Logistics Giant Estafeta Uses Web and Mobile Apps to Deliver Nearly 43 Million Packages Per Year

  • 50% Shipping Growth during COVID Crisis 
  • 30+ Applications & Increasing
  • 22 Developers in a Digital Factory Team

Leading Mexican logistics company Estafeta adopted OutSystems as its strategic application development platform in 2015. With a digital factory of around 22 developers, the company has dozens of web and mobile applications that power almost every aspect of its logistics operation.

OutSystems gives Estafeta the agility to innovate at speed, which enabled the logistics giant to pivot during the pandemic crisis, to seize e-commerce market share, and grow shipments by 50% in two months.

“Our customers were severely disrupted during the COVID crisis, leading to a short term 83% drop in shipping volume. We had to pivot. OutSystems gave us the speed and agility needed to innovate fast, with six new or adapted apps that kept deliveries moving and helped us grow delivery volume by 50%.”

– Juan Manuel Monterrubio Portilla, Development Manager 

Challenge : Lots of Technologies, But Not a Seamless Experience

Established in 1979, Estafeta is now one of the largest logistics companies in Mexico. The company’s 6,700 employees handle nearly 43 million shipments per year, using around 3,600 vehicles, six aircraft, and over 1,000 own or franchised stores.

Technology innovation has always played a big part in Estafeta’s operations. In fact, the company began offering its customers Web-based tracking tools back in 1990. Ten years later, Estafeta introduced the first electronic invoice system in Mexico. And that same year, the company also updated many of its technology platforms, including its ERP, CRM, and tracking systems.

But, as Estafeta added new technologies, integrating them became increasingly difficult. This led to poor customer experience and made work hard for employees who had to log-in to multiple systems to serve customers.

In 2015, Estafeta turned to OutSystems to help accelerate its digital transformation and improve the customer experience.

Why did Estafeta choose OutSystems?

  1. Increase Professional Developer Productivity
  2. Full Stack Visual Development with No Limits
  3. Enable Continuous Delivery 

Solution : Years of Frustration Eliminated in 11 Weeks

The first application delivered was MiEstafeta™, a web and mobile-friendly application that allows customers and employees to schedule pickups, track shipments, and access other information.

Carlos Cedano Villavicencio, Estafeta’s IT strategic project manager, takes up the story. “MiEstafeta was our first experience using agile development methods, and it changed the way we think. Using our previous approach, it would have taken a larger team and six months to pull off. With OutSystems, we built the application in just 11 weeks—and used just three developers and one team lead.”

That first project was delivered in partnership with OutSystems professional services. But in the weeks that followed, Estafeta’s own developers were trained and certified, and the application development team of eight tech leads and fifteen developers is now self-sufficient.

“Most of our developers have a .NET development background,” explains Juan Manuel Monterrubio Portilla, Estafeta’s development manager. “We use the OutSystems free guided learning paths to get new developers started. Then I assess them, and we use OutSystems certification exams. Within two to three weeks, they’re starting to deliver value, and within a month, they’re fully productive members of the development team. This saves a lot of time compared to onboarding traditional developers, where we’d have to spend more time on standards, security, documentation, and DevOps tooling.”

In the following five years, Estafeta’s development team has delivered all kinds of applications using OutSystems:

  • Core systems – include transport management, track and trace, route planning, CRM, and operational dashboards.
  • Customer-facing apps – include MiEstafeta, and point of sale—both internet sales, and in-store.
  • Mobile apps – including the “SOE” app used by drivers to execute routes, scan packages and prove delivery, and the Estafeta mobile app used by customers.
  • Backend services – that integrate with SAP and multiple other systems, making it faster and easier to develop and maintain the customer-facing apps that Estafeta needs.

“Within two to three weeks, they’re starting to deliver value, and within a month, they’re fully productive members of the development team. This saves a lot of time compared to onboarding traditional developers.”

– Juan Manuel Monterrubio Portilla, Development Manager

Results : Continuous Agility Delivered

Estafeta’s OutSystems digital factory team has eight or more projects running in parallel, continuously delivering and maintaining the applications the company needs at the pace required to delight customers and grow market share.

For example, Estafeta replaced its off-the-shelf CRM system—with a bespoke CRM application built on OutSystems—in just 24 weeks, including design, development, UAT, product release, and training.

“We had many issues with our old CRM,” explains Carlos Cedano Villavicencio, Estafeta’s IT strategic project manager. “Configuration and changes were too slow to keep up with our dynamically changing market.”

Now Estafeta has a CRM system that it can rapidly update at the speed its market demands. Benefits include:

  • A significantly improved UX/UI that has made it much faster to get new employees up-to-speed.
  • Task automation that makes it faster for users to perform routine tasks and reduces errors. For example, setting up a new customer is now 90% faster.
  • Elimination of error-prone spreadsheets used for “configure, price, quote.” The new OutSystems CRM makes it much faster and easier to produce accurate, standardized sales quotes, that are automatically turned into professionally designed PDFs and emailed to customers. What used to take 25 minutes can now be done in one minute—a 96% saving enjoyed by over 1,700 sales reps.
  • Estafeta has seen a six-fold increase in CRM user-adoption and significantly improved productivity.

Responding to the COVID Crisis

Estafeta’s agility was dramatically put to the test in the spring of 2020 when the COVID crisis severely disrupted the Mexican logistics market. As an essential logistics provider, Estafeta had to keep operating throughout the crisis. It had to adapt to shifting demand and adjust customer-facing practices to meet social distancing guidelines.

“The COVID lockdown decimated our traditional B2B logistics operation as non-essential businesses temporarily closed,” explains Juan. “In the first week, we saw an 83% drop in shipping volume. We had to adapt fast.”


“We delivered six new reactive web applications in response to the COVID crisis—each built in two to six days.”

– Juan Manuel Monterrubio Portilla, Development Manager

And with OutSystems, Juan’s application development team was able to adapt very fast indeed. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Pharmacy-specific Express Delivery App – To support a new partnership with one of Mexico’s largest pharmacy chains. Allows pharmacy store managers to request and monitor deliveries, including GPS delivery tracking. Delivered in three days by a tech lead and one developer. The app was used to schedule over 4,500 deliveries of vital medicines to patients during May and June 2020.
  • Mobile App for Pharmacy Deliveries – Used by Estafeta’s delivery agents to fulfill deliveries. Delivered in six days by a tech lead and one developer. The app was used by 15 delivery agents to make a total of over 4,500 deliveries during May and June 2020.
  • Contactless Sign for Delivery – A reactive web app that allows customers to use smartphones to sign for proof of delivery—initiated by scanning a unique QR Code* on the delivery agent’s mobile device. Delivered in four days by a tech lead and one developer. More than 3,000 delivery agents use the app, and over 600,000 deliveries were confirmed this way during three months of the COVID crisis.
  • Contactless Sign for Drop-Off – Similar to the above app. Used in 1,000 Estafeta stores to allow customers to sign to confirm package drop-off using their mobile phone—instead of touching Estafeta equipment or paperwork. Delivered in two days by a tech lead and one developer. Over 900 Estafeta employees and 1,200 franchisees use this application. Today, around 20% of packages enter the Estafeta logistics system thanks to this app.
  • Third-party Delivery Agent Mobile App – Due to the rapid growth of e-commerce deliveries, Estafeta needed to grow its capacity quickly. This mobile app, called “Estafeta Externos,” enabled subcontracted delivery agents to execute final-mile deliveries. Delivered in five days by a tech lead and one developer. At the time of writing, over 2,000 sub-contracted drivers had used the app to fulfill over half-a-million deliveries.
  • Estafeta Externos (Web App Backend) – To support the route planning and monitoring of subcontracted deliveries. Delivered in three days by a tech lead and one developer.

The need to subcontract final mile deliveries to over 60 third-party logistics partners bears testament to the rapid growth Estafeta has experienced as a consequence of the COVID crisis.

“With so many people working from home and avoiding shopping centers, e-commerce adoption has exploded in Mexico,” explains Juan. “It has been hard to keep-up. We have opened four more warehouses around Mexico City and several more warehouses around the country.”

Having experienced an 83% drop in delivery volume at the start of the lockdown, Estafeta now has 50% more deliveries to fulfill each day than before the COVID crisis.

“The ability to seize these kinds of opportunities is completely dependent on the agility of Estafeta’s IT,” explains Juan. “OutSystems gives our application development team the speed needed to step-up to these challenges. That’s why OutSystems is central to our IT strategy and will remain a key factor in our approach to process improvement and innovation in the future.”

Case Study Credit : OutSystems

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