Logistics – Polaris

LTL Logistics leader Polaris Transportation accelerates revenues and puts customer service on a real-time highway with the Fiorano platform


Polaris Transport Carriers Inc. (Polaris) is a leading transport and logistics service provider in Canada and the United States. The company was founded in 1994 and is based in Mississauga,Ontario, Canada. Polaris serves the Less-than-Truck Load (LTL) needs of a wide range of industries including high-tech, tourism, medical, printing and government defense. It specializes in the shipment of dry goods and offers LTL cross border shipping. Other services provided by Polaris are: trade show display and exhibit movement, global air and ocean freight forwarding, and transit matrix services.

The Polaris Transportation Group has received the Canadian Transportation & Logistics "Carrier of Choice" award twice. The title is awarded after a company meets industry-set benchmarks of excellence (Shipper's Choice Award) for more than five consecutive years.

Business Challenge

In the last 5 years the business of LTL freight, primarily across US and Canada Border had doubled; Polaris needed a way to handle the surge in business and ensure competitive cross border shipping times as well as customer service.
The IT infrastructure of Polaris Transport consisted of disparate applications running on multiple servers. The TruckMate application served as the transportation management software which integrated with Kofax Agility servers supporting the different transportation and freight services provided by Polaris. This system was accessed by 80+ concurrent users via a Citrix Environment.
For smooth business operation in the logistics industry, especially in the LTL freight and transport industry, uninterrupted and real-time communication with partners and customers is of paramount importance. Polaris used EDI servers for electronic communication between partner applications and databases, which exchanged information as a batch process.
The major challenge for the IT team at Polaris was getting the applications to communicate with each other in realtime, which required a lot of custom development for point-to- point integration. Such time and resource consuming development was a hindrance to automation as well.

Solution

Polaris was looking for a solution which will enable realtime access to information and provide a unified and distributed backbone technology for their IT infrastructure. Polaris evaluated multiple technologies, both open source and commercial including Mulesoft, Talend, Tibco, IBM, Camel etc and finally selected Fiorano for streamlining their business. "Fiorano appeared to be the most complete product all in one. The support was also first class," explains Mr. Couto.

Fiorano collaborated with the IT team at Polaris for a PoC (Proof-of-concept) which included building new services for exchanging data between the Kofax and Truckmate applications. The new services included data and file extraction processes and deploying new web-services components for creating and merging PDF files. "The Fiorano ESB performed flawlessly with an active production load of more than 1000 transactions a day" says Mr. Couto.

By employing Fiorano's peer to peer architecture Polaris Transport was able to achieve real-time access to information among the disparate applications in use. The pre-built adapters with Fiorano served as connectors to integrate various applications and file systems. Fiorano's visual model enabled the IT team at Polaris to create and orchestrate event processes without any coding. Fiorano's Microservices based architecture enabled, Polaris Transport to easily make changes to any of the services, or to change the workflow, without negatively impacting other parts of the system.

Benefits

Equipped with Fiorano's technology, Polaris Transport is now able to handle the surge in business with half the staff and serve its customers better. Specific benefits include:

  • Increased Productivity - With Fiorano middleware in place heterogeneous software applications exchange information at an increased rate, thereby reducing latency and increasing productivity.
  • Speed of Development and Deployment - Fiorano studio provides Polaris a visual tool for orchestrating and creating the event processes, obviating requirement for coding/development.
  • Reliability - Fiorano provides a stable infrastructure with and underlying messaging broker handling more than 1000 transactions/day flawlessly.
  • Agility - Fiorano's message interception capabilities combined with ability to alter the processes during runtime make it very easy for Polaris to change/update any service or workflow without any negative impact on the overall system.
  • Ease of Management and Maintenance - Fiorano's unique peer-to-peer architecture provides one single monitoring service to check the status of interfaces. Prior to Fiorano, Polaris had to monitor multiple servers to ensure that services were running.
  • Reduction in consulting/development costs - Since the process flow design involves simple configurations involving drop-down menus and some text fields, expansion needs are easily met by existing resources without needing additional resources with specialized skill sets. Easy to use Fiorano Tools drastically reduce the consulting and implementation costs. Fiorano improved the ability to interact with web APIs and other web languages (REST) resulting in automation of dozens of internal tasks which in turn sped up the process and eliminated data quality issues.

About Fiorano Software

Fiorano Software (www.fiorano.com) is a leading provider of enterprise class business process integration and messaging infrastructure technology. Fiorano's network-centric solutions set a new paradigm in ROI, performance, interoperability and scalability. Global leaders including Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing, British Telecom, Credit Agricole Titres, Lockheed Martin, NASA, POSCO, Qwest Communications, Schlumberger and Vodafone among others have used Fiorano technology to deploy their enterprise nervous systems.

To find out more about how Fiorano can help you meet your enterprise integration objectives, visit www.fiorano.com or Email us, we will contact you!

"We ran a Proof-of-concept by building services to exchange data between Truckmate (Transportation Management Software) and Kofax Agility Servers. We evaluated several open source and commercial products on the market. Our primary focus was ease-of-use and time to market. Fiorano appeared to be the most complete product, all in one. The support was also first class.

With Fiorano, we are able to provide solutions quickly to customers and partners that translate into higher revenues. ROI is further magnified with productivity and efficiency gains as we are able to provide faster turn-around and manage higher volumes with no additional staff. We have automated internal tasks, speeding up the process and eliminating data quality issues."

Richard Couto,
Director Information Technology,
Polaris Transport Carriers Inc.