The creation of integrated software solutions is a persistent trend within the transport sector, as appears from the third edition of the Transportation Report 2007, released today by Capgemini. Based on research among 38 important software suppliers in Europe and America, the report offers an extensive analysis of the software solutions that are available worldwide to the transport sector. In addition, the most significant trends and challenges are described, and pointers are provided on how to operate efficiently in an increasingly complex market.
Within the transport sector, integration of software would appear to be an important trend, even more so than in previous years. In particular, the integration of transport software with ERP, CRM and related software packages is high on the suppliers' agendas. 76% of the participating suppliers appoint this as an important development. Integration with mobile solutions, such as board computers, is also mentioned frequently. The persistent trend towards integration, according to the researchers, is mainly owing to the increasing complexity within the transport and logistics sector.
Luc Scheidel, principal transport and logistical service provision consultant at Capgemini Netherlands says: "The planning and execution of transport is becoming increasingly complex, partly owing to globalization, the growing demand for flexible supply chains and shareholders demanding operational excellence. In order to deal with the complexity, it is very important to be able to operate flexibly and to communicate with different systems. This is only possible if applications and systems are integrated."
According to 40% of the participating suppliers, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) plays an important role in this. SOA does provide these required closely co-operating and flexible application architectures", says Scheidel. Besides SOA, the application of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is also highlighted as an important trend by 40% of the participating suppliers. RFID has passed the pilot phase and will be implemented more widely in the near future.
The report also shows that the market for transport software has seen considerable movement in recent years. Since 2005, a large number of takeovers and mergers have taken place, and this has had a positive effect on the financial stability and the innovation capacity of software suppliers. Only one of the 38 participating suppliers says not to have made any profit last year. In previous years this number was considerably higher.
Besides analysis of important trends and challenges, the Transportation Report throws light on a number of current strategic themes. These are reflected in business insight articles, which describe the role software can play in the rising trend of offshoring, how the planning of FTL (Full Truck Load) / LTL (Less than Truck Load) can be set up as efficiently as possible, and how the use of standard software can deliver a competitive advantage to an organization.
"With the publication of this report, we are continuing our tradition of thought leadership in the area of supply chain management", says Luc Scheidel. "Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the strategic value of transport and of the complexity within the sector. With this report, we are providing insight into that complexity and offering pointers for dealing with it strategically."
For the complete Transportation Software 2007 report, go to:
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