Precision Software Achieves Oracle Validated Integration

Ongoing mergers in the enterprise applications continue to make strange bedfellows of fierce competitors. Most recently, Precision Software, a transportation and global trade management (GTM) division of QAD and a Gold level member of the Oracle Partner Network (OPN), announced that it has achieved Oracle Validated Integration of Precision Software Transportation Management System (TMS) Parcel v2012 with Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) 6.2. Needless to say, QAD and Oracle do compete in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) arena, but Precision Software has had autonomy with regard to its marketing activities and partnerships. Precision’s strategy includes integration with all the major ERP players, and QAD will not object to some money for the caviar coming from its competitors.

Why Precision TMS?

OTM (formerly G-Log) is a very functional multimodal and global TMS solution but it lacks the parcel shipment execution capabilities. Oracle reportedly recognized that functional gap years ago and began partnering up with the likes of Kewill and ProcessWeaver to fill it. For its part, Precision partnered with MavenWire (a global OTM reseller that consists of many former G-Log employees) to assist with setting up an OTM instance, configuration, testing, etc. for establishing a connector between Oracle OTM and Precision’s parcel rating engine.

Precision TMS is a global, multi-carrier shipping solution designed to manage both inbound and outbound shipments. It also provides centralized control and visibility throughout the shipment execution process, as users can rate, route, produce labels, manifest, and manage levels of service for any mode of shipment from a single place. The offering also allows customers to complete the entire shipment lifecycle by auditing freight invoices against rated shipments and ultimately having all the data regarding a shipment’s footprint for reporting, analysis, and tracking purposes.

Precision TMS now offers a comprehensive multi-carrier manifesting application integrated with OTM to support small parcel shipping. This should enhance more rapid shipment processing for high-volume shipping environments. The integration offers carrier-compliant label generation and end-of-day manifesting using Precision Software global parcel carrier certifications (more than 40 worldwide, such as UPS, FedEx, US Postal Service [USPS], DHL, and TNT).

With online retailing, the requirement to support multi-carrier parcel shipping from within a TMS is more important than ever. It is becoming imperative for companies to include parcel in their freight mix, and this was the driving force for the integration. The rating structures used by the parcel carriers differ significantly from other modes. Even within the parcel carrier industry, rating structures are not standardized, making them difficult to set up and keep current.

Integration Details

Precision’s solution specializes in parcel carrier shipping and provides a service to keep the content current. Its rating functionality has been exposed as a service to other applications. OTM 6.2 provides a similar service-oriented architecture (SOA)–enabled mechanism to call external rating engines. The integration is a certified connector for data communication that implements the OTM external rating interface to call the Precision service for a rate. The connectivity between the systems allows customers to build shipping networks that include parcel carrier services and for these to be considered in shipments during planning and optimization in OTM.

In summary, Precision TMS extends the functionality of OTM by making it easier for customers to consider parcel carrier services during rate analysis and planning. There is limited master data that is required to be shared between the applications. The following is static data that changes infrequently and will be maintained in both systems:

  • Country codes

  • Currency codes

  • Units of measure (UOM)

  • Cost types (e.g., freight, fuel surcharge, etc.)

The “Origin locations (ship from points)” and “Carrier and services” data fields, while not static, are not expected to change on a regular basis and again will be maintained in both systems. But, it is not necessary to use the same codes, as cross-reference mapping can be configured in Precision TMS.
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