Data Integration in the Logistics and Transport Industry
The rapid development of e-commerce forces the transport, forwarding and logistics industry to quickly introduce new technologies to internal systems. To create a flexible architecture that will be adapted to continuous expansion and smooth exchange of data, it would be a good idea to integrate IT systems. Integration plays a vital role in communication between partners as part of logistics processes, enabling real-time data exchange, thus increasing the efficiency of business activities.
Read this post to find out:
- How the data integration process helps improve communication within the organization
- How data integration systematizes the management of transaction processes
- Why a data bus is useful in the integration process
Benefits of using data integration
You can say with reasonable confidence that, these days, Supply Chain Management in its broad sense is largely data-driven, relying on the validity and availability of data. Measures such as “backorders”, “on time in full”, and “lead time” are not only numbers in a spreadsheet, but values that are critical for the company, customer relations and the quality offered. That is why it is so important to ensure the highest quality of data originating from various systems that support numerous business processes in the organization. Data should be up-to-date, standardized, and integrated, e.g. through an ESB solution.
The data integration also significantly supports communication within a single organization. Business, production and other support functions share the same playing field, and use standardized data formats. This helps avoid potential misunderstandings. ESB-based data integration also increases speed – up-to-date data is efficiently transferred between various applications that use these operations. This is particularly important, e.g. in the production of goods, where the lead time is 1–2 days.
Furthermore, data integration allows transaction process management to be systematized and consolidated. This is of particular importance for the smooth and efficient work of shared services centers. The integration of applications and systems by means of ESB also allows for new metrics and data to be obtained from various sources. This, in turn, supports the management and quality of monitoring activities.
ESB – a solution ensuring efficient integration both inside and outside the organization
ESB is not only about systematizing processes inside the organization, but also about the effective sharing of data with the outside world, e.g. during cooperation with business partners or customers, which is a fundamental occurrence in logistics. By using a comprehensive integration platform, you can safely share important information and data with suppliers, subcontractors and shipping companies. Quite importantly, this data can be transferred practically in real time, which greatly increases the quality of communication, reduces potential errors and distortions, and ensures immediate response to the changing business environment.
In order to obtain the above significant business benefits, you do not need to replace your existing applications and solutions with one, usually extremely costly, ERP tool, such as SAP. All you need is an integration platform, for example the Anypoint Platform by Mulesoft, which has embedded mechanisms and components, such as the ESB or API Gateway, for achieving new quality of work and competitiveness, using your company’s existing IT architecture.