Technology developments to deliver results more quickly
04 / 02 / 2016
December 2015 saw the first part of the IATA’s e-Freight programme, the electronic air waybill (e-AWB), average an 84% level of adoption between the best performing Unisys carriers and their top twenty forwarders.
That clearly illustrates that the e-AWB is no longer a technology challenge, but rather one of adoption if you have the right system. This year we are extending our XML connectivity services and apps to other carriers and forwarders in order to support IATA’s industry modernisation programs.
Unisys provides a cloud-based logistics management system for sixteen carriers; that and other Unisys solutions are used to process about 20% of the world’s air cargo.
As our cloud approach means that all clients use the same system, they can work as a community to identify and prioritise technology enhancements that they have in common and drive industry change.
A year ago many requests for change were focused on cost reduction. In the last few months we have seen much more focus on changes to differentiate and create higher-value products, dynamic pricing or improved shipment processing.
Technology is a key area for such investments. The growing number of clients using our cloud cargo system services led to us processing a record number of 80m user-transactions last month although we still kept our average response time to about a third of a second.
Many of our clients saw a total of less than 60 minutes downtime during 2015 which represents over 99.99% availability for a 24/7 operation.
New delivery infrastructure in 2016 is designed to improve on that mission-critical performance this year.
Our rules-based heartbeat monitoring is also helping provide early insight into anomalies and stresses within our and client supply-chains and so to avoid failure.
Our cloud model means that we delivered new functionality to all carriers every month. As we maintained the service, not clients, their resources were available to focus on other areas. We applied about 75 key functional enhancements last year, most of which were available to all clients. Of those:
- 63% were to improve execution and customer confidence. These were done by enhancing automation including with additional/enhanced IATA XML messages, and by enforcing compliance with both regulatory and carrier policies;
- 19% were to protect revenue through strengthening collections, holding forwarders to their committed agreements, and through better interfaces to accounting;
- 9% were to simplify use of the system. We introduced the new Persona-based interface which changes depending on a user’s role profile to reduce complexity and the need for training. We also deployed new app functionality helping ensure that warehouse staff don’t need to use a keyboard and can stay close to customers;
- 5% were to improve analytics by capturing more transactional information in our data warehouse;
- The rest were focused on providing differentiated products such as for pharmaceuticals and better customer service through piece-level tracking.