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Transport Management Solutions

– Shipping Without Slipping
our business is growing, for transports is expanding,
and the need for effective opening new competitive routes.
logistics and shipping But linking together the optimal
grows with it. Every day, more shipping route from, perhaps,
and more customers expect their thousands of options may seem
goods to be delivered on time overwhelming. Pricing is only one
and at the right location. The of the considerations. In this white
need for transports is growing as paper, we look into the potential
new providers and new markets and the challenges of a Transport
emerge, and the infrastructure Management Solution (TMS).

Transports are becoming an ¡ Markets
increasingly critical part of the The ”new” nations that sell are also
The issue: enterprise. It might be said that nations that buy. New potential

Why transports transports have always been critical,

but the volume of transports are
customers are no longer found
in the USA or in the EU only. An
are becoming increasing and the requirements enterprise needs to be able to
are becoming stricter. There are
more critical several reasons for this:
deliver to the BRICS countries, to
Africa or Latin America.

¡ Sourcing ¡ Internal transports

Raw materials, components and Company structures are
complete products may now becoming more complex. Few
be bought in many parts of the major enterprises are located in
world. Nations that belonged one place only, or in one single
to the Third World only a few country. Goods need to be
decades ago are now trusted moved between subsidiaries at an
producers and developers of increasing rate.
hi-tech products. Industrialization
has reached Africa. The so-called ¡ Timeliness
BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, Aspects of the Toyota Production
India, China and South Africa) System, TPS, have been adopted in
are not only producers and many enterprises. It is often called
consumers; they are also building ”just-in-time” and sometimes
a new infrastructure for trade in understood as ”keeping your
the Eurasian continent. inventory on wheels”. TPS does
not necessarily increase the
total volume of transports, but it
requires timeliness, since delays
could mean that production has to
be shut down.

And, of course, transport costs.

Official figures indicate that the Dependability is not to be
global volume of shipping is underrated. Delays cannot always
Background: increasing at a steady rate. This be avoided, but many enterprises

The evolution of should be obvious, considering

the growth of production, but
are willing to pay a bonus to avoid
them. It has been estimated that
transports statistics show that the volume delays, on the average, add as
of shipping is increasing faster much as 25 per cent to the cost
than production. The increase in of transports. Add to this the costs
shipping volumes has a couple caused by interruptions to the
of reasons: products, parts and production process.
raw materials are, on average,
shipped for longer distances, and However, the shipping landscape
modern production demands is literally changing rapidly.
higher volumes of transportation Additions and improvements to
to make the products. Both these both the Panama Canal and the
mechanisms are relevant. Suez Canal will make it possible
for larger ships to pass through
Reducing the costs for transports these canals instead of hauling
is, for many enterprises, a largely around South America or Africa.
overlooked concern. As they say: These increases in canal route
”A buyer might spend weeks capacity means faster delivery
looking all over the world for the and lower freight rates. Adding
best deal on nuts and bolts, but to this, an even wider and deeper
then he will overlook the cost of canal between the Atlantic and
having them delivered.” This is the Pacific is planned to be dug
probably an overstatement. But though Nicaragua. New railroads
a common case is that the buyer, are being built on the inland of the
due to old habits, relies on the Eurasian continent, far from the
transport options that he or she sea. And new business models are
is already familiar with and thus is emerging for road transports.
missing out on the opportunities
to lower transportation costs and

So why do enterprises not consider The number of possible
alternative transport options more combinations may appear
The first often? One reason may be that the staggering. It could make the

challenge: amount of possible combinations

is, in some cases, astounding.
classical ”Traveling Salesman”
problem seem trivial. The
The complexity enterprise probably has all of
¡ Mode of transport (road/train/ the information needed, or most
of the sea/air) of it, in its databases. But are the
transportation ¡ Route of transport databases compatible, or does it
take manual dexterity – and time
chain ¡ Detailed itinerary, based on
– to put the puzzle together? And
current timetables, including
are the databases kept current?
reloading and dock scheduling

¡ Rates and other costs There are advantages for sticking

to the shipping service providers
¡ Time needed
you are familiar with and have
¡ Border controls, tariffs worked with for, perhaps, decades.
¡ Regulatory concerns Even so, having found a more
inexpensive option could give
¡ Environmental concerns
your enterprise leverage the next
¡ Existing contracts with service time you’re negotiating the rates.

Transport Management Systems, service. There are obviously
TMS, definitely do simplify things. pros and cons, but an increasing
The IT solution: They are perhaps not an option number of enterprises come to

Letting for small businesses, but when

an enterprise’s transport budget
the conclusion that cloud-based
services pay off, since they need
computers find reaches a certain size, perhaps not have employees focusing on
500,000 dollars per year, a TMS servers, backups and updates.
the optimal solution should be given serious Finding the optimal transport
choices consideration. solution is the goal. Cloud-
based TMS services, of course,
A fundamental functionality of do impose certain constraints on
any serious TMS solution is to functionality (as does any cloud-
pull and collect all the relevant based Software-as-a-Service) since
information together in what is much of the functionalities come
effectively, if not physically, one pre-configured, out of the box.
big database, including such It is therefore critical to conduct
information as timetables, rates, a thorough evaluation, before
tariffs and existing contracts and choosing one.
many other types of data. The
simplest way this is achieved is A solid TMS system will do a lot
through open APIs provided by more than just finding the optimal
various parties taking part in the shipping route. A TMS makes
global shipping system; these it easy to keep track of each
may include service providers, transport, each container or each
custom authorities, regulatory item on its way. Your company will
bodies and more. A TMS makes be able to evaluate and re-evaluate
it easy to evaluate different transport options continuously.
shipping options and to find Data can be transferred to and
the optimal one, whether the from all involved parties in real
primary concern is timeliness or time: the driver, the customer,
reduced cost. A TMS makes it the pick-up location. Sensors
superfluous to copy necessary in the packaging can provide
data from a plethora of sources continuous information about the
into a spreadsheet and working state of the goods, for example
the options out from there. temperature or if the package has
In this sense, a TMS is a true been tampered with or damaged.
spreadsheet killer. A cloud-based TMS solution will
enable these capabilities and,
When considering a TMS solution, once implemented, it will operate
it may also be worthwhile to more or less automatically.
consider selecting a cloud-based

Gartner™, the well renowned ¡ Oracle’s OTM system is
analysts company, has evaluated described as the strongest,
Your choice: TMS vendors for nine consecutive broadest and most mature of

Selecting years. In 2015, nine providers

were classified in Gartner’s
the TMS systems, with a history
of more than 20 years. It is
the best TMS Magic Quadrant. The quadrant now offered as a cloud-based
rates companies along two axes, service. It scales well and is
system for your defining four squares. suited for relatively smaller
enterprise The two axes are Completeness of
enterprises. Even so, Gartner
cautions, smaller customers may
vision and Ability to execute. desire even simpler installation
and configuration options.
The resulting four classes are
It’s almost beyond saying that
Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries
Oracle OTM integrates well
and Niche Players. Most providers
with other Oracle products and
are aiming for the class Leaders,
services, such as CRM and ERP.
even if they are not there yet.
¡ SAP’s Transportation
In 2015, Gartner rated Oracle, JDA Management, TM, provides
Software and SAP as “Leaders”. deep integration with SAP’s ERP
Among them, Oracle with its OTM system. It also benefits from SAP’s
product has the highest rating, global presence. For companies
and has been in that position that do not use SAP software, the
for all of the nine years Gartner benefits are less obvious.
has been conducting their TMS
¡ Challengers are MercuryGate
market analysis.
International, C. H. Robinson
¡ Among JDA Software’s and Transplace. “Challengers”
strengths, is that their system means that they do a good
is very comprehensive. Almost job, but in a limited field. The
all its customers are large only “Visionary” is Manhattan
enterprises with a 100 million Associates. A visionary has great
dollar transportation budget, ideas, but has not (yet) managed
or more. JDA Software will work to implement them fully. Niche
with customers to adapt their Players are Lean Logistics and
system to the customers’ needs. INET. They will suit you if your
However, this also makes for requirements fit their profile.
quite a complex system.

Unfortunately, choosing a TMS handling of payments and
doesn’t finish the job, much invoices and other processes that
The second remains to be done after your are specific to each enterprise. The

challenge: company has signed a contract

with a cloud-based TMS vendor.
interdependencies of databases,
charts and tables need to be
Migrating your The main part of what needs specified. In some cases, the data
to be done is to migrate your migration process will be a first
transportation existing data into the shiny new time operation: it may have been
data to a TMS TMS. This is probably not an easy only tacit knowledge until then.
task, although it may seem fairly
straightforward. Much of the data migration
process is mechanical and
For a large enterprise, a 3–6-month repetitive, and it has been done
implementation phase is to be before at other companies.
expected. This figure applies to Based on that experience, there is
Oracle’s OTM system, but there is software available cutting the time
no reason to expect significantly needed for implementing a cloud-
different estimates for other TMS based TMS system by a factor of
systems. The reason for the length two or more. Some TMS providers,
of the implementation phase is such as SAP, offer applications for
that a TMS system does not work synchronizing the TMS with their
with data alone, such as timetables general business applications. But
and rates. A TMS also needs charts what is often needed is a solution
of business processes, workflows, for migrating legacy data.

One such solution for migrating from the current databases TMS
legacy TMS business model and for including them in the overall
About Oracle data is OTM-in-a-Box from Wipro. scheme of planning, executing and

OTM and the As the name indicates, Wipro’s

solution works with Oracle’s OTM
evaluating. These features help in
expediting PoC (Proof-of-Concept)
Wipro only. Wipro’s pre-configured and CRP (Conference Room
solution comes with a selection Pilot) sessions. The end result is a
OTM-in-a-box of processes, workflows and comprehensive system that saves
solution roles that will be suitable for most time and computing power, while
organizations. It also includes providing the optimal solution for
templates for migrating data the enterprises’ transport needs.

As transport-intensive businesses in different shapes and sizes
grow, e.g. e-commerce, so and it’s critical to select the one
Conclusion does their need for a Transport right for your businesses needs.
Management Solution (TMS). Gartner has ranked TMS for nine
Sooner or later, the task of keeping consecutive years, and Oracle’s
track of the businesses shipments cloud-based OTM product has
will be overwhelming and keeping come out on top every year.
up to date with all the options and Wipro’s Pre-configured solution,
regulations makes it even worse. OTM-in-a-box comes with a
TMS makes life a lot easier for selection of processes, workflows
transportation/logistics managers and roles that will be suitable for
and their businesses. TMS comes most organizations.

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Wipro Ltd. (NYSE:WIT) is a leading information technology, consulting

and business process services company that delivers solutions to enable
About Wipro its clients do business better. Wipro delivers winning business outcomes
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