Cost-effective logistics management has forever been the bane of most companies' existence. The bulk of many organizations' budgets – both for information technology (IT) and process improvement initiatives – is spent improving the processes involved in getting materials and products through the supply chain with maximum efficiency and minimum cost. Why, then, are most companies still struggling to find and implement new technologies for integrating the technical architectures that form the backbone of their logistics networks? Simply put, the technologies are there, but fitting them together in a profit maximizing, effort-minimizing combination is a Byzantine labyrinth that most executive managers are loath to tackle.

The problem in maximizing the efficiency of logistics networks is now, as it has been for decades, that information, applications and processes have been stovepiped. These vertical silos of information have engendered years of disarray and inefficiency in logistics management, customer service and analysis capability. In this environment, processes and information systems are separate, uncommunicative parts of the organization that often work at cross- purposes.

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