Messaging solution gives Fliway wings
THE TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS COMPANY’S MIDDLEWARE SOLUTION HAS DELIVERED ACCURACY AND AUTOMATION THAT HAS CUSTOMERS SINGING ITS PRAISES…Fliway comprises 13 branches around New Zealand and three and a half businesses – Fliway Transport, Fliway Logistics and Fliway International and a 50/50 joint venture with UPS. Together the business units boast dedicated distribution centres in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, supported by regional warehouses and a warehouse management system (WMS) to accurately manage customer product and activity. It also offers freight forwarding, customs clearance and national or international transport and courier services. The business units combine to provide a comprehensive warehousing, supply chain and freight forwarding offering.
A decision to replace Fliway’s existing legacy middleware platform was a key driver to looking at other options, and ultimately selecting Flow Software. “Moving to another platform was an easy decision to make, and when we discovered Flow Software through our investigation phase, the selection was almost as straight forward,” explains Fliway’s CIO Colin Burrow.
Fliway needed to invest in a more flexible electronic data interchange (EDI) system that would standardise the way the interface moved data between the different systems both within Fliway and on the client side. It also needed a solution that could cope with its customers’ ERP systems and large volumes of data that needed to be exchanged by the Fliway business units and their customers.
Getting IT to Flow right
Fliway chose Flow Software’s EDI solution because it could resolve the company’s issues around flexibility and automation. It could easily meet Fliway’s trading partner requirements to interchange documents and data electronically and satisfy their demand for instantaneous access to up-to-date information.
Flow worked with Fliway to gradually migrate all the internal systems and customer systems in a staged process over the following year. ”Flow is a key component to supporting how data passes between systems,” says Burrow “with both internal and external entities, and avoiding the need to develop any custom interfaces for our applications.”
Fliway uses Flow’s automation tools to move from one step of the logistics and freight forwarding offering to the next. This means no double data entry, reducing inaccuracies and saving time; and a standardised format that all customers can use for submitting details to the business.
Making a difference
Flow EDI has also helped Fliway to continue to differentiate itself in the market and maintain its reputation for on-time, damage-free delivery at a competitive rate and its special materials handling capability.
”Flow delivers to Fliway a single technology that enables us to better manage our integration and scale it as required to match growth in business activity, either through new customers or deployment of new capability and services. Flow enables us to interact with customers and their systems in real-time, which has become the minimum standard required in our industry sector”, explains Burrow.
“Flow is a key component to supporting how data passes between systems, with both internal and external entities, and avoiding the need to develop any custom interfaces for our applications.”
Flow’s Sales Manager, Andrew Glasson says, “The middleware is mission critical for Fliway’s business and through the migration we have helped them to remove manual processes and maximise efficiencies. It has helped to transform the business.”
Fliway is now in the process of updating many Flow actions, as part of a core application upgrade. “This is giving us an opportunity to take the benefit of years of experience of the technology to implement new methods and techniques to more fully utilise Flow and deliver improvements to the business through better data integrity and faster processing,” explains Burrow, who sees Flow deployments as an on-going business-as-usual activity to support new business and for continuous improvement.
Burrow has been impressed by the team at Flow. ”The team at Flow Software have been a great supporter of our business, from the senior and account management team, to the consultants and the support team. They have risen to the challenges we have presented them, and we enjoy the friendly and professional manner in which they operate.”