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NeoModal Launches Corporate Ship On Promising Journey

Written By: Steve McVey
Published On: May 11 2000

NeoModal Launches Corporate Ship On Promising Journey
S. McVey - May 11, 2000

Event Summary

NeoModal is a new competitor in the B2B collaborative landscape with a novel portfolio of applications that help participants in global transportation networks minimize costs and make best use of resources.

Scheduled for completion in the next few weeks, its application suite will include NeoContract, NeoCargo, NeoStatus, NeoYield, and NeoMarket. The first four are being developed in-house while the last, an integrated logistics Internet marketplace uses the recently acquired eRateRequest.com. The products are currently under beta test by development partners and NeoModal expects to make a formal launch in July 2000.

Market Impact

NeoModal has made the right decisions in setting up its new venture. Although a newcomer to the supply chain management world, NeoModal boasts an experienced management team led by Richard "Dick" Murphy, a 32-year veteran of the ocean carrier industry. Murphy brings a hands-on understanding of the global logistics business from his tenure as an executive with Sea-Land Service, Inc., which pioneered ocean cargo containerization in the mid 1950s. Sea-Land was acquired by A. P. Moller, holding company for Denmark-based shipper Maersk Line, in December 1999.

Another factor that will improve NeoModal's prospects for success is its ASP delivery model. Unlike established supply chain management vendors that are struggling to squeeze existing applications into Internet browsers, NeoModal has built its applications from the ground up to operate in a web environment. In so doing it avoids the costly business model transition from traditional application installation to web deployment, which carries drastic consequences for an organization and its revenue model.

A third factor in its favor, NeoModal has composed its suite by selecting components that complement each other well and address critical areas of global logistics. A key part of the suite is NeoYield, which evaluates how attractive an operation is based on asset utilization and can guide users to the configuration that results in the best cost savings. NeoYield uses strategic information from other parts of the suite to allow carriers to explore different combinations of outbound and return portions, considering both ocean and inland components, for choosing the lowest cost option.

While there is no clear leader in the global logistics software market, NeoModal's offering will undoubtedly place it in competition with companies like Tradiant, GoCargo, and Descartes Systems Group. NeoModal has selected the right combination of functionality and this will give it an edge over many of the other players.

User Recommendations

As a new entrant in the supply chain management market, NeoModal lacks an operating history, a live product, and production client base. At a result, few meaningful recommendations can be made. Users should watch for future announcements from NeoModal and stay abreast of global logistics developments among ERP and SCM software vendors as well as third party ASPs, all of which are potential NeoModal partners.

Companies engaged in global logistics operations involving ocean container carriers should evaluate NeoModal as an option among other vendors later this year when its suite becomes generally available. Users should also request client references from among NeoModal's development partners, the shippers, intermediaries, and carriers that are beta testing the software and focus their questions on application stability and depth of functionality - two areas where new products tend to fall down.

 
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