Shelton, CT May 29, 2003 Solution provider G-Log today rolled out the latest version of its flagship logistics and transportation management software, adding the ability to track inventory at rest, expanded platform support and optimized graphical interfaces, among other new features.
G-Log said its Global Command and Control Center (GC3) software enables global shippers and logistics service providers to manage freight globally, across all modes of transportation in a collaborative supply chain environment.
With GC3 4.0, users can take advantage of four views of inventory: inbound shipments, on-hand inventory, dispatched inventory to manufacturing and inventory consumed by manufacturing.
The inventory-at-rest capability provides suppliers online global inventory visibility across an entire network, G-Log said. That visibility can be useful, according to Marybeth Roberts, senior vice president of product development at G-Log, in helping a company to understand when it's falling below its acceptable safety stock position and whether or not it needs to trigger a replenishment.
"Our system lets you understand what you currently have and what you have inbound in in-transit shipments," Roberts said. "You can see that there is a full trailer-load coming at you around the corner and you should be OK. Or you could see that you planned to have that shipment in on time, but that the current information is that the vehicle is running late."
This functionality can help a company replace its current manual processes for tracking this type of information, often involving disparate systems across an enterprise or at different business partners.
Version 4.0 also expands the solution's platform support, providing the capability to now work with AIX, IBM's UNIX operating system; Oracle version 9i and 9i v2; and WebLogic version 7.0, BEA's newest extension, implementing J2EE 1.3 APIs and other standards.
Roberts explained that G-Log is looking to leverage support for AIX as it moves into corporate logistics and retail verticals, as well as to remain current with the latest versions of the Oracle and WebLogic products.
Finally, version 4.0 provides graphical views of optimization, with the ability to display shipments, add shipments, track shipments and run actions from the visual map screen, as well as enhanced visibility screens that display supporting data with tailored reporting capabilities.
"We've added new views," Roberts said, "so you can look at shipments all over the world on maps to understand where everything is going. You can look at that information in GANT charts to understand which shipment is feeding into which boat on which ocean leg, and you can see that on another vessel you have ten other containers that are going to get split onto which other routes. So you can look at the information very graphically and understand the dependencies, or change and move dependencies when you need to react to real-time information and changes."
G-Log said that its customers for GC3 which include DuPont, Exel, Cendian, Toll Group, Family Dollar and Tesco see such benefits as reduced freight costs, shorter logistics life cycles, lower total cost of ownership and improved customer service, in addition to gaining a single platform for future expansion.
Jim Burns, vice president of transportation at Family Dollar, said that the G-Log application helps the company to work smarter and to better use capacity by optimizing and consolidating the movement of freight in a single platform. "G-Log makes it easier for our supply chain participants to do business with us over the Internet," Burns said.
"The capabilities introduced with release 4.0 of GC3 expand our customers' competitive advantage, enabling them to meet their complex global transportation requirements today and in the future," said Marybeth Roberts, senior vice president of software development at G-Log. "GC3 offers a single system to manage the entire order and shipment life cycle, which encourages collaboration across logistics networks as well as among suppliers and carriers."
Pricing for the G-Log GC3 version 4.0 software and associated professional services is based on the customer's requirements. Version 4.0 is available from G-Log immediately.
Transportation management systems (TMS) have been a rare bright spot on the otherwise dreary enterprise solutions landscape. Technology consultancy AMR Research has estimated that the market for supply chain execution (SCE) applications, of which TMS is the largest part, saw 6 percent growth in 2002 and will grow by another 8 percent this year. "Such a trend is not surprising," wrote AMR's Gerald McNerney last year, "when you consider that while having strategic implications, these applications are more tactical with a palatable price point that provides more immediate effect on cost and operational efficiency."
Some of the recent interest in TMS may be the result of increased concerns over supply chain security and the need to comply with U.S. government initiatives such as the Customs Bureau's C-TPAT and other initiatives. "When you look at the secure supply chain, it all comes down to a company understanding and controlling the information flow at all points and nodes across their supply chain, and that is exactly what our product is all about," said Roberts.
For more information on transportation management systems, see the Global Enabled Supply and Demand Chain Series article on this space in the upcoming June/July 2003 issue of iSource Business.