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A Luxury Multi-Tenant Platform

A Multi-Tenant Platform needs to provide more than basic functions. It needs to include a host of “luxury amenities”.

Entrepreneur Magazine states companies loose 20 to 30% of revenue every year due to inefficiencies. This finding is a key driver behind our focus on adding “amenities” to our multi-tenant platform.

The basic concept of the Multi-Tenant Platform has been around since the advent of Software as a Service (SaaS). IBM has written about the concept but in their view, it is a lot like an unfurnished apartment; the core functions are there but not much more.

We view the opportunity of a multi-tenant platform as a richly appointed environment specifically because there are so many details inherent in the global logistics business. There are a host of data points that need to be populated in any global logistics software structure for the users to properly construct shipment files. Things like Port Codes, SCAC Codes, Customs registration codes such as FIRMS or Sub-Location Codes, Container Sizes, Vessel Names…. The list is lengthy.

All of these data points are what we refer to as Core Reference Data and they are a critical part of interaction within the system and connectivity with systems outside of the platform. These codes are like a language of their own. If you don’t use the right code, then you cannot compare information within the system and you cannot send the data to a Customs agency or supply chain partner in a way that will be meaningful. Core Reference Data is a critical part of the discussion we see all the time in the news about creating a “Global Data Standard”.

The reality that often seems to be escaping the techies when they talk about establishing the Global Standards is that much of that standard already exists. It’s driven by the customs agencies around the world. Anyone that wants to bring cargo into or out of countries has to comply with reporting to these customs agencies and the data they report with has to match the standards of each agency. The standards are very much in line with the World Customs Organization Standards that cover data sizes and codes such as the UNLOCODES and IATA Codes. So, the global standard already exists. Therefore, it is much better for users if a global platform is already populated with all of these codes and kept up to date. All of the tenants require these codes for their communications with customs agencies, ocean, and air carriers?

The fact that the platform has the global standard data set ensures that the standard is pushed forward. It also ensures that tenants within the platform can exchange data with confidence. It’s like living in a luxury environment where the amenities are being kept constantly refreshed for the mutual benefit of all of the tenants.

Our view is also that the Core Reference Data needs to be constantly kept fresh and accurate and duplicate codes must be eliminated. Duplicate codes, missing codes, and made-up codes are one of the drivers behind rejected filings, bookings, and other automated functions. It’s critical that codes are accurate and that takes energy to keep these up to date. This is a function that is best done when servicing a host of tenants rather than just a single tenant. The incentive to the provider is much richer. And, at the end of the day, Digitalization isn’t really very sexy. It is really about enhancing the administration of shipment data that drives the global logistics process. Remember, 63.24% of all delays are caused by data errors.

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