Delivering the keynote speech at TMW Systems’ TransForum 2008 User Conference and Exhibition, held in Orlando on Sept. 21-24, TMW President and Chief Executive Officer David W. Wangler urged the crowd to move beyond traditional thinking and view the current economic climate as an opportunity to innovate.
Wangler cited the freight industry’s historical cycles of economic downturns and renewed prosperity, and noted emerging societal and technological trends.
While everyone has access to the same sets of business information via the Web, technology is still the key differentiator of successful businesses, Wangler said.
“Some people are simply better prepared to make use of information and technology than others. They know what kind of information they’re looking for. They know who they want to connect with. They have a plan for what they will do when they find what they’re looking for,” he said. The easier technology is to use for customers, he continued, “the more people can take advantage of it. The key is genuinely understanding our customers’ business needs. You have to get all the pieces in the right place.”
At the conference, TMW made several new product announcements. Executives also spoke about several soon-to-be released products.
TMW Systems announced the availability of TMT ServiceCenter. The software is designed to support service centers performing both contracted outsourced fleet management services as well as retail maintenance and repair services. According to Scott Vanselous, senior vice president and general manager for TMW’s Asset Maintenance division, key benefits of the new software include the capacity to electronically invoice customers, provide preventive maintenance notice and tracking, and make service reservations and review or approve estimates online.
TMW Systems also announced commercial availability of an interface with TransCore’s DAT network of truck loads and carriers through TransCore’s 3sixty Connexion. The web services interface offers real-time, available truck searching that directly populates planning screens in the TMWSuite enterprise transportation software.
One of the fastest growing areas of TMW’s business is optimization solutions. Since acquiring Integrated Decision Support Corporation (IDSC) last year, TMW launched a new division – TMW Optimization software. Sales of IDSC’s existing products have increased by 50 percent year over year. In the past year, the company has added 60 new customers for its fuel optimization solution called ExpertFuel, Wangler said.
In the next three years, TMW Systems plans to continue to add more smarts and more intelligence to its applications, says Dave Mook, chief technology and chief operations officer. For example, later this year, TMW Systems plans to launch Insight, a web-based dispatch optimization tool that can be used by smaller fleets. Insight is based on the power-to-load matching algorithms in the Match Advice product that was developed by IDSC.
The software developer is also finalizing development of new “bolt-on” optimization features for its core dispatch system. During a software demonstration, a TMW executive showed how customers will be able to quickly select the loads and tractors on a dispatch screen to optimize. With a right click of the mouse, the system matches loads and power and displays a summary of cost savings from the optimization solution at the bottom of the screen.
“We will make it easier for customers to take advantage of (optimization software) by making it more digestible. There is so much information out there. Unless people can use it, it’s not worth anything,” Wangler said.
More than 1,300 trucking and transportation services professionals – including over 430 TMW customers across North America and Europe – attended the conference.
All TMW lines of business were included in the hands-on training, new developments review and best practices discussion throughout the event, including the Enterprise Transportation Software systems – TruckMate, TL2000 and TMWSuite; TMW Optimization software – IDSC Netwise and IDSC ExpertFuel; and TMW Asset Maintenance software – TMT Fleet Maintenance and the new TMT ServiceCenter, launched at this year’s event.
TMW Systems’ 2009 conference is scheduled for September 19-23, 2009, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, Tenn.