Software Development

FCL’s philosophy is to allow its customers to migrate painlessly to new methodologies and technologies. Since ForwardOffice first went “live” in 1988, FCL has continued to enhance the product and incorporate new software modules, in order to cater for new commercial requirements from the freight industry and technical innovations within the computer industry itself.

With developments such as enhancements for the introduction of the Single Market, Euro Compliance, CFSP and NES, and new modules for Quality Control, Consignment Tracking and Supply Chain Management, we have enabled our customers to keep pace with emerging industry and customer requirements. The provision of a graphical user interface (Windows) and e-Commerce/Internet-related applications has also enabled them to keep pace with new technology.

The vast majority of the software development that is undertaken by FCL thus relates directly to the ongoing maintenance and development of the core product. In addition to Support Desk access and an Escrow source code deposit agreement, FCL’s annual software maintenance contract entitles customers to free updates to new versions of ForwardOffice, ensuring that they remain at the leading-edge, while protecting their original investment.

At FCL, we listen to our customers. As a result, over the years a vast number of customer-driven enhancement requests have been incorporated into the product within the scope of software maintenance, and thus at no additional cost to the client.

Freight and logistics industry requirements can be very complex and it is our experience that every organisation has its own way of doing things. While ForwardOffice is very flexible and can be driven in many different ways, there may occasionally be circumstances where our clients require a bespoke software solution to address specific working practices or their own customers’ requirements. We recognise this need and are able to offer a comprehensive bespoke software development service. Through close liaison between our Software Development team, Support Desk and Project Managers, FCL can address every aspect of the development cycle, from initial requirements analysis through development and factory testing, to live implementation.


Key Features:

  • Development tools:
    • Visual C++ 10.0 and C# 4.0
    • Synergy/DE
    • Java
    • HTML, CSS and XML
  • Core product maintenance and enhancement:
    • FCL-driven enhancements
    • Customer-driven enhancement requests
  • Quality Control:
    • Version control software utilised for all software components
    • Rolling 6-weekly version development cycle
    • Each development reviewed by panel before committing to new version
    • Each development item undergoes system test before new version “freezes”
    • Full product regression test, prior to release of each new version
    • Internal training for Support Desk and Project Managers on all new developments
    • Pre-production facilities at customer sites for pre-implementation testing
  • Bespoke development projects:
    • Requirements analysis
    • Functional specifications
    • Technical specifications
    • Software development
    • Test plans
    • End-to-end factory testing
    • Pre-production and live implementation
    • Bespoke EDI projects:
      • Interface design and development
      • Message mapping
      • Project management and third party liaison
      • Testing and implementation