JDA Software Group is rolling out Fleet Management version 7.4.1, a transportation and logistics management application.
Dawn Salvucci, JDA's vice president of transportation and logistics solutions, said this latest solution upgrade, announced Feb. 25, is focused on allowing retailers to integrate externalized road networks.
"Until now, retailers have had to maintain a proprietary road network and identify nodes, intersections and vehicle restrictions, such as one-way streets and low bridges," Salvucci said.
Fleet Management v. 7.4.1 features an embedded ESRI ArcGIS Network Analyst travel path analysis engine and TeleAtlas commercial road network. According to Salvucci, this lowers the administrative costs of running these solutions and automates the maintenance of new network points.
She said the latest version of Fleet Management can also help retailers create more optimal routes.
"Retailers can get a better understanding of their road network-what roads their vehicles are able to travel," Salvucci said. "If a retailer delivers on the left side of the street, they will understand the distances to where a driver can make a left-hand turn or a U-turn."
For those retailers who perform home delivery, Salvucci said the solution will help in the management of highly dynamic home delivery networks.
"There is a constant flow of new addresses and one-time customers," she said. "Before, retailers had to manually add and invalidate addresses."
In addition to gaining transportation cost savings, Salvucci said retailers can also leverage Fleet Management to build a transportation route that uses the least amount of miles to deliver the most products. And by reducing miles traveled and the amount of time delivery vehicles spend with idling engines, she said the solution can reduce the environmental impact of retailer's transportation activities.
A March 2007 study performed by consulting firm Aberdeen Group, "Service on the Move: Driving Profitability via Fleet Management," states that fleet management is one of three main cost drivers that service executives must contain, along with labor and inventory.
According to the study, leading companies have utilized fleet management solutions to achieve benefits including 12.2 percent increase in service profitability, 13 percent improvement in vehicle utilization, 14.8 percent decrease in travel time and 27.9 percent increase in operator compliance.
In March, JDA plans to build tighter integration between Fleet Management and its enterprise transportation management solution.
"This will provide a single platform to optimize the management of a private fleet and a third-party carrier's fleet," Salvucci said. "Historically, those functions have been siloed."
She said fleet management is one of three logistical areas where JDA will be focusing its technology development in 2008, along with supply chain visibility and international logistics.
Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. See other industry stories at eWEEK.com's Retail Site.