The supply chain continues to endure challenges beyond its control. Logistics software specialist’ Fargo Systems is in pole position of driving digital transformation.
As the world returns to a new version of normality, Fargo Systems has not only weathered the storm but has emerged robust, more agile and with a greater appreciation of its unique place in the logistics marketplace.
In recognition of its ‘can-do’ ethos, the go-to logistics software solutions provider has been shortlisted for the Multimodal Technology Company of the Year, whilst projects team manager Jim Slade is in the running for the Multimodal Young Logistics Professional of the Year award.
Steve Collins, director of Fargo Systems, says: “These last months have been some of the hardest, but we’ve come through the whole Covid experience without considering any furloughs or streamlining. We actively recruited six new staff members during the pandemic and decided to remain committed to our business strategy and to implement our expansion plans. We are in great shape and raring to go.”
Whilst its TopsTMS® technology is ubiquitous across the UK, Fargo Systems has been expanding its global presence. Steve continues:
“An excellent example of our expansion is the relationship we enjoy with Seaspan Ferries, based in British Columbia, Canada. Engaged back in 2015 following a global tender, our work with them is evolutionary. The Canadian ferry operator runs a daily truck and trailer ferry service via four terminals between the mainland and Vancouver Island.
“With the efficiency challenges Seaspan Ferries has targeted through the pandemic, this year has seen us developing and introducing a mobile, user friendly, responsive TOPS.WEB app (used from tablets, phones and desktops) for the ferry company to share with its customers and suppliers. Now, interested parties can monitor the ferry journey, send/receive links for drivers to sign out and drop trailers, receive paperwork, sign on screen, and send SMS messages. The system not only makes the partners self-sufficient, but everything is paperless, and in real-time and immediate benefits in terms of efficiency, connectivity and communication have been achieved.”
The current European growth in TOPS has been pleasing to Fargo Systems. Steve continues: “Over the last eighteen months, the European transport market has evolved rapidly to meet challenging business conditions, not least due to COVID and Brexit.
“This has presented an opportunity for Fargo Systems and our TopsTMS® suite of products. With proven technology, we can react quickly to the industry and the evolving markets it’s operating in; Europe is now waking up to this.
“There’s also an element of companies watching what colleagues in other countries are doing and then introducing TOPS to other European offices in their organisation.
“TOPS dynamic and diverse planning capabilities, excellent connectivity and holistic view are its key USPs for operators. Our ability to develop electronic solutions to receive transport requests and integrate them back to subcontractors demonstrates that we’ve got the solution whatever the digital communication challenge. We can outpace more traditional software whilst enriching the flow of real-time data; between customers and trading partners.”
With its company mission statement to provide innovative software solutions that will transform our customers’ business, projects team manager Jim Slade believes the message has never been more relevant than during these last eighteen months.
He explains: “Real-time information has become a prerequisite within the logistics industry, and the sophistication of our software ensures whatever the need, we can deploy our products to provide a comprehensive solution to our customer’s requirements.
“With recent supply chain delays, retailers are increasingly focussed on precise and accurate updates. Shipping lines, rail freight providers and road hauliers need to continue this flow of expected information. Consumers are now expecting “final mile” notifications detailing when the cargo left the port of departure or is arriving at a national distribution centre.
“What’s interesting, however, is demand for this detailed status information is proving a massive benefit to those involved in the day-to-day movement of the cargo. Industry challenges regarding lack of haulage, ageing workforces, and reducing co2 emissions are well documented and inspire a newfound drive for efficiency. The vast amount of data captured digitally allows for prediction and forecasting models to be applied. An accurate average collection/delivery time for a consignee’s premises allows planning decisions to be made on fact rather than assumption, delivering improved day-to-day services for customers and an increase in haulage deliveries through greater efficiency.”
Whilst offering what customers tell us is the most comprehensive logistics software solution on the market, Fargo is cognisant that if its product range isn’t supported by unparalleled customer service, there’s a massive hole in the company’s offering.
Steve continues: “The whole team, we’re now at 25, split between Ipswich and our development centre in Exeter, works hard to ensure the level of customer service, both to our external and internal customers, is both exceptional and consistent.”
Proud of its software’s capacity to enhance the performance at every level of large and small enterprises, a key strength of the company lies in its collaboration with customers to develop tailored solutions that become part of a client’s DNA.
Steve continues: “Our company strapline – Together, further. reinforces our commitment to working with our clients. Our TOPS technology has become the bedrock of many clients’ information systems, which only happens when working in partnership. A good example of this is our 15-year working relationship with GB Railfreight (GBRf).
Playing an integral role in GBRf’s complete rail TMS system, all intermodal movements are planned and managed through Fargo’s TOPS. Their commitment to our technology has grown six-fold over the years. For example, this year, to the end of August, one customer has sent an average of 50,000 messages per month. All of which were processed by TOPS, saving hundreds of hours in handling time.”
With Europe embracing TOPS and new business opportunities growing in both the US and Asia, Fargo Systems is busier than ever. “But”, adds Steve, “the fallout from COVID has meant everyone’s normal has changed, and so now is not the time to be complacent.
“What has become apparent, however, is that digital transformation and remote integration will become a principal component of what the logistics sector looks like going forward. Our role is to deliver resilient technology which has as its foundations – transparency, reliability, and the confidence of its user base. If we can continue to achieve this, there’s no stopping us.”