In today’s competitive business landscape, digital transformation is key to success. A prime example is Dole, a global leader in fresh fruit and vegetable production, and its division Dole Ocean Cargo Express (DOCE). Through collaboration with Freeway Consulting, DOCE has achieved a remarkable transformation by implementing Salesforce and developing public and private websites. This article explores how these initiatives have enhanced Dole’s operational efficiency and customer experience, highlighting the tangible benefits of this innovative approach.

In a highly competitive business environment, digital transformation becomes a crucial factor for success. A notable example is the company Dole (Dole Fresh Fruit International Ltd.) and its division Dole Ocean Cargo Express (DOCE), which has undergone a significant transformation thanks to the implementation of Salesforce and the creation of public and private websites in collaboration with Freeway Consulting. In this article, we will explore how these actions have improved both Dole’s operational efficiency and customer experience, highlighting the concrete benefits of this innovation.

Dole: A giant in the maritime transport industry

Dole, established in 1851 in Hawaii, now operates in over 90 countries.

Dole, a Maritime Giant as Well

Dole, established in 1851 in Hawaii, is a leading global producer and distributor of fresh fruits, vegetables, and packaged products. Recognized as the world’s largest producer of bananas and pineapples, as well as a leader in fresh salads and vegetables, Dole operates in over 90 countries, representing a conglomerate of farmers, packers, processors, and shippers committed to quality and environmental sustainability at every stage of the supply chain.

In addition, Dole owns Dole Ocean Cargo Express (DOCE), a company specializing in the chartering of ships for containerized cargo. This fleet, composed of its own and chartered vessels, offers reliable and efficient services for maritime transport, especially for sensitive perishable products, meeting the critical movement demands between the United States, Latin America, and Europe.

The project was carried out using Salesforce Sales Cloud and Experience Cloud technologies.

The project was carried out using Salesforce Sales Cloud and Experience Cloud technologies.

Context and Initial Challenges

Before embarking on the Salesforce implementation project, DOCE had a unique opportunity. Although they had a third-party managed website, they recognized the possibility of improving the customer experience and optimizing their internal processes. Adjustments were costly and difficult due to obsolete code, but this presented a clear opportunity to modernize and simplify their operations.

While transactional information was in their Salesforce CRM instance, the focus on telephone support limited customer autonomy. However, this represented an opportunity to develop an integrated system that would improve customer-company interaction and automate manual tasks.

DOCE envisioned the opportunity to create a dynamic and user-friendly portal, integrated with its Salesforce CRM instance, that would offer an improved user experience. This initiative would allow them to provide tracking services, quotes, self-service for customers, and agile content management.

As Salesforce experts, we considered that this project represented the opportunity to transform their online presence into a complete and efficient portal, focused on meeting the needs of their customers and generating more conversions.

Solutions Implemented by Freeway: Modernization and Efficiency

The project was carried out with Salesforce Sales Cloud and Experience Cloud technologies, along with the activation of licenses for DOCE customers. This implementation allowed the creation of one public website and one private website, with specific features for each type of user.

On the public site, general information about services, routes, teams, ships, compliance, news, and prices was presented, maintaining DOCE’s visual identity. On the other hand, the private site provided a personalized experience for each customer, allowing them to access details such as vessel tracking, tickets, reservations, billing, BLs (“Bill of Ladings” or bills of lading, in Spanish), dispatch orders, cargo collection, cargo status, and signed contracts.

Part of this information was integrated directly from the Salesforce Core platform, while other information was obtained through integration with external systems, such as route information, shipping schedules, and container capacity. Both sites were developed in English and Spanish, and were designed to be responsive for optimal viewing on any device.

DOCE achieved more efficient management of information and services for commercial clients who contract space on Dole's ships.

DOCE achieved more efficient management of information and services for commercial clients who contract space on Dole’s ships.

Successful Collaboration Process

For this project, as a Salesforce Partner, we used the waterfall methodology due to the clarity of the requirements from the beginning. The stages covered everything from planning to production, including analysis, design, construction, SIT testing, UAT testing, and training.

Collaboration between the DOCE and Freeway teams, Salesforce experts, was constant throughout the project. Weekly meetings were held where the Freeway team presented detailed progress reports, covering topics such as the progress of each phase, relevant issues, next steps, pending items and responsibilities, as well as risk analysis and their potential impacts. These sessions also included a review of the overall schedule, ensuring that the launch date was met.

Tangible Results: Boosting Customer Experience and Operational Efficiency

After the successful implementation of Salesforce in June 2023, DOCE was able to offer its customers both a public and private website, accessible through user/password credentials. This allowed for more efficient management of information and services for commercial customers who contract space on Dole’s ships.

With its extensive experience in maritime transport, Dole was able to take advantage of the developed platform to provide its customers with improved facilities, such as self-management, booking, and cargo tracking in a more accessible way. In addition, the integrated platform offers secure, agile, easy-to-manage, scalable, and automated management for both Dole/DOCE customers and internal teams. This has significantly improved the customer experience and operational efficiency throughout the value chain.

Collaboration between DOCE and Freeway, a remarkable example of successful digital transformation.

Collaboration between DOCE and Freeway, a remarkable example of successful digital transformation.

Future Prospects: A Path to Continuous Innovation

The collaboration between DOCE and Freeway has been a remarkable example of how digital transformation can drive operational efficiency and enhance customer experience in the maritime industry. The successful implementation of Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and Experience Cloud, along with the development of public and private websites, has laid the foundation for continued growth and increased competitiveness in the market.

Looking ahead, DOCE is committed to continuous innovation. It plans to make the most of its new platform’s capabilities to further improve customer self-management, optimize internal operations, and explore new growth opportunities in the dynamic global maritime shipping landscape.

With a vision focused on quality, sustainability, and customer satisfaction, DOCE is ready to face the challenges and opportunities that the future holds in this digitally transformed era of the maritime industry.

To learn more about how Freeway, a Salesforce Summit Partner, can help your company achieve its digital transformation goals, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts is ready to provide you with tailored solutions and accompany you every step of the way to success.