BVBA’s customs solutions make it simple for small- and medium-sized enterprises to trade internationally. To prepare for an anticipated surge in business volumes, CSM BVBA upgraded to a high-performance, high-availability IBM® Power® Systems platform—enabling it to deliver its value-added services to more clients, 24/7.
With business growth on the horizon, CSM BVBA looked for a way to allow more clients to create customs declarations on its platform without reducing the responsiveness or availability of its services.
CSM BVBA deployed IBM Power Systems servers running IBM i—offering it the performance and availability for consistent, high-quality services as its client base grows.
International trade can be particularly beneficial for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), empowering them to open new revenue streams and diversify their client bases. However, meeting stringent requirements around customs documentation can be a tough challenge for businesses that lack a dedicated legal department.
Based in Belgium, CSM BVBA provides cloud-based customs solutions to SMEs from a wide range of sectors. The platform facilitates and processes customs-related documentation, helping clients fulfil their legal requirements for trading across international borders, both within Europe and beyond.
Deadlines for submitting customs documents are often extremely tight: goods arriving by air into the European Union must be declared at least two hours ahead of time, and sea freight must be declared between four and 24 hours ahead. To help its clients meet these requirements, CSM BVBA must ensure that its solutions are available 24/7.
With changes to UK customs regulations on the horizon, CSM BVBA saw an opportunity to launch a new service targeted at companies exporting to the UK. The company was confident the new service would drive significant growth in its client base. Adding new clients would also increase the demands on its server platform, which threatened to reduce its ability to meet service-level targets around the responsiveness and availability of its client-facing services.
Bart Decorte, Managing Director at CSM BVBA, explains: “Our clients generate hundreds of thousands of customs declarations via our platform each year, and it’s vital that our service is always online. For many years, we have relied on IBM Power Systems solutions to deliver a security-rich, highly available platform for our client services, and the platform has never let us down.
“To create the headroom for business growth, we decided to build on our success with IBM by upgrading to a new server platform with the increased performance and availability to support our continued growth.”
Bart Decorte comments: “We have been working with IBM Power Systems since we founded Customs IT in 2009, and we have been impressed with the consistently high reliability of the platform, as well as its excellent performance. Staying with the IBM Power Systems platform was the obvious choice for us: we knew that we could depend on IBM to provide a high-quality solution, and our team was already trained to manage the platform.”
He continues: “IBM i is very popular with both our clients and our employees because of its flexibility and stability. In our experience, issues with IBM i are extremely rare—and because managing our platform requires so little effort, we are free to invest more of our time in supporting our clients’ complex international trading operations. These value-added services have helped us build a loyal client base, and our IBM solutions have had a significant role to play in that achievement.”
To help reduce the time and business risk involved in its migration to the new server platform, CSM BVBA engaged IBM Business Partner CD Invest to provide expert guidance and support.
“CD Invest has been supporting us since 2009, when they helped us create our client platform—and they consistently deliver a high-quality service for us,” recalls Bart Decorte. “CD Invest’s work on the IBM Power Systems upgrade was no exception, and the team ensured we had everything we needed to guarantee a successful implementation.”
By continuing to run its business on IBM Power Systems with IBM i, CSM BVBA is in a strong position to support continued growth. Today, the company processes around 250,000 customs-related documents per year for its clients—an increase of 50 percent.
“Since moving our services to the new IBM platform, we’ve succeeded in growing our client base by around 50 percent—and our IBM Power Systems solutions are helping us to accommodate the increased demand for our services without any reduction in service levels for our end users,” continues Bart Decorte. “In fact, our new deployment has enabled us to drive a 100 percent increase in service availability. This helps us to ensure that our customs platform is online 24/7—and to reduce the reputational risk of unplanned downtime.”
Bart Decorte concludes: “With IBM i on IBM Power Systems, we have a high-performance server platform that prepares us for the business growth opportunities ahead. Our goal is to make it as simple as possible for our clients to navigate the requirements of international trade—and our IBM solutions offer us the headroom to grow our client base for years to come.”
Based in Oostkamp, Belgium, CSM BVBA (link resides outside of ibm.com) is a software and IT service provider with more than 28 years’ experience providing customs solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises.
CD Invest delivers ICT and business consultancy services to help maximize its clients’ business potential. For more information, visit cdinvest.be (link resides outside of ibm.com).
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