As in other industries, those in the transportation business use hundreds of different software applications to communicate with suppliers and partners. As a result, integrating those apps to facilitate internal and external communication can be a bear.
Logistics.com Inc., which provides hosted software for shippers and carriers in the transportation industry, this week introduced its Logistics Event Management Architecture, or LEMA, an open, standards-based architecture that facilitates the flow of information between the supply chain and logistics community.
The idea behind LEMA is that companies can process logistic events through independent workflows, while maintaining a customized view of activities associated with those events, according to officials at Logistics.com, in Burlington, Mass.
The backbone of LEMA is its message bus that integrates with over 70 external business protocols including Electronic Data Interface, HTTP, Simple Object Access Protocol and XML (Extensible Markup Language) over the Web.
The LEMA architecture encompasses five business areas where logistics events are executed. Those include business objects like distances, locations and facilities; relationship rules and time components that make up the process of contract management; business rules that define the business processes associated with executing events; event monitoring and exception management; and integration of business processes through Transportation XML, or tXML.
While Logistics.com officials said the company developed tXML in conjunction with customers, they would not name the companies involved in the effort.
Likewise, while LEMA is available now, the company has yet to extend the standard to industry consortiums, including the American Trucking Association, the Voluntary Industry Commerce Standards group or the Council of Logistics Management.
Renee Boucher Ferguson covers business-to-business issues and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.