What Logistics IT Execs think

Interesting comments from some Logistics IT executives.

TruckIT Forum, Atlanta

A Snapshot of Perspectives From Carrier Fleet IT Decision Makers 

7 VIP Complimentary passes are remaining for this event for qualified IT and Operations Executives from for-hire and private carrier fleets – so check out the details and save your spot by clicking the register options on the right!

Enjoy these three Q+As:

James Thomas – PepsiCo – Fuel Optimization Manager

Why is new technology critical for the carrier-fleet industry?
Technology based productivity is easier to get and sustain.

What technology has had the greatest ROI on your operations this year?

What technologies have shown to have the smallest ROI on your operations this year?
Alternate fuels

What technologies do you think are on the cusp of making a significant impact on the carrier fleet industry?


Is technology always for the better?

95% of the time, if applied and managed correctly

How does PepsiCo ensure it is effectively implementing technology so that it is working at full potential within the business?

We use a study/pilot/implement approach. New technology has to be vetted prior to national rollout.

What would be your dream technology solution?
Multiple layers of productivity from one solution that provided standardized reporting and feedback.

Lloyd Boyd – (former) CIO – Greatwide Logistics

Will cloud computing and virtualization revolutionize your operations, or is it just the latest craze? 

It will have an impact, revolutionize, doubtful.  Too many issues/concerns regarding security and connectivity.  Example; when looking to go to cloud computing for the exchange platform we were limited because of our telephony integration, wouldn’t work in a cloud environment.  Security and how the supplier segments and controls access.  There are different approaches, all have their pros and cons.

How do you foster technology innovation?

Focus on business objectives not on the technology, that allows technologists to not be constrained by what they know but use what they know to solve problems and enable the business.  We were fairly successful (263% productivity improvement) by using this approach solving a problem for a newly centralized center of excellence.

Which transport and logistics technology will have the biggest impact in the next 3 years ?

Mobile communications; applications will become more robust at the location leveraging more bandwidth and capacity.  This will allow not just the concept of pinging for location, but collecting images (scanned and video), temperature/location, etc


What technology has had the biggest impact on your operations  this year? 

XRM, the concept that of extended relationship management, taking the process of prospect to contract and extending that through operations for consistency.  Leveraging the idea of master data profiles within XRM for use across the architecture

What technologies have yielded disappointing ROI?

RFID in warehousing…not enough demand, inconsistent application and requirements

What would be your dream IT solution? (However unlikely!)

Hosted (SaaS) solutions that are based upon an integrated architecture so data consistency and workflow are enabled, but highly configurable to an organizations view of how their processes operate.  From CRM through accounting/finance with TMS, warehousing as optional add ons.

Do you think transport & logistics CIOs are seen as an integral part of overall business success, or just leaders of the IT department?

Oh of course as integral… the need for integration of information across the processes and extended out to third party suppliers and customers as part of an integrated supply chain in real time, requires technology and business to be closely aligned.  Those are forward thinking companies that are leveraging technology to help deliver streamlined efficient processes for customer benefit.

Mark Ohlund – VP Technology Strategy – PLS Logistics

Will cloud computing and virtualization revolutionize your operations, or is it just the latest craze?
We will ultimately employ the cloud to support our applications both from a hosting perspective and from a software services perspective. How the cloud is supported (i.e. server virtualization, etc.) will mostly be irrelevant to us, just the service level provided.

How do you foster technology innovation?
Mostly through skunk-works projects to pilot a new technology with low risk and low resource drain.

What technology has had the biggest impact on your operations this year?
The re-architecture of our TMS has and will continue to have the biggest impact. This utilizes Web 2.0 technologies to improve the UI as well as a true SOA paradigm to create workflows from both local and remote services.

What technologies have yielded disappointing ROI?
Historically we’ve had failed attempts at CRM and load optimization applications. Subsequently we’ve selected another CRM solution that is much more promising. We still need to find a network/load optimization service that integrates with our system architecture.

What would be your dream IT solution ? (However unlikely!)

Network routing optimization that bolts seemlessly onto our existing application to facilitate multi-load tendering to carriers and better utilization of our carrier network.

Do you think transport & logistics CIOs are seen as an integral part of overall business success, or just leaders of the IT department?
Mostly IT leaders. I have to be *very* vocal when I think things are broken in other parts of the business. Kicking it up a notch, usually gets attention.



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