With so many companies in the supply-chain and other industry sectors spending millions of dollars on transportation and logistics, even small efficiency improvements may equate to savings of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. To achieve these efficiencies, a transportation management solution needs to deliver on some very complex functionality. Given the fluid set of rapidly changing logistics variables and the notion that no two shippers have the exact same requirements, the development of leading edge software solutions is very demanding.
Nulogx, a leader in transportation management solutions, is using LANSA's low-code rapid application development platform for its TMS-O transportation management solution. Nulogx's customers can now access TMS-O using a productive and responsive web application. The app isn't just for a simple dashboard overview, but for the core workbench that manages shipments, carrier assignments, carrier communication, document generation, and much more.
Nulogx provides technology and services to improve transportation processes and reduce costs. Customers benefit from Nulogx's best-in-class proprietary software solutions, its managed services, and its freight audit and payment service, which is the largest in Canada.
Nulogx's TMS-O is a hosted software solution that meets the wide-ranging business requirements of over one hundred manufacturers, distributors and third party logistic providers. However, its user interface needed to be re-designed.
Bob Morrow, VP Technology and Hosted Solutions, explains "The reporting side of TMS-O was already modernized, with management-level dashboards, but the core functionality had an older-style ‘web-enabled' user interface. It didn't look or behave like a real web application and it didn't demonstrate well to prospects. We felt at risk of losing out on sales opportunities."
Morrow and his team started researching web development tools. Around the same time, the business requirements of a brand-new customer, a distributor of industrial equipment with multiple branch offices throughout Canada, provided the perfect opportunity to customize and redevelop TMS-O's core workbench application, but it also added urgency.
We had modern management-level dashboards, but the core functionality didn't demonstrate well.
Other deciding factors were the additional productivity and reduced maintenance effort that come with LANSA's repository, where business rules are stored and maintained, and LANSA's out-of-the-box multi-lingual facilities (TMS-O is available in French and English).
LANSA's support and local presence were also important. "Open source platforms, with just forums and no guaranteed response, is not a good business model for us," explains Morrow. "LANSA support always gets back to us quickly."
Nulogx's first LANSA project was to develop a workbench web application for its new customer. Shipping industrial equipment involves very specialised logistics, with lots of one-off features. These have to do with weight, size, inclusion of dangerous goods (such as batteries and chemicals), remote delivery locations (such as mines), and more.
The project took nine months, and included training, design, development, and implementation. Delivery was by one full-time developer, plus Gundermann half of his time (next to his management duties). The workbench, used by the customer's shippers at the dock, allows them to: view, sort and filter orders; modify order details (e.g. place product sideways, or remove battery (a dangerous good) and ship separately); create tender documents; accept/change carrier assignments; and generate/send bills of lading and other documents.
The customer, who previously used spreadsheets to manage its transportations, can now enjoy the same 2% to 5% savings as other TMS-O customers, which could amount to a saving of $1 million on the customer's annual freight spend of $20 million.
Immediate feedback from the customer's shippers at the first rollout location was that manual tasks, that used to take 20 minutes, can now be done in about 3 or 4 minutes, providing just one very tangible example of the many money saving features.
Other benefits include carrier compliance and a reduction in service failures. Since TMS-O pricing is transaction based, the cost to use the application is immediately offset by savings on shipments. Nulogx calls it "Save As You Go".
Because the workbench is now a modern and intuitive web application, customers will also spend less on staff training.
Since the first rollout, the customer has continued to successfully deploy the solution to more than 10 locations across the country. All rollouts went smooth. The Quebec rollout, with the French User Interface, was also deployed without any issues whatsoever.
Reflecting on the difference that LANSA makes for Nulogx, Gundermann explains, "With LANSA we can help our customers be more agile and responsive to new business requirements. That's extremely important in the transportation industry. Enhancements and customization are now simple and fast, meaning that we can respond quicker to customer requests."
Morrow concludes, "With LANSA we were able to offer a state-of-the-art web solution to both existing customers and new prospects. It creates immediate confidence in the solution. Previously, we always got questions about the underlying technology and platform. But now that TMS-O looks so good, people don't ask anymore. They just focus on the functionality and the business benefits it offers."
With LANSA we were able to offer a state-of-the-art web solution to both existing customers and new prospects. It creates immediate confidence in the solution.
Company and System Information
- As a non-asset based Transportation Management Solutions company, Nulogx leverages its' best-in-class proprietary TMS-O, in depth expertise in freight operations and a large carrier network to provide shippers with services ranging from Freight Audit, to completely outsourced Transportation Management Solutions.
- For more information visit: www.nulogx.com