Digital Transformation in Logistics
Digital transformation is critical to the logistics industry as it faces headwinds from disrupters who seek to modify existing business models to improve omnichannel delivery, optimize supply-chains and reduce costs.
The first step in our journey was to create a single view of Operations, currently using several different software systems as a result of growth through various acquisitions. Creating a single source of truth for enterprise-level data is a complex, daunting, multiphase process for any organization and usually includes assessment, database schema conversion (if you are changing engines), script conversion, data migration, functional testing, performance tuning, and many other steps.
The key objectives of our solution were:
Real-time replication from legacy cargo freight forwarding and TMS (Transportation Management System) platforms
Transform and consolidate data from legacy TMS platforms to measure business KPI’s
Enable enterprise-level visualization and reporting
During initial ideation, the pros and cons of build vs. buy of a new TMS to consolidate the existing systems vs. creating a unified data warehouse were considered. Various factors like time to market and cost were considered and ultimately Omni Logistics made the decision to embrace a unified operations/analytics view. This allowed the different business units to continue to operate existing TMS’s, causing no disruption to Operations but still providing a unified view for decision making. The unified data warehouse is also a foundation for various other future capabilities like machine learning (ML) to help streamline our Operations.
This effort enabled us to migrate and consolidate our data from multiple legacy cargo TMS’s and heterogeneous database systems to a single data warehouse system on the Cloud. The project was scoped to be completed in less than 3 months with 99 percent of data replicated near real-time and data marts for our enterprise are published on a 30-minute schedule. The project leveraged cloud-native technologies and agile development practices to improve the overall time-to-market and reduce costs.
Some of the key business wins achieved by getting to a single source of truth included:
Achieving a target latency of less than 10 minutes for data replication
100 percent real-time ongoing data replication from heterogeneous systems
Unified operational view of three heterogeneous database systems.