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Leading Logistics Companies Rely on Information Builders to Help Counter Higher Fuel Costs

by Kathleen Moran, www.InformationBuilders.comThursday, October 02, 2008

New York, NY ­ October 2, 2008 ­ Information Builders, the leader in operational business intelligence (BI) solutions, today announced that several industry-leading third-party logistics (3PL) companies selected the WebFOCUS BI platform to gain more control over tracking and operations management and counter rising fuel costs. The new customers join dozens of existing 3PL companies and in-house logistics functions such as Hillman Group, Hapag-Lloyd, and Utz that are already using WebFOCUS applications to track more accurate partner service agreements and increase revenues.

Logistics organizations enlist BI technology to improve compliance, safety, fuel efficiency, billing, and many more business functions. Specifically, CFOs and operations managers apply WebFOCUS to improve five core areas:

  • Cargo management planning and efficiency
  • Profitability analysis
  • Internal tracking and management (portals)
  • Customer and partner self service
  • Service-level agreements (SLA) requirements, measurement, and performance

"As 3PL companies continue to consolidate, grow geographically, and round out their service offerings, they need versatile integration solutions like iWay Software," said Gerald D. Cohen, CEO and founder at Information Builders. "They are also operating at a scale dramatically impacted by escalating fuel costs so real-time operations management and reporting capabilities like those of WebFOCUS can help reduce costs as well as increase profit margins in many ways. For instance, having an external [Web] portal opens the door to immediate invoicing, versus waiting to issue a bill of lading upon delivery."

Hesse-Noord Natie Sees Profits From Shipping Critical Data to Managers in Real Time

Hesse-Noord Natie S.A./NV, a major terminal operator in the busy Port of Antwerp, Belgium, and a division of PSA International, manages thousands of global containers as well as terminals in the ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge, and Rotterdam. The company has a strong track record of quality service and operational flexibility in Europe. Core to the success of a terminal operator is the ability to quickly make decisions within the fixed time span of a ship docking and leaving port. For instance, knowing the commodity mix, quantities of each type of cargo, loading status of each ship, and permits secured, impacts profitability.

"HNN needed to be able to determine the status of all facets of loading and unloading in any given time," said Paul Verbraeken, manager of informatics at Hesse-Noord Natie. "We enlisted WebFOCUS to simplify access to relevant and pertinent information derived from many existing systems via a Web-based reporting system and integrated data warehouse. The resulting centralized, real-time view of the status of roll-on/roll-off and break-bulk cargo has improved planning and played a key role in increasing the company's profitability."

Hillman Group Blends BI and GIS to Reduce Freight Costs

The Hillman Group in Cincinnati, which distributes hardware, signs, keys, and other products, successfully leveraged BI to shrink the time it takes for business decision-makers to get information they need. The company recently added a geographic information system to its WebFOCUS BI reports.
By including a map of major bodies of water in its reports users can drill down to a specific location and see information on all Hillman retail customers within a certain distance of a particular body of water. They can also see how much of the company's stainless steel products have been sold in particular stores.

With 10 distribution centers in the United States, Hillman ships products to retailers such as Lowe's and Home Depot. Using BI and GIS, Hillman managers determine the most efficient shipping routes to reduce freight costs. By optimizing shipments, the company has reduced shipping expenses by 25 percent.

Utz and Others Rely on WebFOCUS for In-House Logistics

Utz Quality Foods, Inc. manufactures and distributes potato chips and other snack foods in the mid-Atlantic U.S. The company services supermarket chains and large retail customers like Costco. Utz also coordinates sales and production of more than 20,000 pounds of chips every hour, managing 600 delivery routes to 30,000 stores. Visit utzsnacks.com for more information.

"In the snack food industry, service and quality are key,² said Ed Smith, CIO of Utz. "Timing is crucial in keeping fresh product on store shelves. We rely on WebFOCUS for distribution planning and management to coordinate the timing between production, marketing, sales, and distribution operations. In 2007, we realized significant company growth and distribution and sales process improvements because our employees are better able to rapidly make informed decisions."

About Information Builders

As a leading independent business intelligence (BI) company for the past 30 years, Information Builders has provided innovative solutions to more than 12,000 customers, including most of the Fortune 100 and numerous U.S.federal government agencies. The company's flagship WebFOCUS product is the world's most widely used BI platform. Superior architecture and intuitive nature enables WebFOCUS to address the needs of everyone in the extended global enterprise ­ executive, analytical, operational, and beyond. It provides the agility to adapt to changing business conditions with the security, scalability, and flexibility to support dozens to millions of users.

Unique to the company is the integration expertise it brings to the BI market. Information Builders iWay Software suite solves complex integration problems with pre-built components that require minimal custom programming.

The award-winning combination of WebFOCUS and iWay gives Information Builders customers the ability to embrace the company motto: "Because Everyone Makes Decisions."

Information Builders is committed to customer service excellence with a Professional Services division that specializes in building custom applications using WebFOCUS and iWay Software. Headquartered in New York City with 90 offices worldwide, the company employs 1,450 people and has more than 350 business partners. Visit informationbuilders.com.

Press Contacts:
Kathleen Moran
Information Builders
(917) 339-6313

Karyn Martin
Emerge PR
(617) 729-3173

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