3 Common Mistakes in Ecosystem Integration That Affects Supply Chain Interoperability

Ever wondered what’s common between Apple, Google, and Facebook? Apart from being insanely popular tech giants, all of them have derived tremendous value from their ecosystems. The same holds true for many others like Amazon and Alibaba. We are now part of an economy where ecosystem integration is revolutionizing how organizations address the changing needs of their customers across the globe.

Interestingly, the ecosystem as a concept is not so difficult to understand. It serves as a one-stop-shop for your customers where they get extraordinary benefits through your network of connections. The best part is that it works equally well for all sectors, including transportation and logistics.

Modern-day challenges require shippers and logistics companies to build resilience to mitigate impacts on supply chains irrespective of the circumstances. Several organizations are already pulling up their socks to protect their businesses on multiple fronts with the help of efficient crisis-management mechanisms. An efficient ecosystem is the game-changer they need to achieve all their goals and survive pandemic-like disruptions.

While it is important to create an ecosystem of collaboration and trust, ecosystem partners need to work together to address capability gaps. This can happen only when they critically evaluate the challenges they encounter on the road to building ecosystems and know the pitfalls to avoid. What they need is efficient ecosystem integration that connects critical revenue-generating business processes. The fast-paced eCommerce market also necessitates a robust ecosystem to attain supply chain interoperability and respond efficiently to market disruptions.

As Simon Bailey, senior director analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain Practice, rightly puts it, “Major disruption, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, are the ultimate test for the resiliency of a supply chain network. However, not all disruptions are unplanned. Many CEOs are planning to offer the new value proposition of their products and services, and they expect that their organizations require new capabilities to support these new products and services.”

Ecosystem integration can be a bumpy road for some unless you know the three most common mistakes to avoid. Once they are out of the way, you can attain supply chain interoperability through successful ecosystem integration. So let’s delve deeper to know how we can rectify them to be part of a thriving ecosystem.

  1. The digital abyss and failing to adopt an API-first approach

Around 46% of shippers and logistics companies still use legacy systems with minimal digitization. Though they are fast understanding the importance of articulating their needs through technology. While some are content with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), others have migrated to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to facilitate better data exchange for profitable business outcomes.

The lack of adequate digitization in supply chains hampers both EDI and API integration. We have used APIs inadvertently in our daily transactions, be it for booking a new car online or shopping for insurance products. APIs work as intermediaries between diverse systems globally to enable communication between businesses and customers in logistics parlance.

Today, organizations need advanced technologies to improve experiences for stakeholders and customers. Likewise, they need APIs to make their systems agile to respond and interact in real-time. To successfully design and adopt APIs, you must first determine the end-user experience you wish to deliver. You need to remember that APIs drive online ecosystems, and it would be impossible to connect applications and services in their absence.

Considering that the modern architecture is API-centric, it is imperative that you take cognizance and the necessary steps to adopt it. The transportation and logistics sector uses APIs to connect their physical and digital assets to create an integrated supply chain to digitize the current supply chains and create new business models. You need to successfully adopt APIs to automate business processes and ensure ecosystem integration.

A digital ecosystem so created would comprise suppliers, third-party data service providers, and logistics providers with many advanced tools and technologies at its helm. As you embark on building it, you need to adopt the right ecosystem integration approach to connect all the revenue-producing processes with mission-critical internal applications. Luckily, it’s never too late to begin from wherever you are. All you need to do is get out of the digital abyss and accelerate digital transformation to enable exceptional customer experiences with an API-first approach.

  1. Failing to build trust and transparency with ecosystem integration

A multitier supply chain needs a lot more than operations teams and production teams to keep going. They require trust and transparency to overcome disruptions across supply chains. You need to assess risks to identify those that can stop or slow production lines and directly impact operations costs. You need to ensure that you are sourcing the right items at suitable locations and have a cohesive network to rely on. You may have to look for alternative suppliers to ensure government policies do not stand in the way.

You need to go beyond Tier 1 suppliers to know you have the right network. Car manufacturers, for instance, often have a network comprising multiple suppliers to cater to the unique requirements of all of their manufacturing regions. This helps them address sudden disruptions that may arise due to changes in foreign trade policies or tariffs. While this strategy works perfectly to mitigate risks, it also allows them to engage with multiple vendors to supply raw materials and stay competitive continuously.

Trust and transparency can be crippling factors necessitating partners to focus on collective goals. As we all know, lack of trust leads to friction that, in turn, may cause churn. BCG research iterated the examples of ride-hailing biggies like Uber and Lyft that lost $8.5 billion and $2.6 billion respectively due to a high driver-churn rate that propelled their marketing and promotion costs to stay afloat.

Trust-building instruments and initiatives must be deployed wherever necessary to build lasting relationships and robust supply chains. Questions should be asked to identify and respect each partner’s role within the ecosystem, and information-sharing agreements should be created to maintain transparency.

Says Simon Bailey, senior director analyst Gartner, “It’s crucial that supply chain leaders create a collaborative and trusting culture where ecosystem partners are willing to work together and share information across the network. This will only be the case when all members agree on mutual quantitative and qualitative standards.”

  1. Undermining the role of visibility in improving supply chain interoperability

A throbbing logistics industry requires a high level of interoperability. The global logistics market is expected to spike at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2020 to 2027 touching $12,975.64 billion by 2027. Shippers and logistics companies are tightening their grip on costs and inventory management. While doing so, they sometimes fail to sharpen their visibility into the supply chain.

Visibility usually concerns the movement of parts, components, or products in transit as they travel to their destinations. Data related to these movements need to be accessible to all stakeholders, including your customers. Only then would you be able to attain interoperability in its true sense. There are visibility platforms to ensure multichannel integration across the ecosystem. Merely having dashboards is not enough unless you know how to use the data they send out to make smarter supply chain decisions from a transportation perspective.

There could be disruptions due to natural calamities such as floods and hurricanes or labor disputes and political events that could upset the natural rhythm of supply chains. Also, data is often spread across disparate systems, and unless you have access to it, you will never be able to increase collaboration or forecast future demands.

Tom Madrecki, CBA vice president of supply chain and logistics, while emphasizing the role of visibility, says, “The greater degree that you have to what’s happening throughout the supply chain, then you’re able to better manage your costs, you’re better able to predict where are you going to have an issue ahead of time and have that more enhanced real-time visibility to everything.”

Supply chain excellence comes from data-driven decisions. It is important to have data from suppliers, forwarders, brokers, and third-party logistics companies to ensure end-to-end visibility in real-time. Mobile device integrations are now an essential aspect of ecosystem integration to facilitate data from diverse geographical locations. They allow you to identify bottlenecks and address issues in a single environment.

The right ecosystem will strengthen your supply chain capabilities and empower you to adopt best practices to foster interoperability. Due diligence and proper planning can help you tide over the many challenges and create an ecosystem for a more sustainable future.

Enable hassle-free ecosystem integrations with Trigent

Trigent, with its highly experienced team of technology experts, has been helping enterprises with frictionless data transfer integrations through EDI/API. We help reduce costs and the complexity of logistics supply chain management while optimizing loads and routes. We offer prescriptive analytics to gain customer insights and drive revenue.

We can help you build operational efficiencies, too, with hassle-free integrations.

Call us today to book a consultation.

The Advantages of Adopting Cloud Technology in Digital Logistics

Technology has penetrated virtually every aspect of businesses worldwide. Not just businesses, our daily lives are also being significantly driven by technology too. So why should transportation and logistics be any different? The rising advantages of adopting cloud technology have basically laid the foundation for digital logistics.

Digital logistics is like next-gen logistics, armed with modern technologies to improve and expedite traditional logistics processes, strategies, and systems. It’s an approach that aims to digitize manual processes and help organizations save costs and increase productivity. With a 69% decrease in overall logistics costs and a 32% increase in customer service efficiency, it’s safe to conclude that digital logistics is just what we need to address the changing demands of customers across the globe.

The global digital logistic market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.89% over the forecast period 2021-2026, while the global fleet management solutions market is predicted to touch $15.4 billion by 2024. There is solid growth in the e-commerce sector that plays a significant role in boosting these markets. Advancements in the sensors and IoT analytics market, along with cloud adoption, are also responsible for their rising demand. The need for better fleet and warehouse management systems is being felt more than ever before.

With warehouses bursting at their seams and distribution centers bustling with activity, the workload they bring along is overwhelming. Logistics tech has led to a spur in cloud-based platforms that can lighten this load and streamline the processes. Shippers and logistics companies choose the latest cloud-based transportation management systems (TMS) that come with numerous benefits and tremendous potential.

In fact, cloud has become the buzzword for organizations looking for better ways to manage their businesses. Whether or not you need cloud is no longer the question. The question you should be asking yourself is – are you game for this technology leap?

Cloud is changing the game

Cloud is the disruption that the world of logistics has happily welcomed at a time when legacy systems are unable to keep pace with the changing demands of the modern world. Cloud has led to sophisticated warehouse management systems (WMS), transportation management systems (TMS), and yard management systems (YMS) that are all integral aspects of the supply chain and delivery model. It helps automate internal processes that improve operational efficiency and enable better business decisions. In a highly dynamic sector such as transportation and logistics, cloud makes you resilient.

Explains Balaji Abbabatulla, senior director analyst at Gartner, “At a broader level, business leaders are looking for tech tools that help them achieve better supply chain resilience—as opposed to finding ways to improve efficiency and productivity. Where efficiency was once a driving force for Cloud-based SCP adoption, now it’s all about resilience.”

Be it sourcing planning, execution planning, manufacturing planning, or sales and distribution planning, the cloud is now all-pervasive, helping forward-thinking logistics providers achieve their goals and expand their horizons. The good thing about cloud implementation is that it can be managed virtually. Those saddled with traditional on-premise legacy systems are garnering intrinsic value while modernizing their business environments.

Also Read: how cloud-based management solutions are becoming a game-changer in the logistics industry.

Benefits of adopting cloud technology in warehouses and distribution centers

Modern distribution centers need an agile environment with faster implementation times. Warehouses and distribution centers house many products, all with unique storage requirements with respect to size, temperatures, and several other parameters. It becomes imperative to use the right solutions to track them and maintain a high level of efficacy across processes. The solutions you choose should be able to help carrier networks operate with agility and precision.

Cloud-based solutions can help you review shipping notes, create schedules, and connect with carrier networks quickly for the information you need. Be it making changes in existing workflows or onboarding new clients. Everything is so much easier when you use mission-critical, cloud-based platforms. So let’s delve deeper into its extraordinary benefits.

Efficient tracking

A cloud-based TMS platform will help you oversee everything empowering you with data that allows you to compare, analyze, and make sound decisions at any point in time. With quick access to carrier networks, you can expedite processes to a great extent.

Cloud-based tracking solutions give you greater control with accurate information at your fingertips at all times. All you need to do is log into the tracking system and receive updates on delays, delivery times, freight routes, and freight movements. In the event of damage, you can immediately update the invoice and send it directly to the carrier or the shipment source.

What you get is excellent real-time visibility. Modern TMS equips you with reports and analytics that empower you with everything you need to develop quick solutions when things go wrong.

Easy maintenance

You don’t need massive servers to see you through power outages or crashes that may lead to data loss. Even constant data backups are no longer necessary when you get onto the cloud. All updates and upgrades are managed remotely, and you enjoy uninterrupted access to the latest software at all times. All authorized users can access data whenever they need it remotely. This ensures connectivity and collaboration at all times, giving you greater power to support your customers as often as required.

Your vendor takes care of maintenance, security, and updates. At a time when security lapses in systems can lead to huge losses, cloud-based platforms offer uncompromised, error-proof logistics support.

Quick integration and scalability

Whether you are using on-premise or cloud-based systems, you will require them to offer you the scope and flexibility to integrate with other solutions. While legacy systems may not allow these integrations, cloud-based systems will let you integrate without causing conflicts or discrepancies.

Also, scalability is no issue with cloud-based solutions since they offer the same support and scalability to smaller companies as they would to large conglomerates. Cloud-based solutions level the competitive playing field to help you carve your niche in the most unbiased manner.

Inventory management on the go

To control costs, you need to work on every cost element across the supply chain. You need to scrutinize the value network to arrive at competitive pricing without hurting your profits. Cloud-based tracking helps you identify high-risk elements and study price fluctuations based on weather patterns and transportation delays to determine if subsequent adjustments are required at your end.

Cloud-based systems empower you with the data necessary for better rating and estimates. It also helps monitor inventory in real-time to help you manage supply, storage, and shipments. This will help you address the shift in demands without wasting inventory. This, in turn, enables you to manage your costs considerably.

What’s incredible about cloud computing is its ability to forecast. So when disruptions strike, you are always prepared. You can stay up-to-date concerning demand and transportation planning since it tells you exactly where your products need to be and when.

You get a chance to schedule your deliveries accordingly, avoiding last-minute hassle and stress. You can pre-load supplies for the future or go easy during the off-season having greater control over your inventory. You will also get instant notification alerts every time there’s a fuel shortage, stock depletion, or shipment rerouting.

Great savings

There are different kinds of subscription payment models that come with flexible features to match your exact needs. Rather than paying for licensing costs, you choose a payment plan that works best for you. You have to pay nothing for the whole upkeep, and everything you need is provided to you remotely.

So you end up paying only for the functionality you choose. This leads to substantial savings. Not to forget that you do not have to invest in individual software. What you get is complete transparency and control for the money you spend.

Unmatched flexibility

Shippers are bound to have complex requirements that can sometimes become very challenging, considering that organizations are spread across diverse time zones. Luckily, cloud-integrated digital logistics give them round-the-clock visibility from remote locations to control critical processes and respond promptly when required. They can deploy resources, add functionalities, or amend services to match the changing needs.

A Cloud-enabled video telematics solution improved resource utilization and offered 24 x 7 visibility of fleets to a major fleet operator. Read how

Cloud-based platforms help them be more responsive to improve processes and add greater efficiency to the mix. This also allows them greatly enhance the customer experience too at every juncture.

In closing

Although the advantages of adopting cloud technology are one too many, shippers are often under tremendous pressure, considering how complex global supply chains are. With mobile commerce, omnichannel experiences, and eCommerce coming into the picture, the need for cloud-based solutions is being felt more than ever before to manage end-to-end logistics planning. You can certainly not afford to miss this boat if you wish to be the fastest and the most efficient.

There are certain caveats you need to factor in while choosing the right solutions provider. For starters, you need to establish clear goals and find a vendor that gives you room to breathe and expand and understand how the implementation will occur. Talk to your vendor to know how they intend to merge the new system with your legacy systems.

Modernize your legacy systems with Trigent

As supply chains continue to get complex and critical with time, we ensure comprehensive fleet visibility, seamless integrations, and optimized service utilization for our clients. Our team of experts empowers you with the right guidance and solutions to help you leverage the cloud for saving cost, increasing efficiency, and driving revenue. No matter your logistics challenges, we can help you overcome them with solutions customized just for you.

Call us today to book a consultation.

Top 5 Trends in the Logistics Industry to Look Out for in 2021

Logistics has been around for ages and has undergone major transformations time and again. With new advancements in technology, it continues to stretch its horizons. The burgeoning eCommerce sector has further propelled its demand. The logistics market globally is expected to touch $12,975.64 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 6.5% for the forecast period 2020 to 2027.

Supply chain optimization technology companies Locus and Shippo recently announced $50 million in funding to expand geographically and invest in additional technology enhancements for last-mile optimization as eCommerce continues to grow globally. The eCommerce sales surged in the first quarter of 2021 by 39 percent compared to the first quarter of 2020, while the US domestic parcel market is expected to touch 100 million packages per day by 2023.

With logistics automation, IoT-enabled connected devices, and tech-driven logistics services coming into play, it’s safe to assume we are in for some significant changes in the industry. But then, change is not always bad because it brings opportunity too. In the current scenario, it has ushered in new business models and greater customer expectations. Amazon and many others are already putting customers into the habit of expecting same-day delivery. Needless to say, fast, flawless service has now become an industry standard.

There is no denying technology and changing times have sparked new trends that are all set to shape the future of transportation and logistics. While companies like Locus are leveraging technology solutions to improve visibility and on-time performance, those like FedEx are leveraging blockchain to increase their competitiveness. So let’s look at the top 5 trends that are forcing logistics companies to adjust their sail.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

According to a McKinsey survey, AI can help enterprises maximize their gains by more than 50 percent a year. Not surprising then, all forward-thinking organizations are now eager to adopt AI technologies. AI and ML can address problems early on and propose solutions that can help tide over challenges and improve operational efficiency. AI algorithms with the help of ML can help companies address demand fluctuations effectively. They help reduce operating costs, plan supply chain processes, and bring intelligence to administrative tasks to accelerate data-based processes. AI and ML are improving every aspect of warehousing operations, thus increasing profits. For instance, AI helps them access critical information, while machine learning helps them make sense of this information to predict and track trends and make smarter business decisions.

2. Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT sensor technology and connected IoT devices have simplified logistics chores to a great extent. From tracking shipments and inventory to vehicles and equipment, just about everything is easily accessible thanks to IoT. Modern enterprises now rely on IoT-powered container management to increase fuel efficiency, ensure preventative maintenance, and enable real-time monitoring. Drones and self-driving automated vehicles come with IoT sensors to ensure timely deliveries.
IoT startups and logistics companies are joining hands to adopt a proactive approach to container operations. Hapag-Lloyd, for instance, collaborated with Globe Tracker to come up with Hapag-Lloyd LIVE that offers powerful features like real-time GPS location, temperature information, and power-off alerts. With its fleet of around 100,000 containers equipped to serve better, this initiative will ensure enhanced supply chain transparency.

Juan Carlos Duk, Managing Director Global Commercial Development at Hapag-Lloyd, elaborates, “Customers expect more reliable supply chains, so the industry needs to change and invest sufficiently. It is imperative that we understand and fulfill our customers’ needs faster than our competitors. Inviting our customers to further shape our real-time monitoring products right from the beginning will allow them to receive products that are tailor-made for their needs – while giving us a chance to deliver the best possible service at the same time.”

3. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

While sensors continue to hold an important place in cargo ships, trains, and alarm systems for tracking and monitoring purposes, tags or sensors are also placed on products enabled by RFID technology. Data is sent via radio waves to be processed for tracking inventory. This is a popular labor-saving technique that allows businesses to scan tags, barcodes, and labels to get information pertaining to their containers. RFID tags have been used increasingly in the apparel sector, among many others.

The logistics industry is now leveraging RFID to get real-time visibility of goods, reduce errors, plan product locations in warehouses, and even measure temperatures in case of chemicals and medicines to ensure that the right storage requirements are met. RFID systems can pinpoint the exact location in real-time, giving logistics managers a bird’s eye view on trucks, pallets, and inventory to see things exactly the way they are across the supply chain. In sudden events or unforeseen circumstances, RFID systems work proactively by changing a delivery route.

4. EDI/API integrations

Both EDI (electronic data interchange) and API (application programming interface) are crucial for logistics companies to integrate data across communication channels. APIs, however, bring more power and flexibility to enable companies to exchange data with cloud-based apps and other digital ecosystem systems seamlessly. API integrations can be used to connect eCommerce stores with fulfillment centers to meet consumer demands successfully when same-day or next-day deliveries are becoming so popular.
Modern businesses are now exploring new possibilities by integrating EDI and API rather than choosing one over the other. They serve as a smarter solution for those who wish to modernize but are reluctant to give up on their traditional EDI solutions. In fact, the allure of an integrated platform is simply impossible to resist. It allows companies to upgrade their legacy systems and evolve into an environment that facilitates end-to-end visibility to conduct business rapidly.

5. Disruptive technologies

Technology adoption in warehouse automation globally is expected to grow from 8 percent in 2019 to 45 percent by 2030. Supply chain and logistics companies worldwide are accelerating digital transformation initiatives to make their operations more responsive. Disruptive technologies are now taking over every sphere of logistics, positively impacting businesses and those who run them.

83 percent of those participating in a survey by MHI in collaboration with Deloitte believed digital supply chains would become the predominant model in just five years. Says John Paxton, CEO of MHI, “Supply chain resilience has never been more important. Companies that made investments in digital technologies prior to the pandemic were more prepared and able to adapt, survive, and even thrive during this disruption. They will also be ready when the next crisis inevitably hits.”

Some of the top technologies that are making waves and helping organizations brave new storms include:

Blockchain – Relatively new but extremely powerful, blockchain is helping industry leaders induce transparency into their business. It facilitates safe transactions through an irrefutable decentralized ledger system and ensures quicker approvals and clearance. Blockchain with its trustless peer-to-peer network increases efficiency, reduces human error, and prevents fraud. For companies that are committed to enforcing digital initiatives, blockchain should be on the cards.

Robotics – Robotics play a significant role in increasing the speed, productivity, and accuracy of supply chain processes while ensuring that human jobs stay intact. Rather than replacing humans, they play a collaborative role to increase overall efficiency. For instance, collaborative robots offer assistance to humans in picking up, packing, and placing goods as required. On the other hand, autonomous mobile robots can help pick up goods and transport them to storage facilities. There are software robots that can do mundane, repetitive tasks to allow human workers more time to focus on chores that need human intervention. Logistics companies are leveraging Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for managing simple clerical tasks in areas like order management and after-sales service to reduce overhead costs and eliminate human error.

Related: Automated pricing operations powered by RPA helped a leading 3PL improve its revenue by 40%

Predictive analytics – Predictive analytics adoption, which currently stands at 31 percent, is expected to grow to 79 percent in the next 3-5 years. A good 43 percent of respondents plan to up their spending on predictive and prescriptive analytics to more than $ 10 million. Predictive analytics drives supply chain companies towards resiliency, helping them manage inventory, maintenance, pricing strategies, and forecasts.

Predictive analytics helps choose faster routes based on traffic, distance, weather, fuel consumption, and vehicle condition. It also helps anticipate maintenance of equipment and vehicles to minimize downtime. It forecasts demand accurately across any logistics network using historical data and market analysis data. It also helps companies adjust their prices based on need. Demand forecasts also help supply chain managers maintain an optimal level of inventory to ensure that demand is met at reduced costs by storing stock at appropriate distribution centers.

Cloud Technology – Software-as-a-service products hosted in public clouds are now a given, considering public cloud solutions are easier to implement. They allow logistics companies to leverage pay-per-use models, thereby necessitating low capital investment. Companies do not have to pay for the hefty cost of maintaining the IT infrastructure and yet get the security and scalability that the cloud offers.

Logistics companies are now leveraging cloud integrations to collect data from management systems, collaborate, and communicate to build process efficiencies and garner better business outcomes. Cloud-integrated logistics is not confined to time or space and gives greater freedom and accessibility that we desperately need today.

Sharpen your digital edge with Trigent

Trigent, with its decades of experience in the logistics sector and a process-driven approach, has been helping supply chain leaders and their ecosystem partners respond intelligently to market disruptions. Our technology experts help create lasting value by giving you keen insights into market trends and empowering you to adopt the latest innovations. Our solutions are custom-made to help you manage diverse aspects of transportation and logistics with amazing ease.

Call us today to book a business consultation.

References

Enable Transparent Tracking with NextGen Technologies for Cold Chain Logistics

Even as globalization has made the world a smaller place, the physical separation of the different regions still remains an important reality, especially when it pertains to the movement of goods. The greater this physical separation, greater are the odds of the consignment getting damaged.

This is even more true when it relates to the transportation of perishable goods. Hence, efficient cold chains have become an essential part of the modern supply chain to transport vital, sensitive cargo over great distances and through diverse climatic conditions.

For the range of supplies labeled as perishables, particularly pharmaceuticals and food (produces), quality expires with time as they maintain chemical reactions, which can mostly be alleviated with lower temperatures. Cold chain logistics have evolved with the growing demand for temperature-controlled logistics to transport consumable goods over great distances safely.

It takes coordination and time to move a shipment efficiently. Every delay can have negative consequences. To ensure that the loads do not become compromised or damaged at any point during this process, businesses in the food, medical and pharmaceutical industries are increasingly banking on the cold chain.

The challenges of cold chain transportation

In addition to the usual risk elements that plague our regular supply chains, cold chain logistics has unique issues, such as rising freight costs, product sensitivity, and growing regulatory obstacles.

The recent reports of over 12,000 vaccine doses spoiling due to fluctuations in the truck temperature are evidence of some of the main challenges faced by the industry today. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the majority of 21 shipments of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine sent to Michigan were unusable as they got too cold during transit.

The incident has, however, brought clarity to the fact that fleet managers need a better way to access and manage real-time information. The need for real-time data to manage deliveries with efficiency and precision is ever increasing. The insights drawn from this data can help fleet managers, drivers, and businesses work together towards the best outcomes.

The numbers linked to food recalls and losses are also staggering. In 2008, a single recall cost the food companies over $500 mn in settlements. Also, over $161 billion worth of losses were reported in 2010 due to food waste. A precise process to track and trace processes with new technologies such as blockchain, IoT, big data and AI can reduce or potentially eliminate waste and recalls. This can be done by ensuring safe and well-prepared supply chain operations, advanced disposal mechanisms for contaminated food batches, and timely deliveries.

The need for supply chain visibility

Supply chain visibility is crucial to both companies and customers today. According to popular research, 94% of customers are more likely to be devoted to a freight company that offers complete supply-chain transparency. Also, about 39% of consumers say they would willingly switch to a more transparent company if offered the chance.

This trend has some big brands implementing technology such as Blockchain to trace and track every activity across their supply chain. Real-time tracking with RFID enables tracking of tagged objects, creates a system of connected devices that continuously transmit data about their location, product condition, and more.

Given the highly dynamic and unique nature of the cold chain challenges, fleet managers require technologies that have fast information processing capabilities. It should also be able to digest streams of data from million sources at the moment and also be agile enough to acclimate to evolving situations.

Digital Twin is a new, powerful software technique built upon in-memory computing. It has recently emerged with the ability to meet real-time data requirements and is cost-effective to implement, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). It helps fleet managers boost their situational awareness by identifying and tackling delivery challenges.

A logistics management system with real-time dashboards, timely reports, and better contextual information can make cold chain management and monitoring easier. Leveraging cloud-based systems equipped with real-time predictive analytics would help identify risk and provide opportunities to improve logistics efficiency.

Reducing cost with real-time cold chain monitoring

A well-run supply chain enhances customer service, saves money, and reduces transit time. The savings don’t come easy, though. They can only be accomplished through some digital transformation in the existing system. It requires some incremental improvement in processes along with a proactive risk-management approach.

Real-time monitoring can help logistics companies eliminate one of the most significant pain points of cold chain logistics – spoilage. Monitoring shipments in real-time and instantly flagging issues such as temperature excursions, hardware/coolant malfunctions, or deviations from handling protocols can help prevent damage in transit. 

While reducing spoilage with a better refrigeration system and managing transportation costs with multi-modal shipments is an option, this involves many hidden costs. Compliance mandates, labor, spare parts, weight, and several other factors contribute to the intricacies of maintaining the cold chain shipping costs.

The use of real-time data enables real-time analytics and response. It provides the opportunity to not only prevent cold chain risk but to eliminate it outright. It helps run a reliable and leaner cold chain taking off the weight of process and quality management with automation. 

The hybrid combination of all accessible data, constant connectivity, robust monitoring devices, and analytics that support data-driven improvements in logistics operations embodies the pinnacle of cold chain management and monitoring systems. Though small, real-time shipment process intervention and monitoring will be vital to your overall logistics efficiency plan.

Although it is logical to think of cost reductions from the bottom-up, the effort to evolve needs to be top-down. A digital transformation of your legacy system will help support the more extensive landscape for your business if it is used right, as in any tool.

Automate your cold chain logistics with Trigent

With a highly experienced team of technology experts having over decades of experience in TMS solutions, Trigent helps revamp your legacy systems to drive revenue and efficiency. We combine the best disruptive technologies, analytics, and trade intelligence to create custom-made solutions to overcome your supply chain challenges. 

We help our customers increase their market value and visibility with seamless integration of the latest technology solutions. Our solutions help you cater to diverse load requirements, optimize routing, market best rates, gather real-time location data, weather forecast & utilization of space, among others.

Build your next-gen cold chain logistics solutions with us. Call us today to book a business consultation.

Transportation and Logistics Go Places with RPA at the Helm

Tedious, repetitive tasks can put quite a drain on your time, especially when you would rather spend it on more meaningful activities. Take emails, for instance, you cannot do without them, you cannot ignore them, and there will be quite a few that will require you to prioritize and take action.

Sifting through the entire information to take only the necessary data to the operating system for crafting a response can be overwhelming especially when you would want to focus on important activities such as building relationships with customers or planning for business growth. Thankfully, after a successful run across industries including financial services, healthcare, and hospitality, Robotics Process Automation (RPA) has now made its debut in transportation and logistics.

RPA bots are easy to use and you can integrate them with your existing technology infrastructure even if the systems they work with do not integrate with one another. The fact that the global robotic process automation market size is expected to touch $13.74 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 32.8% over the forecast period only makes it evident how eager enterprises are to adopt RPA.

Enterprises have always been on the lookout for ways and means to monitor costs and resources. RPA offers them just that, making its way across business departments and processes reducing human error, and amplifying throughput.

Some organizations have been hesitant to adopt RPA because they weren’t sure if their scale could support this technology. The capabilities that RPA brings along are however helping them realize its value and potential. No matter which industry we speak about, transportation and logistics form an integral part of their supply chain. Any improvement in business processes thus has a positive impact on all others.

It’s time we delved deeper into the benefits and use cases that make RPA the smartest solution out there for streamlining processes in transportation and logistics.

The RPA benefits

RPA offers several benefits when you put RPA at the helm of business processes. Jaguar Freight recently announced its decision of choosing RPA Labs for the documentation of its document processes.

Speaking about its decision, Simon Kaye, President, and CEO of Jaguar Freight elaborated, “We recently partnered with RPA Labs, who does a tremendous job automating a lot of the heavy lifting within our organization. They helped us in two areas – one is taking a lot of raw data from client documentation, commercial invoices, and packing lists, and populating that automatically in our system, where previously there was a fair amount of data entry, which caused a lot of errors and delays.”
Not just big enterprises, but even startups are now eagerly embracing the power of RPA to streamline their operations.

Some of the top benefits of leveraging RPA solutions include:

  • Time – Automation has always saved enterprises a lot of time, but RPA tools streamline tasks helping them further bring down the process cycle time significantly.
  • Accuracy – Due to the absence of manual intervention, RPA ensures high accuracy. Tasks performed are usually error-free and in the rare event that an error occurs, it can be found and fixed easily. This is possible because RPA-driven processes are recorded and easily retrieved.
  • Productivity – Higher accuracy ensures better work management. It helps enterprises align processes with their business goals ensuring productivity is at an all-time high.
  • Revenue – With reduced process cycle times and increased accuracy and productivity, enterprises are able to devote their time to grow their business and increase revenue.

To take a closer look at the different processes that benefit from RPA and understand how RPA plays a role in enhancing organizational efficiencies, let’s look at its applications.

Order processing and tracking

The one area that involves endless manual data entries and can improve significantly is order processing and tracking. It’s not just tedious and time-consuming but also very resource-intensive. Manual errors can prove to be extremely costly at this stage. RPA enables organizations to process orders efficiently. PRO numbers of shipments are picked up from a carrier’s website automatically via bots and loads are closed out in no time.

Tracking continues with the help of IoT sensors even after orders are processed and shipped. IoT sensors also ensure that products can be traced based on their last known location in case they get misplaced during transit. The rationale is to keep both employees and customers in the loop so that the status of shipments is known to all concerned at all times.

The RPA tool also sends out updates in the form of emails at regular intervals. This feature comes in handy when the transit period is too long. Customers also get plenty of time to schedule pick-up times based on the location of the product.

Inventory management

Another important task that comes under the domain of RPA in supply chain and logistics is that of inventory monitoring. After all, supply needs to be aligned with the demand for products and the expectations can be met only when you know exactly how many products are left and when new shipments are going to be needed.

RPA tools look into this aspect and send a notification to concerned employees about the number of products remaining and even order new products as required. Supply and demand planning is possible only when you are able to analyze diverse data from suppliers, customers, distributors, and your workforce. RPA can gather, store, and analyze data to help you tide over these challenges and maintain a steady supply.

Invoice management

Like order processing, invoice management also involves entering and processing a huge amount of data. With RPA tools, you can substantially reduce the stress of going through invoice documents and ensure error-free processing. In a typical business scenario in transport and logistics, orders are received, processed, and shipped in large numbers every day.

While it took days in the pre-RPA era to process invoices, RPA ensures that invoices are processed quickly and accurately, extracting only pertinent information to enable automatic payments. This helps businesses reduce the average handling time by 89% with 100% accuracy and achieve a resource utilization of 36%.

Report generation

You need reports for just about everything; be it for processing payments, gathering customer feedback, or managing shipments. When it comes to transportation, report generation assumes a whole new level especially when you are tracking movements from city to city, port to port. Often, it can get tiresome and challenging.

RPA helps you manage all your report-related chores with ease thanks to its ability to screen information. Minus the human intervention, RPA-generated reports are highly accurate. Modern enterprises combine the capabilities of RPA with Artificial Intelligence to generate precise reports and even make sense of them to offer actionable insights.

Communication and customer satisfaction

In a sector as busy and extensive as transportation, communication is the key to better relations and customer satisfaction. Customers need timely updates and the fact that multiple vendors and partners are divided by distance and time zones can sometimes pose challenges in communication. This is where RPA tools such as chatbots and auto-responders come into play.

They communicate, interact, and answer customer queries. They also push notifications as often as required to inform concerned authorities about order status or shipment delays or other related matters. This in turn ensures a high level of customer satisfaction. Given the stiff competition, it is the only way customers are going to keep coming back for more.

While old customers are happy to hang around, new customers will look forward to a long association thanks to RPA-enabled services. The best part about RPA tools is that they allow you to link information across stages and processes to have the right information necessary for providing efficient customer service and 24X7 support.

Take your business to new heights with Trigent

Trigent with its highly experienced team of technology experts is helping enterprises improve process cycle times and create new opportunities for increasing revenue. They can help you too with the right RPA tools and solutions to enhance process efficiencies and create better customer experiences.


Allow us to help you manage your workflows and add value with RPA. Call us today to book a business consultation.

Can your TMS Application Weather the Competition?

The transportation and logistics industry is growing dependent on diverse transportation management systems (TMS). This is true not only for the big shippers but also for small companies triggered by different rates, international operations, and competitive landscape. Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems summarizes the growing importance of TMS solutions when it says, “Modern supply chains require an easy-to-use, flexible and scale TMS solution with broad global coverage. In a competitive transportation and logistics environment, TMS solutions help organizations to meet service commitments at the lowest cost.

For TMS solution providers, the path to developing or modernizing applications is not as simple as cruising calm seas. Their challenges are myriad and relate to ensuring systems that organize quotes seamlessly (no jumping from phone to a website). They need to help customers to select the ideal carrier based on temperature, time, and load to ensure maximized benefits. Very importantly, they need to help customers to track shipments while managing multiple carrier options and freight. Customers look for answers, and TMS solutions should be able to provide customers the best options in carriers. All this does not come easy and while developing and executing the solution is half of it, the more critical half lies in ensuring that the system’s functionality, security, and performance remain uncompromised. When looking for a TMS solution, customers look for providers who can present a clear picture of the total cost of ownership. Unpredictability is a no-no in this business which essentially means that the solution is implemented and tested for 100 percent performance and functionality.

Testing Makes the Difference

The TMS solution providers who will be able to sustain their competitive edge are the ones who have tested their solution from all angles and are sure of its superiority.

In a recent case study that explains the importance of testing, a cloud-based trucking intelligence company provides solutions to help fleets improve safety and compliance while reducing costs invested in a futuristic onboard telematics product. The product manages several processes and functions to provide accurate and real-time information such as tracking fleet vehicles, controlling unauthorized access to the company’s fleet assets, and mapping real-me vehicle location. The client’s customers know more about their trucks on the road using pressure monitoring, fault code monitoring, and remote diagnostics link. The onboard device records and transmits information such as speed, RPMs and idle time, distance traveled, etc. in real-time to a central server using a cellular data network.

The data stored in the central server is accessed using the associated web application via the internet. The web application also provides a driver portal for the drivers to know/edit their hours of service logs. Since the system deals with mission-critical business processes, providing accurate and real-time information is key to its success.

The challenge was to set up a test environment for the onboard device to accurately simulate the environment in the truck and simulate the transmission of data to the central server. Establishing appropriate harnesses to test the hardware and software interface was equally challenging. The other challenges were the simulation and real-time data generation of the vehicle movement using a simulator GPS.

A test lab was set up with various versions of the hardware and software and integration points with simulators. With use-case methodology and user interviews, test scenarios were chalked out to test the rich functionality and usage of the device. Functional testing and regression testing of new releases for both the onboard equipment and web application were undertaken. For each of the client’s built-in products, end-to-end testing was conducted.

As a result of the testing services, the IoT platform experienced shortened functional release cycles. The comprehensive test coverage ensured better GPS validation, reduced preventive cost by identification of holistic test cases, reduced detection cost by performing pre-emptive tests like integration testing.

Testing Integral to Functional Superiority for TMS 

As seen in the case study above, developing, integrating, operating, and maintaining a TMS is a challenging business. There are several stakeholders and a complex process that includes integrated hardware, software, humans, and processes performing myriad functions, making the TMS’s performance heavily reliant on its functioning. Adding complexity is the input/output of data, command, and control, data analysis, and communication. As a result of its complexity and the importance of its functioning in managing shipping and logistics, testing is an essential aspect of a TMS.

Testing TMS solutions from the functional, performance design and implementation aspect will ensure that:

  • Shipping loads are accurate, and there are no unwelcome surprises
  • Mobile status updates eliminate human intervention and provide real-time updates.
  • Electronic record management to ensure the workflow is smooth and accurate
  • Connectivity information to eliminate issues with shift changes and visibility
  • API integration to seamlessly communicate with customers.
  • Managing risk for both the TMS and the system’s partners/vendors.

TMS software providers need to offer new features and capabilities faster to be competitive, win more customers, and retain their business. Whether it relates to seamless dispatch workflows, freight billing or EDI, Trigent can help. Know more about Trigent’s Transportation & Logistics solutions

Benefits of EDI Usage in Transportation Management Systems

The need for real-time visibility has reached an all-time high for transportation companies. As Bart De Muynck, Research Vice President, Gartner, says, “Organizations have increasing demands for real-time, or at least near-real-time visibility into their orders, multi-modal shipments, and inventory across a network of business partners, both stationary and in transit.”

Providing T&L companies access to real-time information is Electronic Data Interchange, which is the inter-organizational exchange of business documents in a pre-defined structured format. EDI permits trading partners to generate, receive, and process data with little or no human intervention. With EDI, standard business documents can be transmitted instantaneously using telecommunication capabilities.

Benefits of EDI

  1. With EDI, routine high volume communications can be automated. This ensures that dispatchers and accounts receivables staff have time to focus on value added services. For example, expenses associated with usual operational tasks can be considerably reduced or even eliminated, lowering transactions costs by at least 30 percent. When this number is multiplied annually, the savings can be substantial.
    A study by La Londe and Cooper found that firms with electronic ordering have experienced sales increases of up to 50 percent. EDI enables firms to be more responsive to customer needs by decreasing order transmittal time and lead times.
  2. EDI eliminates dispatchers from having to manually key information into dispatch operational and billing systems. This results in savings while eliminating any costly data entry mistakes. Thus, errors due to illegible faxes, lost communication or incorrect phone messages are eliminated and documents processed much faster.
  3. For the transportation industry, business cycles are revved up sharply. Normal waiting time for documents which range from a day to a couple of weeks, can happen in the space of a few minutes.
  4. Companies can use EDI to integrate with various transportation management systems or direct carrier systems. This will help to tender and re-tender loads, transmit and receive appointment time and status.
  5. Eliminating paper transactions and substituting them with electronic alternatives, is a display of corporate social responsibility.
  6. However, one of the key benefits of EDI stem from the real-time visibility into transactions. This makes for faster decision-making and improved responsiveness to rapidly changing economic and market scenarios. The business model is altered completely from a demand-driven model to a supply-driven one.

Successfully Delivered 30+ Digital Transformation Projects in the Last 10 Years

To summarize, In the quest to achieve a paperless society, Electronic Data Interchange has long been a leading technology. It predates the emergence of Internet and now a chief electronic network connecting just about every business to every other. To know more about the benefits, read whitepaper ‘EDI in Transportation: The Standard that Continues to Automate and Integrate Operations

Cloud-based Transportation Management System: A Game Changer in Logistics Industry

Read how you can make your TMS more competitive.

Technological advances have brought rapid changes to the transportation and logistics sector.
For businesses with complex supply chains, a cloud-based TMS can unlock new levels of efficiency, improve opportunities for automation and data consistency.

According to a new market report published by Credence Research, Inc., “Transportation Management Systems Market” the global transportation management systems market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% during the forecast period 2015 – 2022.

Benefits of TMS

  • Plan, manage and optimize the daily operations of transportation across geographies
  • Reduce invoice errors by automating the freight payment and audit processes
  • Provide transport intelligence to improve service delivery and reduce cost
  • Increase delivery reliability through collaboration across all modes and providers

Cloud-based Transportation Management System

TMS is not a new concept, but when hosted in the cloud (often as SaaS), is still new to the Shipping industry. With SaaS TMS, there are no costly upgrades, businesses have access to complete and accurate information, and collaboration is faster.

This next-generation of cloud-based TMS gives remarkable benefits to:

  • Shippers – Can gain a global view of transportation in real-time, including order information for each vehicle and its routing progress.
  • Supply chain managers – Streamlining all supply chain activities and make better decisions based on real-time data.
  • Vendors – By eliminating the labor and upfront investment that traditional software implementations require.
  • Logistic Service Providers (LSPs) – Seamlessly connect with their network, optimize all web-based transport management system modes, provide the proper metrics needed to manage their businesses.

Trigent enables “logistics–as-a-service” (SaaS) business models for TMS providers. Our services facilitate flexible integrations with other key business processes to optimize all operations.

Our cloud-based TMS services provide flexibility and scalability, as well as standardized and harmonized processes across the whole organization, which is especially important for LSPs or carriers who have grown through acquisitions, and currently, rely on a patchwork of legacy systems.

Successfully Delivered 30+ Digital Transformation Projects in the Last 10 Years

For the modernization of legacy TMS applications, we start by understanding your unique business requirements and help create a roadmap. By establishing a phase-wise project plan, reinforced with industry best practices and structured processes, the migration will be well planned, executed, and supported. Read more about our Cloud Transformation services.

Using a cloud-based transportation management system will help your supply chain operate the best it can. Embrace SaaS TMS and stay ahead of the competition with Trigent.

A walk through ATA MCE 2017

If you think that it takes a long time to walk through the show floor of a huge Trucking Conference like the ATA MCE 2017, try doing it where you know just about everyone behind the tables in the booth!!

The ATA MCE’17 was a great time for me to catch up with existing customers as well as a great opportunity to scout for new prospects.  Being a part of the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition for five days this October has given me a renewed perspective—and pride—about the industry, the people. According to a 2015 ATA report, over 70% of all freight tonnage in the U.S. goes on trucks. In fact, in the U.S. alone, more than 10.4 billion tons of freight were transported by truck.

From “Automated Trucks” and “Infrastructure Funding” to “Big Data” and “Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)”, attendees received a plethora of information to help drive their fleets forward. With continual educational sessions throughout the conference, one of the trends that stood out for me was autonomous vehicles and the challenges as we begin to transition to this advanced technology. The technology, public acceptance, legislation and business cases are all key pieces to successfully deploying automated trucks.

One of the best sessions was “Automated Trucks,” presented by Darryl Oster – Assistant Chief Engineer, Peterbilt; Kirk.T-Steudle – Director of the Michigan DoT; and Dr. Ben D. Sawyer – Researcher at MIT’s AgeLab. Featuring state-of-the-art Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) by Peterbilt and their long and short-term investment into the future; platooning, lane keeping and traffic jam assist.  Kirk spoke at length on the new autonomous vehicle policy and how states across the US are adopting to this change. The ELD mandate continued to garner a lot of discussion at the conference. Although the majority of fleets are moving forward, there are still some that are not.

Trigent helps clients in the transportation and logistics industry build better Software as a Service (SaaS) products on the cloud, mobile, and OBD platforms. These products help revolutionize the way customers buy freight, manage their shipments, track their assets and increase compliance. At the event, we showcased our superior software solutions for safe, secure, and efficient transportation and logistics management.

I enjoyed meeting many of our customers and people who are considering our service offerings. I also enjoyed seeing what’s new in the industry and talking one-on-one to learn what’s keeping people up at night and driving the industry forward.

If you missed me at ATA MCE 2017, I’d still love to talk to you, drop me a note and I’ll be in touch shortly.

TMS Suppliers to Enhance Tracking and Visibility of Goods using IoT

The Global Transportation Management market is expected to grow from USD 78.20 Billion in 2017 to USD202.14 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 20.9%. This accelerated growth is the changing face of the real-time economy which demands faster and timely execution of business processes. Across industries but more so in the supply chain, logistics and transportation industries, speed, timing, efficiency and optimization are the crucial defining factors, achievable due to the adoption of digital technologies.

Transportation management companies have over the years relied on their existing systems which can range from manual entries to balancing delivery windows with costs. However, the pressure for tighter, faster and more deliveries has increased to a point where the solution is change. Also, technology innovations such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and automation are reinventing the transportation industry. Those companies that are steering ahead of competition are the ones that are reinventing their business strategy. These companies have implemented global logistical functions and features, such as multi-carrier parcel management and 3D load design, owing to the expansion of supply chains globally.

Moreover, TMS vendors are collaborating with RFID providers to develop integrated solutions to increase operational efficiency by minimizing manual inputs and broadcasting signal information about the location and specifications of the product in transit. One of the recent developments in the market is the growing use of intelligent wireless connectivity and smart sensor technology solutions to offer real-time information to organizations about transport vehicles.

Related: Embrace digital transformation, remaster your business, stay ahead of the curve.

There are multiple dynamics that are driving the change. Big Data is providing companies with an unprecedented amount of actionable market intelligence. The Internet of Things is increasingly connecting people 24/7 with all types of devices, networks, vehicles and more. As an alternative to manual methods, shippers have to find on-demand, software solutions such as digital freight matching (DFM) to address requirements such as managing just-in-time requests for quotes or using transportation brokers, third-party logistics providers and load boards.

DFM lets shippers directly and almost immediately find drivers with capacity to transport their truckload, partial truckload and less-than-truckload freight on the right types of trucks on the dates and routes they need. Shippers get competitive and transparent rates upfront and can track in-transit and delivery details so they always know the status of their shipments.

In a recent case study, a leading Transportation Management System (TMS) provider’s cloud-based multi-tenant platform is used by customers for freight purchase and management, with full supply chain visibility, stakeholder collaboration and shipping intelligence. The system brought together comprehensive information from ordering and inventory, to temperature monitoring and transit to expense allocation. The company to sustain its position as a chosen TMS provider had to live up to is reputation of simplifying complex supply chains for which it needed to seamlessly connect internal and third party systems whatever the configuration or size of their systems.

Smart usage of digitalization and IoT resulted in an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) & web services platform that has simplified procurement, planning and optimization, execution, freight bill auditing and settlement and reporting and analytics for its global customers. The platform connects with every integral piece of data and this visibility and collaboration has resulted in dramatic cost savings for its customers. The disruptive SaaS TMS built on the latest cloud technology has changed how companies purchase and manage freight, consolidating its leadership position the TMS segment.

The Why, What, and, How of Fleet Management Solutions

Introduction

‘Fleet’ is a group of motor vehicles operating together under the same ownership or leased by a business, government agency or other organization. A group of motor vehicles can mean any mode of transportation such as ships, buses, warships, but which are operating together or under the same ownership.

Understand Fleet Management Solutions (FMS)

FMS are designed to augment operational efficiency and business productivity. They aim to optimize the usage of shared resources by automating business processes.  These solutions are also proven to reduce costs, save lives, improve competitive positioning, maximize fleet utilization and increase customer satisfaction.

FMS help to analyze driving behavior to reduce idling time and enforce safety driving. You can also plan efficient route and time schedules to maximize fleet utilization.

There are several companies which manufacture vehicle tracking devices. A sample list of such companies are Calamp, Positionlogic, Assettrackr, Trackyourtruck, Imarda and Pragativts among others.

A Few Sample Devices
     
     

Devices come in several models and each model will have a unique and advance feature. These devices provide data based on the configurable time intervals. Data may be all or combinations of some parameters based on the device model. The communication method may be GPRS, SMS or GSM. This data can be collected on the Cloud server, parsed and stored in a database. This data can then be represented online in formats such as a map, graph, report etc. Real-time vehicle position can also be seen in maps.

Device Features
  • Programming/updating over air
  • Sleep mode for GPRS cost/power saving
  • Wide range power supply (6-37 Volt)
  • Alarm inputs
  • Panic input/automatic emergency dial-out
  • Speeding report
  • Analog input for temperature/ fuel/air pressure monitoring
  • Driver ID checking
  • Hands-free voice communication
  • Back-up battery (4-8 hrs)
  • Door release output
  • Bluetooth for GPS data output (navigation)
  • 6-pin Connector methods
  • Water Proof device
  • Automotive use
  • Internal Backup battery
  • Battery voltage
  • Internal battery voltage
  • Battery status
  • LED indicators
  • Analog input for fuel
  • Ignition
  • Immobilizer
  • In-Built distance calculation
  • Odometer pulse-counter sensor
  • Main power disconnect alert
  • In-built GPS/GSM antenna
  • GPS receiver
  • Over-the-air device configuration through SMS
  • Secondary server option in case of failure
  • Harsh braking, accident alert
  • GSM details
  • Power saving mode
  • Power supply
  • SMS-based location
  • Internal memory
  • Geo fence settings
  • Voice monitoring
  • Location-based service
  • Two-way communication
  • Cut-Off engine
  • Shock alert

General advantages of FMS

  • Live Tracking: Displays the location of the tracked assets on a map in real time. Example: Bus # 340 is currently running (active) @ location State Hwy with speed of 58 miles per hour heading towards east.
  • Replay / History: Displays the path taken by a vehicle with historical vehicle activity, status, speed and alerts.
  • Alert/Notification: Real-time with configurable rules-based alerts sent to your screen, email or phone.
  • Geo Location: Ability to create complex shapes around different areas and record entry and exit activity, and time spent inside.
  • Service Management: Flexibility to plan, schedule and record vehicle maintenance costs and history.
  • Incident Manager: Exact information on what happened in the event of an incident with a black-box solution.
Example: Bus No.340

Each point shows driving speed and the time the vehicle arrives.

Blue icons are defined major landmarks such as schools, depot, service station where the bus stops, at planned time.

Red icons are defined stops.

White icons indicate where bus was idle for 7 min.

 

Industry-based Advantages of FMS

Logistics

Reducing cost and maximizing fleet utilization are the keys for logistics industries. It helps you to analyze driving behavior to reduce idling time and enforce safety driving. It also helps you to view location and work status in real time and plan efficient route and time schedules to maximize fleet utilization.

Features:

  •  See the historical route of each vehicle in the fleet. One can compare actual driver activity with driver time-cards or logs. By using the ‘Drive Time Summary’ report it is possible to see daily and weekly fleet statistics, information such as total mileage, maximum recorded speed, number of stops, and distance traveled.
  • Get detailed information on each vehicle, including miles traveled, engine hours, number of trips, and more. Analyze individual vehicle utilization and identify overall fleet efficiency.
  • Use fuel usage and mileage reports to see fuel consumption patterns and identify areas for improvement. Fuel Guard transaction reports shows you fuel transaction details, including location, time, number of gallons and total cost.
  • Alert about problems requiring action and log activities.
  • Make continuous improvements. No more excel reports.
  • Find problems with graphical reports with hints for improvement.
  • Employee attendance can be captured with the RFID reader.Provide high security and safety for employees by tracking your fleet and monitoring driving behavior.
Example: Bus No. 340
  • Route analysis for a day, ie. actual v/s planned.
  • Blue line planned route for bus.
  • Red line is actual bus run for that day
 

Education

  • Providing convenient bus solutions for parents.
  • Providing exactly ETA – Expedited Time of Arrival.
  • Dramatically reduces the workload of school bus administrators.
  • Attendance can be captured with the RFID / Keypad reader.
  • Real time tracking and tracing of position on Google MAP

EDI vs. XML – Which is the preferred mode to Improve Enterprise Productivity

Having worked as a tech lead for more than 6 years in a project, involving automation of supply-chain complexities, I would like to share my tryst with EDI files. Enterprises have long relied on EDI (Electronic Data Exchange) for automating transactions and as a medium to improve productivity by automating intense manual processes and minimizing associated overheads.


With the emergence of XML, enterprises are increasingly contemplating the viability of XML as an alternative to EDI that offers many-to-many connectivity and its transactional capabilities. Before arriving at a conclusion as to which is the best medium, let us make the field even for both EDI and XML. General guidelines one should follow while contemplating EDI or XML platform or any other platforms for that matter are: ROI on Investment? Whether to leverage existing set up or start building a new one right from scratch? Performance criteria? Does it subscribe to pay as you go model? Security, reliability and scalability and Feature extendibility concerns ? End user adoption?… and so and so forth.

These guidelines can help us make an even comparison between XML and EDI and which of the two makes a compelling force to adopt.

EDI – A Protocol while XML is a Data Format

Let us begin. Though an oft-debated comparison, when it comes to communication between two systems, EDI and XML are two separate concepts. XML is a data format, not a protocol or an application, on the other hand, EDI is. Though both are used to parse documents without manual intervention, it is important to understand their importance in the respective contexts.

An EDI file or document transmission can take anyone route among Serial Communications, Internet, Peer-to-peer, Value Added Networks (VAN) and gets translated via FTP or AS2 protocol. What this means is EDI renders solid security due to its stringent protocol something, which makes XML less so. further, there are lots of tried, tested, and proven off the shelves EDI tools in the market that eases the hassles of developing an application right from scratch which is most likely the case with XML.

On the flip-side, XML is gaining ground due to the proliferation of e-commerce sites and portals, which requires many-to-one transactional capabilities. XML makes more sense for small and mid-size companies that do not have to follow a standard format and whose transactional needs are less intense. On the other hand, as EDI is best suited for one-to-one, point-to-point connectivity, it is a viable option for two big companies with millions of transactions happening per day between them, through a standardized protocol. Since the volume of data managed will be high; investing in value-added networks (VAN) is worth the buck spent.

Finding EDI experts

It can be downright frustrating if you have to build an EDI set up at ground level if you do not have the expertise and business domain knowledge. Unlike, XML, which is in a way human readable, EDI is complex and is meant for two systems to communicate. I can tell from my experience in a project spanning 6 years, EDI programming can appear complex and daunting to a novice and can result in companies spending millions and getting nowhere. In addition, there are several industry levels of EDI standards that need to adhere that requires a lot of expertise. As an experienced EDI programmer, I have to pay extra attention to the tiniest details while developing translation maps between two systems. in the next blog post, I will share some real-life examples of complexities involved in EDI processing.

Here’s how EDI usage propels Transportation Management Systems.

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Facing challenges with EDI development, integration or maintenance? At Trigent, we offer cloud-based, fully managed 24×7 EDI services that span the entire process – EDI onboarding to EDI coordination, translation to mapping, incident resolution. With our flexible and integrated services, businesses of any size can seamlessly connect and collaborate with any trading partner, achieve new levels of business connectivity and performance. We deliver best practice, compliant EDI partnerships to a broad range of industries, from transportation and logistics to manufacturing, healthcare, banking, high tech, retail, and more.