Case Study

Terminal Giant Vopak Mobilizes Workforce, Increases Employee Efficiency By 50% With Low-code Platform


At Vopak, one of the world’s largest tank terminal operators for the oil and gas industry, a real cloud revolution is underway. In a nutshell: exit the less flexible JD Edwards ERP system and enter all the benefits of standardized SaaS and customized PaaS. The company is using OutSystems to build large mission-critical applications to support their core processes, enabling the company to mobilize their workforce and use real-time insights in logistics and driving a productivity increase in the terminal.

  • 25% increase in efficiency
  • 24/7 real-time insights
  • 22 days to build maintenance app proof of concept

Low-Code Terminal Management System

At the end of 2014, Vopak learned that Oracle was going to stop supporting their JD Edwards ERP system in 2020, and Vopak had to decide how to proceed with their IT strategy. Since digitalization plays an important role in the business processes of Vopak, the company chose to build a new terminal management system themselves with a focus on cloud and mobile use. It would release Vopak from their dependence on an ERP supplier. In addition, the company would be able to respond more quickly to market developments and be more flexible for their customers.

Vopak chose to build the new terminal management system with OutSystems because its low-code platform fit the company’s need for fast and easy application development. “Low-code ensures digitalization of assets and creates a scalable platform which you can use to connect with other platforms,” says Leo Brand, CIO. “OutSystems has the most mature solution in the market and has a lot of international deployment experience. On top of that, they allow for multiple roll-out scenarios.”

Real-time, Mobile, Flexible and More Efficient Code

Equipped with OutSystems, the Vopak IT team built the new terminal management system in just 12 months. The first deployment was done at the port of Savannah in the U.S.

With OutSystems, Vopak benefited from robust low-code development and deployment in an amazingly short time frame. The Terminal Management System operates from one central database that is updated in real-time, so operational decisions are data-driven, resulting in better planning decisions and increased safety.

The Terminal Management System is available on safe tablets and smartphones, allowing front-end staff to handle everything on mobile devices without having to go back and forth with paper forms. Employees get access to the cloud where they can find relevant data.

Ultimately, the Terminal Management System will support both core logistics processes - order to cash (the process for financial settlement) and arrival to departure (the management log for input and output from the terminal).

Solution Capabilities

  • Real-time insights into terminal logistic
  • Employee data access via mobile, tablet, and PC
  • Integration with legacy systems

The New Way of Working

With the new terminal management system, Vopak has gained real-time insight and a mobilized workforce, and a 25% increase in efficiency. Simply put, the work of terminal employees gets done faster. Using OutSystems, Vopak’s IT department can implement changes in weeks instead of months so Vopak can respond more quickly to new situations and requests from the workplace and from its customers. Business owners and programmers collaborate on what a design should look like and the app functionality they want. Work is not only more fun, but the results are also better and achieved faster.