PalletForce, a distribution network that transports goods to companies across the UK, is installing a cutting-edge tracking system based on a service oriented architecture (SOA).
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PalletForce, which operates 2,500 vehicles, will use SOA-based software, broadband links and wireless systems to track and trace pallets, and manage their transportation and delivery. It will also use a wireless network to automate the scanning and weighing process in its warehouses.
The Transport Management System (TMS), will automate order entry, shipments, depot and hub management, customer relationship management, billing, and electronic proof of delivery, which will allow signatures to be collected electronically and transmitted via GPRS.
The various processes are orchestrated and controlled by Sonic Software's Sonic enterprise service bus, a central application built on an SOA.
TMS, which is due to go live in April, includes software from Trans-Axion. The supplier will host TMS at three datacentres in London, Southampton and Belgium, providing resilience and disaster recovery capability in the event of a system failure.
UK depots will be able to access the application through broadband connections from their PCs. Staff will then be able to access information stored on the central Progress Openedge database to track pallets at each step of their journey.
"TMS facilitates a massive leap forward, enabling us to grow the size of the network without compromising service, and provide real-time systems visibility to our members and their customers," said Jayne Hawkes, who led the PalletForce IT project team.