December 2012 | Sponsored | Thought Leaders

Connecting Through an Online Network Gives Supply Chain Partners Strength in Numbers

Tags: Logistics I.T.

Greg Brady is CEO, One Network Enterprises, 866-302-1936

Q: What is the Real Time Value Network, and what differentiates it from traditional technologies?

A: The Real Time Value Network is a cloud-based "many-to-many" network platform that enables a virtually unlimited number of trading partners to plan, execute, monitor, optimize, and synchronize in real time all of the business processes and events that take place throughout their extended supply chains. The Real Time Value Network is also a pre-existing community of more than 30,000 trading partners, including major logistics companies such as Menlo Worldwide Logistics, and parcel delivery services such as Greyhound Line's PackageXpress. Companies that connect to the Real Time Value Network gain the ability to transact with any organization on the network.

Q: What is a "many-to-many" network platform, and what are the benefits of connecting to it?

A: It's very simple. A company connects once to the network and has the ability to transact, coordinate, and plan with any other company already on the network. The question then becomes whether any two given companies want to transact, and if so, what information they decide to share and what integrated workflows they want to share. This is very similar to what happens when you join LinkedIn; you have hundreds of millions of potential "connections," but you must both agree to connect and decide what information you want to share. A many-to-many network is the best way to create supply chains that are incredibly responsive to customers, from end to end.

Q: Demand for capacity is raising the profile of smaller parcel and package delivery companies. What challenges do they face?

A: Traditional parcel management systems have been custom-written because of the size and complexity of the problem. From a technology perspective, smaller parcel and package delivery companies are struggling to overcome the limitations of these homegrown solutions. These systems are sufficient for companies with global established networks such as FedEx and UPS. But for regional providers who want to offer a global footprint, some degree of collaboration with other providers will be necessary. The Real Time Value Network allows parcel and package delivery companies to easily connect and collaborate with each other.

Q: How does the Real Time Value Network optimize parcel management and delivery capabilities?

A: In addition to gaining the ability to easily connect with their customers, other parcel companies, and other trading partners, the Real Time Value Network also offers a full suite of services that manages the entire lifecycle of the parcel business, including planning, execution, shipment visibility, claims and settlement, and business analytics. In addition, connected mobile computers from partners such as Honeywell enable real-time track-and-trace capabilities and streamline labor operations in the terminal. All this occurs within the same cloud-based system, accessible on demand anywhere in the world via an Internet browser.