To be successful in the future, trucking companies, 3PLs and brokers need to run connected companies where data flows freely within their company and without. Tom McLeod, founder and CEO of McLeod Software, discussed this topic with customers attending the company’s annual user conference in Washington, D.C. Sept. 14-16, a concept McLeod called “the connected enterprise.”

In an announcement detailing the concept, McLeod Software said transportation companies need to have free movement of data across what it terms traditional system boundaries – with data not only flowing seamlessly within a company’s system, but also moving freely within the systems used by a carrier’s customers, drivers and other partners.

In a connected enterprise, every employee has access to the right information and the right time, the company said. The company points to five elements of a connected enterprise:

  • Proactive, meaning that information is pushed to employees when they need it rather than the employee having to search for the data when needed.
  • Workflow without boundaries, which means automated workflow systems that extend beyond the fleet.
  • Big insight, or taking advantage of the “big data” companies have access to fully understand what this data is saying.
  • Mobility, which means that a connected enterprise is mobile and not limited to mobile communications within the cab of a truck. The company says this capability allows employees to perform critical work when away from their desk.
  • Connectable architecture, the fifth component means systems within a company are easy to integrate with the outside world using low-cost Service Oriented Architecture, such a web services, the company said.

The company said that when these five capabilities come together the conditions are right for driving improvement. By combining business analytics, workflow and process automation and free-flowing data capabilities, companies can achieve the kind of results for which companies strive.