Optimum Logistics Targets Supply Chain Inefficiencies
May 1, 2000 12:00 PM
A NEW open Internet-based logistics system for bulk materials is being developed by Optimum Logistics Ltd and Keane Inc, an e-business and information technology consulting firm. Called TransLink, the system was scheduled for launch in late April.
According to a recent Mercer Management Consulting study, operations such as TransLink have the potential to eliminate $43 billion in inefficiencies within the bulk materials supply chain by reducing and outsourcing administration, increasing carrier utilization, rationalizing pricing, and reducing carrying costs.
"Until now, the upstream sup-ply chain lacked an open, real-time exchange of in-formation," says Ken Bloom, chief operating officer of Optimum Logistics, Stamford, Connecticut. TransLink empowers logistics professionals to make more informed operational and strategic decisions that will wring inefficiencies from their bulk supply chains.
Leading-Edge Systems To build TransLink, Keane is utilizing leading-edge technology, including Enterprise Java Beans, XML, and object-oriented programming. When complete, TransLink will consist of a family of products designed to facilitate the open, secure exchange of logistics data between supply chain participants around the world.
Components will include:
*TransArranger, which streamlines the booking process by arranging and tracking the status of all suppliers' participation in the multimodal supply chain.
*TransBid to enable carriers and producers to streamline the transportation procurement process.
*TransLink for tracking and tracing shipments to provide global inventory and logistics information.
*TransAlert, which automatically monitors shipments and notifies relevant parties of potential problems.
*TransBank, which integrates the logistics business process with the global trade finance process.
Product Origin Optimum Logistics was spun off from Stolt-Nielsen in March, and TransLink is an outgrowth of Stolt's ChemLink.com, a secure online system that was used over the past year by more than 20 liquid bulk shippers to book, track, and trace Stolt-Nielsen-carried shipments around the world. Stolt-Nielsen plans to dilute its stake in Optimum to a minority position.
As an independent provider, Optimum is marketing TransLink to all bulk product producers, carriers, freight forwarders, and other logistics providers. Initially, TransLink will be targeted at the chemical industry. Optimum has already lined up a roster of chemical producers for the initial startup.
The Internet logistics management provider has formed a strategic alliance with ChemConnect Inc, a leading Internet chemicals and plastics exchange. The partnership will give chemicals and plastics manufacturers, buyers, and intermediaries a one-stop platform for spot purchases and supply chain optimization.
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