Getting a Move On

[From iSource Business, March 2001] It might seem contradictory that a segment of the economy centered around moving would be stationary when it comes to anything, but that's largely the case when it comes to the transportation industry and e-procurement. Maybe it's because of the solid nature of the underlying structure of transportation: Iron rails, great swaths of concrete and rebar, and oceangoing behemoths don't easily lend themselves to high-speed business evolution.

But the transportation industry is moving into e-procurement, however hesitantly. To get an idea of the state of e-procurement, transportation-wise, iSource spoke with analysts from Gartner Group and KPMG Consulting LLC, and a transportation executive and purchaser with Ryder. Here's what we found.

Larry Clopp, Research Director, Gartner

Clopp forecasts a change in the technological capabilities in transportation, particularly the inbound aspect: About three months ago at Gartner we started putting together a concept called SRM, or supplier relationship management. Much like CRM is directed to customers, this is actually the inbound side. And what we're suggesting is that a market is developing for more comprehensive solutions for procurement on the inbound side, which would be the e-procurement, the inbound logistics and transportation, the carrier compliance, the financing and payment settlement, and contracts and PO management. However, because so many people are covering it in different little slices, and then trying to put together the other pieces, it's not coming together well.