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DB Cargo UK and Jade in it for the long haul

Case Study

The back story

DB Cargo is the UK’s largest rail freight company, providing quality services and logistic solutions to a wide range of customers – from automotive to construction. DB Cargo’s mission is to be the first choice for rail freight in the UK. Their parent company, Deutsche Bahn AG, is the second-largest transport and logistics company in the world.

As logistics is a complex, interconnected chain, disruptions at any link of the network can cause considerable delay and cost to the end customer.


The problem

DB Cargo approached Jade Software to create two systems to help facilitate a big part of this chain: a customer-ordering system and a consolidated planning tool. They set down the challenge to improve their order-to-cash processes (previously run through spreadsheets and manual processes) and raise their operational efficiencies to a new level.

DB Cargo also wanted a mobile customer portal application that would meet customer needs and to show that they can innovate. They wanted to continually improve the portal with small regular feature releases. We accepted the challenge.


The Solution

Jade’s UX design team came on site and ran a design sprint. Completing the initial research with the DB Cargo sales, marketing, and ops teams they then identified key customers to involve in the process. Visiting these customers,  Jade facilitated on-site video interviews and then fed that information back to DB Cargo, some of which came as a shock!

A working prototype of the portal was created to show to these customers. Creating the prototype took Jade about a day, with the bulk of the work in validating that what was being built was the right thing.


Once the order to cash and customer portal ideas were validated, our design and engineering teams began work on building the minimal viable product (MVP). The portal MVP was hosted by Jade in Azure and connects back to the core Jade Platform DB Cargo system. We also added the new order to cash functionality to the existing Jade Platform customer-ordering system.

While both build projects were underway, our Managed Services team migrated all the existing DB Cargo Jade Platform production and tests systems from their on-prem physical servers to an AWS and Azure-based cloud model, which is fully managed by Jade on behalf of DB Cargo.

All three projects were completed in parallel within the space of around eight months, ahead of time and on budget.


DB Cargo_Mobile Mockup

Achieved (In just eight months!)

  • Completely redesigned portal with improved usability and increased customer engagement.
  • Full cloud migration of managed services and reduced dependency on physical infrastructure.
  • Fresh customer insights gained through UX techniques, informing DB Cargo’s future decisions.
  • A five-year digital innovation roadmap that shows how DB Cargo will maximise cost savings and increase customer engagement, all while improving customer experience.
  • A machine-learning engine to provide ETA for running trains via the customer portal (still in beta)

If you're looking to undertake similar projects to DB Cargo - or you have a process that needs an overhaul - then the team at Jade Software and their Jade platform offer the ideal hands-on environment to see your success through to the future.