LogiCon validation-implementation workshop_1nd round
To get a better understanding of the status and requirements of SMEs not directly involved as a partner in the living lab interviews were carried out with several organizations providing logistics services. In the interviews SMEs were asked about their business, the current use of IT, barriers and opportunities.
Since the set of SMEs was limited, too generic and quantitative conclusions could not be drawn. Sometimes there were very specific requirements (e.g. gas measurements for containers) and needs specified by the stekaholders.
Nevertheless the interviews provided the following overview of requirements/opportunities:
- IT-support focuses on backoffice operations (all have financial/invoicing software, some use order-management/planning software).
- Some companies use on-board units to communicate with the driver, but very often only smartphones are used.
- Orders are usually received by e-mail (or fax or phone). If there is an order management system, they need to be entered manually (re-typing). Receiving digital input has been considered a possible area for improvement as this could result in cost-savings and could possibly provide a better overview of the to-be-planned orders.
- Usually paper documents are required during the transport (e.g. a CMR waybill). Improved handling and possible digitization of these documents has also been considered a possible area for improvement.
- There might be an opportunity for more light-weight systems to find new cargo, e.g. to fill otherwise empty returns. This functionality is partly provided by existing marketplaces, but their business model is not always attractive (enough) for SMEs.
There might be an opportunity for light-weight applications to share data with customers. This could be the digital exchange of invoices and supporting documents (e.g. waybills) or data regarding tracking & tracing availabilities, etc.
LogiCon validation-implementation workshop_2nd round
Port of Twente hosted the ‘Twente supply chain hackathon’ at Twente University in Enschede on October 24th 2014. This hackathon was used to engage with app developers to allow them to test the Intrepid platform and to see whether they would be able to develop new apps/concepts based on the functionality provided by the platform.
Several actors in the Port of Twente business community provided cases to the app developers. Examples of case were:
- assessing the costs of low-carbon transport options,
- improved planning between distribution centres,
- using linked open data to exchange data with governmental agencies.
The Intrepid platform was made available to all participants of the hackathon. Additionally Logicon provided a case, based on the interviews with SME-transport companies: develop an app or concept to support the 10.000 SME-transport companies in The Netherlands with little or no IT.
The Intrepid platform was used by various participating groups. For example: data on waterway infrastructure provided by Intrepid was used by a group to develop a Google Glass-app providing information and alerts to barge-captains. One group developed a specific app for SME-transport companies to support their operations, e.g. by digitizing the paper waybill. They also included social networking functionality in the concept, e.g. to share freight (‘I have room to spare’, ‘I have excess freight’) or to share more informal data (‘where to find the best truck stop’).
Not all groups used the Intrepid platform, as some relied on other available data sources (e.g. bulk data collected in spreadsheets) to build a concept or app. It should be considered how the Intrepid platform can be used effectively in hybrid scenarios (sharing data through both Intrepid and legacy systems) and how this affects the business model of Intrepid. It was not possible to test the willingness of app developers to pay for the Intrepid platform as a service. This is something to be tested in a follow-up session.
There were 7 companies providing cases in the hackathon: 3 logistics actors (including CTT) and 4 consultants/suppliers of the logistics sector. The 42 participating developers were both students and independent developers of software. The hackathon successfully demonstrated the ability of Intrepid to share data with third party app developers. In a follow-up session further emphasis needs to be put on hybrid situation (data from both Intrepid and third party sources) and the willingness of app developers to pay for Intrepid as a service, as this affects the Intrepid business model.
LogiCon implementation workshop_3rd round
TSME LogiCon work session “Get Connected” was held during the Congres Topsector Logistiek ‘Mapping the Future of Logistics’ at the 1st of April 2015 in Rotterdam.
During the work session we:
- presented the developments from the LogiCon project: the information – infrastructure (INTREPID platform) for data exchange and some cases that were build on this information infrastructure,
- gained insight in how companies think about the solutions that we presented, for example: is it something they were interested in, how would this be of use for them, is there a businesscase in it for them as well,
- Inventarisation on type of cases that could also be build on the information and infrastructure solution.
Two types of SME’s were invited:
1) IT and app developers,
2) Logistic service providers.
The IT and app developers were interested in the session, where they can build the solutions but often they do need some help with building the prototype / proof of concept (before they can build the entire solutions). They think an INTREPID platform that supports the data exchange between companies can be of use for this.
The Logistic service providers were interested in the possibilities of the information infrastructure (INTRAPID platform). They often do not have the resources and skills to build this by themselves. They thought it was of great value that it is an open platform and that it does not ‘save’ data but provides access to data sources (for privacy and control purpose). Of course they do need to see a specific ‘case’, or have some idea on what could be an interesting data sharing solution, in order to see the value and the possibilities that an infrastructure like INTREPID can offer. We therefore also had a short brainstorm on possible logistic solutions (in terms of apps or websites or other data access tools) that could help their business.
We showed them some examples from the Logion and other (TNO) projects:
- AIS Buddy - to help you find an available docking place at the port,
- Sluisapp 2.0 Using the lock planning app, vessels can indicate whether they want to pass a lock. Together with the movement data, the operations of the locks can be planned more easily,
- Inlandlinks allows shippers to search for possible transport services to the hinterland.
In a 90 minute work sessions we addressed that logistic companies often do not know the value of real-time data exchange. Data sharing is not very common. There are important conditions that must be completed in order to share data in a secure and controlled way. Another aspect is that in order to come up with app’s and solutions there need to be a successful business model for the Logistic service providers.
Topics that we addressed were:
- How can apps and services contribute to better logistics services?
- How do we get meaningful applications or systems for a smarter organized logistics?
- What conditions and requirements do they need to realize?
Brainstorm on Case ideas (ideas for data sharing)
We asked the logistic service provider which solutions in terms of apps or websites they need in order to improve their business (easier administration, better communication with clients, higher service, less errors etc.).
The following topics were mentioned:
- Apps that share data and information to gain new customers,
- Better prediction of availability of trucks at the terminal,
- Better prediction of arrival times of trucks at a terminal in order to better optimize the planning ,
- Terminals and (main) port need to give insight in amount of available space (for trucks or ships) and planning,
- Score the service of a truck drivers or logistic service provider based on an application (like the way you score hotels),
- Sustainable advice, for instance on traffic jams and waiting times at the terminal so you can drive at perfect sustainable speed or take a break instead of ending up in a traffic jam,
- Work load predictor when you have information on how much work a container will need.
Brainstorm on the Business model:
Companies do need to see a clear business model for their own company in order to consider using an information infrastructure like INTREPID. In the brainstorm the following suggestions were made:
- The app user should also be consulted in order to know how frequent he would use curtain apps (talk to shippers and drivers).
- The most dominant player in the logistic chain should take the lead in the development of a new connectivity solutions.
- The app/solution should be used by the entire logistic chain in order to gain transparency in the chain.
- The cost and benefits will differ per partner, so for each solution/app that is developed needs to be sorted out how the business case is.
- If you do not have access to data you do not have a business case at all.
- How do you gain money with an app? do you need to patent it?
- Who will be data owner?
- Who will be responsible for bugs or other problems? Data owner / infrastructure supporter or app developer? Needs to be clear.
Brainstorm on Technical challenges of an INTREPID platform:
- Information – infrastructure as well as the app/solution should be easy accessible and easy to use.
- Standardize as much as possible so you do not need to enter information that could already be there.
- There should be some think like a mobile device management in order to overcome the problem of individuals who need to install an app.
- The solution needs to have a disclaimer so you know where to go in case of questions.
- If the information – infrastructure can give you a clear overview on what kind of data sources there are, you can have a big-data analysis to see if there are other smart solutions to make.
- Data privacy needs to be well arranged.
In total there were about 10 large companies and the rest was SMEs. Half of them were IT/App developers and the other part were Logistic Service Providers.
- Weekend van de Wetenschap
- Yellowstar Solutions
- Combinex BV
- Ministerie IenM Programma Beter Benutten
- DAF Nederland
- connecting mobility
- Havenbedrijf Rotterdam N.V.
- UTS Verkroost Nijmegen BV
- ECT / EGS
- Viggo Schiphol
- Caldic Chemie B.V.
- Pon Logistics
- CGI - business consulting
- DPD Nederland BV
- gemeente Tilburg
- CGI Nederland
- CGI & Universiteit Twente
The workshop was a success, especially since it took place during the Dutch conference ‘Mapping the future of logistics’, with over 700 people attending the parallel workshops. There was great LogiCon expose for the project and results (poster, on the program, Conference app where we posted some messages as well etc.). We gained more insight in the challenges that Logistic Service Provider have to deal with and got a better understanding on how connectivity solutions can help them.