Over the last two decades, many freight operators have shifted focus from standard freight operations to providing a wider range of logistics services. In many cases, their own clients have outsourced their entire inventory storage, management and distribution functions to the freight agent.
The ForwardOffice Warehouse Management modules provide all of the functionality required to maintain complete control over inventory, across multiple virtual warehouses. Including inbound logistics, stock management and outbound logistics, it can be fully integrated with the ForwardOffice Operations and Transport Modules.
Where the freight and logistics operator provides inventory storage and management services, providing the client with full visibility of all their stock assumes critical importance. The Warehouse Management modules include flexible data exchange mechanisms, which can be utilised to provide exactly this type of visibility. However, there can be many reasons why data exchange cannot be implemented with a given client. Under these circumstances, the Web provides the perfect medium for the client to perform enquiries on their inventory.
During 2001 FCL developed its new FCL-ASP platform. This provides Web services from one central location at our facility in Nottingham. But using secure network links to our customers’ systems, it is now possible to achieve real-time interaction with their live ForwardOffice data. Based on this new platform, FCL has developed and deployed WebStock.
WebStock provides FCL’s customers with a way of providing their own clients with Web-based Stock Enquiry facilities, both cost-effectively and with minimum effort. WebStock is remarkably straightforward to implement. From our customer’s perspective, it is virtually maintenance free – there are no complex issues to consider – users just get on with their day-to-day tasks, and information automatically becomes visible on the Web.
- WebStock is provided through the FCL-ASP platform
- FCL acts as a service provider, cushioning its customers from complex and costly issues of Internet access: –
- We provide the Web server
- We provide the broadband Communications link to the Internet
- We deal with firewall and Internet security issues
- FCL undertakes all of the support and maintenance functions
- It is simplicity itself to integrate WebStock into your own Web site
- It is activated selectively for those parties that you choose to provide it to
- Through back-office utilities, you allocate logon ID’s and passwords, ensuring secure access
- Parties can only view stock that they own
- WebStock is fully integrated with the ForwardOffice Warehouse Management modules
- The freight operator’s staff perform their day-to-day warehousing and inventory functions, from receipt through to issue and delivery
- Request on-line SQL-style reports, listing stock items that match specific search filters
- Comprehensive report filters:
- Warehouse/Distribution Centre
- Product code
- Status Range (e.g. “Available”)
- Receipt Date Range
- Purchase Order number
- Condition code
- Drill to individual stock item detail, which includes shipping details
- Output results as:
- HTML, to browser
- CSV, to subsequently open with MS Excel