Work-Relay is Transforming Logistics Management – Here’s How
by Jonathan Sapir, on
In an earlier time, the supply chain was thought of as just that…a chain of linear activities that moves a product from Point A to Point B. In truth, years ago, the supply chain was much simpler. However, today, the supply chain can be better thought of as a supply network consisting of multiple suppliers, customers dispersed often around the globe, and constantly changing shipping demands, conditions and capacities.
Supply-chain practitioners now think of supply-chain management as the coordination of information, and material and financial flows at all stages of the supply chain to obtain a competitive advantage. While the overall concept of supply-chain management has remained consistent for decades, digital transformation has radically changed supply chain and logistics management.
Seeking Competitive Advantage through Dynamic BPM
Today, competitive advantage for a logistics management service provider lies in the ability to utilize the supply chain and supply-chain capacity data to track the movement of goods, predict available capacity, seamlessly adjust to changing conditions, and price to achieve both profitability and competitive advantage. To accomplish this, logistics organizations must be able to strategically leverage enormous amounts of available data for quick and accurate decision-making.
It was precisely this collection of needs and opportunities that led a market-leading logistics company to Work-Relay. This logistics player sought to improve both competitive advantage and operational efficiency by leveraging their data integrated by the Salesforce platform to facilitate sophisticated workflows and dynamic business process management (BPM). More specifically, the logistics leader sought:
Workflows that can accommodate a dynamic, semi-structured, or structured sequence of events and would include important factors: weather conditions, fuel rates, worker availability, equipment/container availability, distance, business rules and policies, analytics, information flows, decision-making by both humans and algorithms, and work performed by software systems, machines, or humans.
Minimal development resources – the goal was a high-productivity app enabling business users to modify and improve workflows with the need for little IT development.
Real-time or near-real-time tracking of conditions affecting processes and cases and other factors.
Rule and decision management providing guidance for human or automated operational decisions according to business directives or policy statements. This capability needed to support the development of business rules that are independent of a particular process and may be re-used across processes.
Robust rules management including versioning of rules, the ability to maintain and work with multiple versions of the same rule, central management of rules, packaging of rules for future use, and tools to govern users’ rule modification credentials.
Operations & Customer Service Responsiveness Greatly Enhanced
In the end, a key opportunity for transforming this logistics company’s operations and pricing responsiveness was rooted in the ability to create and manage rules that leveraged historical data to predict future conditions for the purposes of competitive, profitable and quick pricing; creating rules and operational workflows that aided with operational efficiency; real-time tracking of shipments in process for improved customer service; and transformed equipment and personnel tracking and utilization projections.
Work-Relay’s BPM solution was perfectly suited to rise to these challenges. Although previous generations of BPM software solutions were not well-suited for managing variable conditions, Work-Relay thrives within changing conditions consisting of many variables. Powered by the Salesforce platform, Work-Relay’s orchestration engine utilizes libraries of dynamic rules to facilitate many types of decision-making, including automated and ad hoc decision-making for pricing, operational, customer service, and many other purposes.