Consolidate PC-based shipping/transportation management systems (TMS) on IBM's Power i platform.
Editor's note: This article introduces the white paper 8 Very Good Reasons to Use Your Power i for Shipping free for download from the MC White Paper Center.
Many companies in manufacturing, wholesale, or retail already use the IBM Power i to integrate most mission-critical enterprise data and business processes. In large, medium, and small companies, a decision was made to support enterprise applications on the Power i because of its reliability, low cost of ownership, superior processing power, flexibility, expandability, and security.
So, given the above, it may be surprising to hear that many of these companies still run their shipping and transportation management applications (one of their most mission-critical applications) on a collection of PCs and servers. Why would that be?
One explanation is that many companies started their shipping automation at relatively low levels of volume and complexity. At that time, basic economics made using free, carrier-provided, PC-based systems (or even PC-based, desk-top multi-carrier systems) a no-brainer. Over time, batch interfaces to the companies' other Power i enterprise applications were improvised, and shipping operations seemed to proceed without too much difficulty…until increasing shipping volume; supply chain complexity (driven by carriers, customers/trading partners, export shipments); and performance, integration, and control requirements made these PC-based configurations less than optimal.
Rising fuel costs and increasing complication of supply/replenishment practices and trading partner compliance requirements rapidly drove increasing needs to manage shipping costs and processes. At that point, the requirements for efficiency, performance, and reliability necessitated that shipping/TMS applications be moved to the enterprise-grade Power i platform and integrated tightly with other enterprise applications (ERP, WMS) as well as external systems (of the transportation carriers, customers/trading partners, customs, etc.).
Still, even at this point, organizational inertia or resistance in a company could get in the way of making this very reasonable decision, such that one might hear many so-called "reasons" for not moving the shipping/TMS processes to the Power i. These include:
"It is what we have always used."
"We got them for free from the carriers."
"Shipping does not get a lot of visibility in our organization."
"We have already invested in building an interface to the PC system."
But these are really not very good reasons for a profit-driven business to forego the significant additional performance and efficiency benefits and extraordinary ROI that accrue when such a change is made. We know.
Varsity Logistics has a proud tradition of enabling many companies to make this change and reap the substantial rewards. In addition to supporting very high-volume and complex shippers (including those shipping many thousands of packages a day, through many distinct distribution centers), Varsity Logistics has helped hundreds of small- to medium-sized shippers replace their PC shipping systems with Varsity's Power i shipping/TMS solutions. Post-implementation customer responses have been very positive, with most customers reporting extremely rapid ROI/payback. Customers consistently report that they should have made the switch sooner.
This paper examines the 8 very good, real reasons that Varsity's customers identify for running their shipping/TMS processes on the Power i using Varsity's best-of-breed solutions.
To learn the 8 reasons, download the free white paper 8 Very Good Reasons to Use Your Power i for Shipping from the MC White Paper Center.