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Digital Transformation In Logistics

Christi M. Liebe, Global Chief Information Officer, Omni logistics

Christi M. Liebe, Global Chief Information Officer, Omni logistics

Digital transformation is critical to the logistics industry as it faces head winds 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 & TMS (Transportation Management System) platforms

• Transform & 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 heterogenous 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% of data replicated near real time and data marts for our enterprise are published on a 30-minute schedule.

The infrastructure for this project leveraged cloud native technologies and agile development practices to improve time to market and reduce costs.

Some of the key business wins achieved by getting to single source of truth included:

• Achieving a target latency less than 10 minutes for data replication

• 100% real time ongoing data replication from heterogeneous systems

• Unified operational view of three heterogenous database systems

Weekly Brief

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