Odyssey Logistics & Technology Corporation: Simplified Transportation Management

Russell Marky, SVP & CIO, Odyssey Logistics & Technology CorporationRussell Marky, SVP & CIO
“The old paradigm of enterprises having additional auxiliary solutions— Transportation Management Systems (TMS)—hosted on their ERP systems, is gradually wearing out,” informs Russell Marky, SVP & CIO, Odyssey. “We address this shift by offering a SaaS transportation management solution that limits or even eliminates the need for organizations to rely on the services of an IT organization.” Danbury, CT-based Odyssey caters to the complex transportation needs of organizations by delivering a robust portfolio of customized solutions and high-value logistics strategies. The company offers manufacturers and shippers a zero-fee, web-based TMS–WINTM (Web Integrated Network)–that encompasses freight spend visibility, process efficiencies and minimization of cost-inefficiencies. It is also a neutral marketplace that allows shippers to choose from their existing carriers and brokers or access carriers and brokers within the WIN network.

The WIN platform has been designed to receive shipping orders directly from an ERP system or when input manually. By providing quick integration options with a shipper’s ERP systems using Jitterbit®, an integration platform, the WIN team guides the client through the entire integration process. The platform is compatible with a wide range of ERPs— SAP, Infor, Epicor, Oracle, and more, and also works seamlessly on proprietary systems developed by the shippers.

“Our focus has not been on trying to compete with traditional transportation management systems, as we believe the big value in the 3PL space now is data,” explains Marky. It’s not just collecting data that’s important, but also the ability to analyze it and act upon it. That’s what Odyssey is looking to pursue with its WIN platform.

Our focus has not been on trying to compete with traditional transportation management systems, as we believe the big value in the 3PL space now is data

A daunting task for shippers from an implementation perspective is the collection of massive amounts of master data—carrier agreements or contracts— to be used on a TMS. This time and effort-consuming process of collecting master data is followed by translating it into a form that a TMS understands and then uploading it into the TMS platform. Odyssey has invested in WIN’s master data management to support carrier communication. “This enables shippers to leverage a carrier’s individual API or carrier web-services to retrieve real-time rates from carriers without the need for maintaining rate master data,” adds Marky. Also endeavoring to transition from the traditional relational database model currently used by many applications, WIN has a business rules management system that allows them to flexibly model work processes for clients.

WIN analyzes customer data generated through the activities between the shippers and carriers on the WIN platform and overlays it with Odyssey’s transportation network to offer shippers ideas on strategic shipping and transportation management optimization. In one instance, a large manufacturing client implemented WIN as a respite for their separate operations and to gain visibility into their logistics operations across multiple locations. By leveraging WIN, the client was able to have a better view of activities within the enterprise as well as their transactions and it also enabled them to negotiate competitive deals with their carriers. “Our key differentiator is the approach we take to provide world-class TMS features through the WIN platform by making it affordable for the shippers with no licensing models or requirements for after-implementation support,” extols Marky.

Forging ahead, Odyssey envisions taking WIN to the Asian markets where they see a potential gap for the latest transportation technologies.