If the members of the Gatwick Group were unsure of what IntelliTrans and its parent company Roper Technologies Inc. actually did and where they fitted into our logistics and transport scene, James Reading their Account Director for the UK and Europe, soon put matters to rights during his presentation in February. He started off by placing IntelliTrans, with its headquarters in Atlanta Georgia (the ‘freight capital’ of the USA) in the context of its American parent company, before explaining where his own field of responsibility fitted in. IntelliTrans was founded in 1992 and acquired by Roper in 2006. In the USA, 46% of the freight miles are handled by rail and, for goods with a low product cost and high volume, the freight costs are critical. The parent company covers a wide range of activities from industrial technology, energy systems and controls, traffic and toll systems, to medical imaging and freight analysis. RF technology is at the heart of much of what the company does, with its use for scanning vehicles on toll roads and for tracking every railway wagon in the USA. The transport management systems and software services supplied by IntelliTrans fit very well into this overall picture.
The execution of end-to-end journeys with multiple transport providers.
Multimodal can bring benefits to all Logistics Consumers, particularly where transport cost is important.
For some freight movements, the use of multimodal transport can bring very measurable cost and environmental benefits with no detriment to customer service. Logistics consumers require route optimization, just-in-time supply chain operations, a secure environment and low cost transport. Control tower technology is an enabler to achieve shipment visibility and optimize inventory and assets in a congested environment. To provide optimum results the technology that supports a control tower must be specific to the company’s need. IntelliTrans supports the seamless completion of journeys using more than one operator. IntelliTrans’ Global Visibility Platform is designed to simplify multimodal operations, covering the aspects of planning, execution and track and trace. Information can be sent to destination points and partner operators alike with real time updates on journey progress and the estimated time of arrival.
The use of multimodal transport can reduce transport costs and CO2 emissions while achieving a highly predictable delivery performance. Achieving this reduced cost may involve complex planning and operational processes that can be overcome with technology that allows services to be tailored to needs. Combining different modes of transport (sea, road, rail or inland waterways) to create a journey that meets cost and time objectives can provide a real competitive advantage. Technology that allows journeys to be planned and modes of transport to be synchronized with simple operational control and paperless transactions is critical to successful utilization of multimodal transportation.
To transact multimodal transport the steps are easy to state but have been difficult to achieve:
- Plan to create a journey that will satisfy the delivery time required by the customer.
- Consider product characteristics, such as hazardous or temperature requirements.
- Search from a number of available options to complete end-to-end services within the journey time allowed.
- Calculate the overall journey costs and compare those with other routes.
- Calculate carbon emissions for a journey.
- Book all legs of the journey – a single point of booking with information entered only once is preferred.
- Dynamically re-plan and re-book transportation based on real-time information (i.e., if a drayage move to port is going to be late, re-book the container on the next voyage).
- Integration of information in the logistics processes to track progress and provide an ETA that can be shared as needed with parties involved.
These needs can be combined with other services such as Proof of Delivery obtainment using IntelliTrans ePOD application and automated calculation of emissions at the shipment level.
See also http://www.intellitrans.eu/icargo-1/
Transportation Services in the Age of Transparency
Sure, you've heard of it.
Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) has been heralded in many industries, including automotive, consumer products, retail, and more recently healthcare and pharmaceuticals. However, the use of this tool spans wider than just those industries and there are a multitude of applications based on specific industry needs. For example, most companies that use the IntelliTrans Global VMI solution primarily produce or consume chemicals, plastics, and oil & gas products. Regardless of the industry, successfully implementing VMI will require senior management "buy-in", collaborative mindsets and trust, great technology, and the ability to rethink the traditional ordering process. Without these essentialsVMI initiatives often fail. If those basic building blocks are in place, you are set to reap the rewards: improved inventory turns, service, and sales.
Although there are a multitude of applications for VMI, supplier managed inventory, continuous replenishment, CPFR, or whatever you choose to name it that day, the principles remain the same; electronically send demand information to suppliers and let them generate replenishment orders based on that demand and mutually agreed upon objectives for inventory levels, fill rates, and transaction costs. Sounds easy, right? Not exactly.
Transportation is a primary cost driver for many companies. Research from Accenture shows that transportation represents "upwards of $30-$60 million for every $1 billion in material cost for product-based companies". Besides the enormity of transportation costs, there is also an astounding amount of cryptic invoices and inaccurate billing floating around. This means auditing procedures that ensure accuracy spell big savings. While freight payment seems like a single function, there are many elements that freight bill payment and auditing services uncover such as automating labor-intensive processes and most importantly, giving customers the data to focus on true savings opportunities.