How to Integrate Forwarding Companies and Make Shipping Transparent in the ERP
If you look at the structures and processes of the shipping departments of medium-sized German companies, an unexpected picture appears in many places. The aim of consolidating data in a centralized platform has long been accepted in most parts of the company and is acknowledged as bringing major advantages in terms of efficiency and costs. Shipping, however, often still works with a whole host of varied standalone solutions which have developed over time, from which data must be transferred in a tedious and time-consuming fashion.
When cooperating with CEP service providers, the programs or online services supplied by the provider are frequently used without a real interface to ERP in place. This makes a process that is very simple in principle – such as package tracking – unnecessarily inconvenient, for example.
Many companies also work together with a number of smaller traditional carriers which, besides communication via phone or fax, do not have any real interface. In this way, verifying the freight costs invoiced also proves to be a complicated matter at times.
Combine Smart Modules to Suit Your Needs – Thanks to it.x-press
In order to make the shipping processes more transparent, NTT DATA Business Solutions AG developed the solution it.x-press. This fully integrates all of the specific shipping tasks concerning courier, express and parcel services and haulers into the ERP, thus making the shipping processes completely documented and easier to manage.
The it.x-press portfolio includes a series of modules that can be combined depending on the requirements of the company. The core module enables a direct electronic connection between the CEP service providers and haulers and the SAP system – specially adapted interfaces are available for over 40 national and international service providers, which allows rapid implementation. All relevant procedures such as shipment order processing, cancellation, handling of dangerous goods and shipment tracking can be traced in the ERP in this way. Smaller partners can also be integrated into the system via an EDI interface through the incorporation of a „standard hauler“.
5 Specialized Solutions to Integrate Forwarding Companies and Manage Complex Shipping Processes Easily
In addition, a range of specialized solutions is optionally available, which allows even more complex shipping topics to be modeled in the SAP system.
- it.x-freight charge functions as the interface for integrating the freight costs of the service providers and allows freight costs to be calculated directly. When working together with multiple transport companies, their quotations can be obtained and a cost comparison created.
- contains interface solutions for scales from different manufacturers and allows package weights to be determined automatically.
- it.x-pack contains a configurable package table control, which makes employees‘ jobs easier by displaying key information such as the recipient, transport service provider or weight data.
- it.x-press EWM Connect is a separate module for organizing shipments directly from SAP EWM via an integrated cockpit.
- it.x-freight invoice enables freight invoices from transport service providers to be validated, allocated to an account and posted.
Due to the fact that all of these procedures can be handled in a central system, a company’s shipping department can reduce its error rate considerably and increase its output accordingly. The reduction in manual data transfers between unconnected systems and the extensive reporting tools from it.x-press allow the shipping processes to be organized in a way that is distinguished by a high degree of flexibility and a fast response time. It also ensures that it can therefore adjust to the ever increasing customer requirements of the digital age.