Trucking News: TMW Brings More Applications to i OS
September 29, 2009 Alex Woodie
Trucking software developer TMW Systems last week announced that it’s now supporting two existing business intelligence and reporting products–including the real-time exception reporting product, the DAWG, and its Freight Analyst dashboards–on the i OS server for the first time. The company also announced the launch of a managed services offering that allows customers to outsource to TMW the hosting and management of its core i OS applications, including TL2000 and TMT Fleet Maintenance-IBM i.
The DAWG was unleashed in 2004 to provide customers with automated exception management capabilities. The software was designed to work with ResultsNow, a business intelligence product that TMW also launched in 2004.
The DAWG works by scanning transactions going through the core dispatching system, as well as key performance indicators tracked by ResultsNow. When one of the variables exceeds the thresholds set by the customer, the DAWG will highlight the anomaly and then alert a manager to the issue, in real time via e-mail.
For example, the DAWG could be used to help prevent unprofitable routes. If a truck is scheduled to travel more than 400 miles before picking up its load, the DAWG would detect the unprofitable route and alert a manager, hopefully giving him time to re-route the truck and save the company time and money.
When it launched, the DAWG was only available for the TMWSuite, a dispatching program that runs on Windows. In 2007, TMW introduced a version for TruckMate, a Windows-based dispatching application TMW obtained in the acquisition of rival Maddocks Systems three years ago.
In 2008, TMW launched the first i OS version of the DAWG and ResultsNow for TMT Fleet Maintenance, which also runs on the System i server. With the latest release, TMW now has the DAWG available for its other popular i OS-based dispatching program, TL2000, expanding the DAWG’s territory to include all of TMW’s core dispatching systems.
Also last week, TMW announced that its new Freight Analyst business intelligence software is now available for all of its Windows and i OS-based dispatching systems.
TMW launched Freight Analyst earlier this year to provide its customers with a deep and comprehensive review of their trucking activities and suggest ways to increase profitability or fix problem areas. In other words, it delivers the kind of thorough assessment one would expect if hiring a living a breathing industry expert to analyze profitability, but does it through software for a fraction of the cost.
Freight Analyst works by analyzing the previous month’s data, things like revenue, costs, service performance, drivers’ road time, the positioning of trucks on the road, and the overall flow of freight. The software then loads it into its analysis engine–in this case, the IDSC Netwise product developed by Integrated Decision Support Corporation (IDSC) of Richardson, Texas–which compares the carrier’s lane and load pricing with current industry averages.
After churning through the data, Freight Analyst displays its recommendations, including which customers, which lanes, what rates, and what volumes the company should target. The data is displayed in a Web-based dashboard.
The news is that Freight Analyst can now be used with all of TMW’s core dispatching products, including TL2000 for System i and TMWSuite on Windows. Previously, Freight Analyst only worked with TruckMate Command Center customers.
“By identifying top and bottom lanes and shippers along with ‘low-hanging fruit’–meaning quick hits for pricing or volume improvement–any company using the software gains a leg up on the competition,” says Michael August, vice president and general manager at TMW.
In other TMW news, the Beachwood, Ohio, company has formally announced its managed services initiative. While the company has hosted its customers’ software for years, the company decided it was the right time to highlight the practice and ramp up marketing activities.
By turning to TMW managed services, customers can reduce big capital expenditure outlays and eliminate the hassle of hiring IT professionals to implement and maintain the computers that run critical operational applications. In exchange, customers pay a single monthly fee to TMW, which can also provide disaster recovery and high availability protection for the customers’ environments.
TMW doesn’t own the data center itself. Instead, it contracts with an outside firm to provide the data center, where all of TMW’s applications, including TL2000 and TMT Fleet Maintenance-IBM i, are running.