Headwater Adds Wireless Dispatch Solution to TMS Offering

Supply chain execution specialist acquires mobile resource management app to augment transportation management solution

Supply chain execution specialist acquires mobile resource management app to augment transportation management solution

Markham, Ontario — January 18, 2006 — Supply chain execution (SCE) solution provider Headwater Technology Solutions has acquired the intellectual property rights to REALDiSPATCH, a mobile resource management solution designed for freight carriers and service/utility fleets.

Headwater acquired the solution from developer Ferko Liblik Inc. and investor Canada Cartage System Limited, collaborators in the development of REALDiSPATCH. Terms were not disclosed.

According to Headwater Vice President Mel Mills, the field-deployed REALDiSPATCH solution is a highly integrated complement to Headwater's Freight Logix system, a transportation management system (TMS) used by Canada Cartage and other freight carriers in North America.

"REALDiSPATCH delivers automation efficiencies to every step of the fulfillment process, from load and trip planning right through to charges and driver earnings calculations," said Mills. "Customers can expect significant operational returns from a combined Freight Logix/REALDiSPATCH deployment, with in-field options to suit a variety of situations."

TMS Integration

REALDiSPATCH automates the in-field management of trip plans, stop assignments, load metrics, delivery progress, GPS tracking, engine control module (ECM) readings, hours of service (HOS) logging and driver timesheet data, synchronizing this information in real time with Headwater's Freight Logix system. The technology may also be offered in a standalone "light" mode as a GPS tracking, messaging and ECM logging system only.

The technology currently operates on RIM BlackBerry devices and Motorola Mike/IDEN units, and it will be released for a number of ruggedized Windows-based and in-cab devices starting in the second quarter. REALDiSPATCH can be deployed on major digital networks including IDEN, 1X and GPRS, and Headwater said it expects to engage licensing and partnership arrangements with industry providers to support satellite and rural/analog cellular devices by early in the third quarter of this year.

"REALDiSPATCH is an important strategic addition to our suite of products and services and significantly differentiates us in the TMS marketplace," said Headwater President and CEO Markus Luft. "Unlike similar recent acquisitions in the TMS industry, there are no up-front integration, alignment or re-write costs for Headwater. We will immediately produce accretive recurring-revenue sales by offering increased value and function to new and existing Freight Logix customers at a remarkably competitive price."

Canada Cartage Signs Up

"Our vision and our commitment to our customers demand continuous investment and innovation in our methods of service delivery," said Canada Cartage President Jeff Lindsay. "Our investment in REALDiSPATCH and this subsequent transaction validate this commitment and direction. The logical next step was to place the technology with an experienced transportation/technology group like Headwater, who can operate, support, and continue to advance the solution."

Headwater will immediately begin marketing the product to new and existing freight transportation customers, Mills said. Ferko Liblik will continue to work with Headwater on the solution. Canada Cartage has signed on as REALDiSPATCH customer number one and will require all mobile data and tracking solutions it deploys from any vendor to support the technology, whether handset-based, freight-based, portable or asset-mounted.

Overcoming Acceptance Barriers

"There have been two long-standing barriers to wireless solution acceptance in transportation" said Ferko Liblik president Dathan Liblik. "They are the disproportionate compromise between features given price/commitment, and an impractical expectation to correlate live data between loosely-integrated tracking and freight systems. As a result, customers aren't confident that promised returns will be realized in practice, and that makes a typical five-year contract a risky proposition. REALDiSPATCH addresses these concerns through support for both general and specialized hardware platforms and through complete and centralized Freight Logix feature integration."

According to Lindsay, Canada Cartage has reviewed, tested and in some cases deployed leading third-party telematics and asset monitoring solutions over the past 10 years.

"Each has been strong in its own domain, but the trade-offs have been very challenging, particularly because like many freight carriers we operate a diversified and demanding business," he said. "REALDiSPATCH addresses this dilemma: the technology designs were driven by transportation process, not the other way around, and full integration to Freight Logix means we go to a single source for the complete picture. That's effective operational management worth paying for."

Additional Articles of Interest

— Analyzing past transactional spend data will get you only so far in understanding and managing your company's future requirements for direct materials. A new approach to analyzing spend offers opportunities for targeting the most strategic spend categories. Read more in "Transactional Data Don't Equal Spend Visibility" in the December 2005/January 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— A recent independent study revealed that Wal-Mart customers are finding the items they wanted in stock more often due to the retailer's use of RFID technologies when compared to control stores. Read more in "Wal-Mart Achieving Improved On-shelf Availability with RFID, Study Finds" on SDCExec.com.

— Diversified, growing companies frequently confront the challenge of creating a unified customer experience, particularly around how they bill their clients. Office Depot took on this challenge by taking its accounts receivable processes online. Read more in "When A/R Stands for Competitive Advantage," a Best Practices case study in the June/July 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.