Logistics.com Turns to an ASP Model

Like most business-to-business endeavors, the transportation industry is struggling along getting settled into B2B.

Like most business-to-business endeavors, the transportation industry is struggling along getting settled into B2B.

At least one company, however, is making what it hopes are strategic moves in the right direction. Logistics.com Inc., a transportation optimization software company, is restructuring its product line to an ASP (application service provider) model and launching a new Web platform.

The Burlington, Mass., companys platform, which will still be sold as packaged software, too, upgrades its existing corporate Web site and adds the functionality for shippers and transporters to buy, sell, manage and optimize transportation services.

To move to an ASP model, Logistics.com restructured its product offering into three areas: OptiYield, OptiManage and OptiBid.

OptiYield is a management and analysis application designed to help truckload, less-than-truckload, rail, air, parcel and ocean transport providers strategize day-to-day decisions.

OptiManage is a transportation management application that gives shippers control over supply chain resources. The OptiManage modules integrate with most manufacturing, warehouse management and enterprise resource planning apps.

OptiBid brings in online procurement and allows shippers to develop and execute optimal transportation strategies with things such as annual service contracting and tactical lane level bidding.

Eveline Gaede, director of IT at Challenger Motor Freight, in Cambridge, Ontario, had Logistics.com on her radar screen for a couple of years, but with more critical applications—and an IT budget too small to include an expensive software implementation—the project kept making its way to the back burner. That changed when Logistics.com shifted to the ASP model.

"We dont have a big IT staff," Gaede said. "[The ASP model] allows us to run these systems without increasing our IT staff. It allows us to focus on our critical apps."

Last July, Logistics.com was called one of the best companies on the Web by Forbes magazine. In December, the companys founder and CEO, Yossi Sheffi, stepped down to resume his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. John Lanigan, a 16-year veteran at Schneider National Inc., was named as the companys CEO. At the same time, Sheffi discussed a $700 million contract that would be, he said, announced in January. That deal has not been acknowledged to date.