Outsourcing Helps Close IT Gaps and Meet Milestones
Q: To meet new and changing shipper demands, what areas of focus should be the highest priorities for tech investment by carriers in 2021?
A: One challenge we’re witnessing right now is the increasing need for carriers to provide more realtime visibility of a shipment’s journey. Carriers have begun taking steps to do just that and should continue investing in in-cab technology, API integrations, expanding EDI capabilities, or a variety of all these things.
Q: What is the single greatest threat to carriers reaching their goals for 2021?
A: The vulnerability to hackers who gain access to carriers’ systems with Malware and Ransomware causes them to cease operations for a period of time. As companies race to keep up with advancements in technology and provide the service customers demand, they must also strengthen security measures to safeguard their business.
Q: Legacy systems: Are carriers migrating away from them? Why or why not?
A: Many larger carriers have been slow to move away from legacy systems. This is primarily because a solution didn’t exist that was worth the amount of upheaval caused by such a migration.
Many of DDC’s carriers have thousands of customers. But not all of their customers are ready or willing to take the leap to API integration. This requires balancing between those customers who embrace innovation and those who are slow to adopt.
Q: How can carriers overcome the IT talent gap for these older technologies?
A: Carriers who use legacy systems, like IBM AS400, require programming from an increasingly aging workforce with skills in Report Program Generator (RPG). These skills are hard to come by as younger generations gravitate to the newer languages of Dart, Rust, TypeScript, and Python.
This poses a problem as the older RPG programmers begin to retire. If there is no plan to move away from legacy systems, it is crucial to seek out partners like DDC that can support your needs in any of these languages.
Q: How can carriers achieve true seamless integration if not everyone in the supply chain invests at the same pace?
A: Be practical and conquer one challenge at a time. Instead of forcing change on your entire organization, tackle integration by customer, department, or region. I
t may also be worthwhile to find strategic partners like DDC who can provide IT support, whether it be for specific short-term projects or for ongoing support to overcome the integration and visibility hurdles you face.
Q: Can carriers act as change agents for shippers to meet new market demands with IT? If so, how?
A: I believe so, but the shippers heavily influence the industry’s pace toward advancement. Carriers need to take an inclusive approach that gives shippers the visibility they desire without alienating those who are lagging behind.
By leveraging DDC’s expansive range of programming languages and skill levels, carriers can offer a consistent experience regardless of each shipper’s individual IT investment.