Re-engineering applications for 3PLs
A privately held company is one of the leading providers of transportation services in the US. Products consist of customized offerings across business lines like truck rentals, managed maintenance, dedicated and non-dedicated truck carriage, logistics, and brokerage. Value added offerings include 24/7 roadside assistance, licensing and Department Of Transportation (DOT) compliance assistance, heavy vehicle use tax (HVUT) and fuel tax reporting, cashless fuel purchases, insurance facilities, and sale of used trucks.
The company relied on a legacy application to manage truckloads. Since it wanted to enter the third-party logistics (3PL) market, the company wanted to develop and integrate applications to perform true transport sub-contracting, including activities like load optimization and load building for its customers. Towards this end, it wanted a system to enable receipt of orders from clients, build loads, and provide freight visibility as well as link with off-the-shelf optimization tools.
Challenges and requirements
The scope of activities concerned almost all the major IT activities of the company and threw up the following challenges:
- The client's existing systems and processes were unable to support the business requirements and since it was not viable to replace all existing systems, Infosys had to suggest practical workarounds to handle this.
- The client expected huge cost savings. While the Global Delivery Model could handle this, the issue of integrating the old legacy systems with the proposed modular systems threatened to negate the cost savings.
- Another requirement was that the client's business intelligence should be enhanced by making available a large amount of data.
- The client wanted to grow by improving the portfolio of operations and Infosys had to make this system robust and become a key enabler for the proposed growth path.
- There were some existing data warehouses and Infosys had to enhance them and also build new ones from scratch. Detailed reporting tools had also to be developed.
- The client's vision was far ahead of its processes and Infosys had to ensure fulfillment of the company's strategy by handling the entire critical IT infrastructure.
Since a lot of complex activity concerning disparate systems was involved, Infosys used its InFlux methodology in tandem with the Global Delivery Model to ensure client satisfaction and low operational costs.
The Infosys team chosen to handle this project, consisted of 60 professionals with varied experience. This team recommended a modified system based on concepts such as loosely coupled modular systems, seamless integration, and consolidation of customer facing processes. The team re-modeled various processes and brought them in sync with the client's vision and strategy. They also devised an implementation plan for critical IT areas.
The Infosys solution was spread across several phases over two years and some of these phases are already functional, with others in the pipeline. Initially, Infosys re-engineered the legacy application used to receive loads from customers and developed a transactional application for logistics operations. This was also integrated into the existing legacy application. This Web-based application enabled the client to move up the value chain.
The company had a vast amount of data in data warehouses and Infosys enhanced the existing data warehouses and also created new ones. As part of this, enhancements were made to the existing reporting layer built on top of the data warehouses. Successful completion of this phase enabled the company to analyze trends better.
The Infosys solution delivered the following benefits:
- The application allows better freight visibility, and the customers of the client can directly enter orders into the system. The company could also expand its portfolio of offerings.
- The consolidation on the Web architecture ensured that there was an increase in productivity.
- The data warehouses operated with unprecedented efficiency and the reporting tools helped the company to analyze the voluminous data at its disposal. This enabled the client to determine newer and more innovative ways of conducting business.
- The modern architecture implemented, met the existing needs of the client fully. This obsolete-proof infrastructure is designed to adapt and expand along with the operations of the company.
- Huge cost savings were made possible by the InFlux methodology, which helped identify critical areas of improvement. The Global Delivery Model also contributed extensively towards this end. The offshore-onsite operations ensured that the client got the advantage of support around the clock.
- Consolidation of customer facing processes with the aid of modular, loosely coupled systems helped the client to deliver tremendous value and dramatically improved customer relationship.
- The world-class processes defined and deployed by Infosys enabled the client to streamline its business activities.