By taking a disruptive, cloud-based approach to business-to-business (B2B) communications in the third-party logistics industry, LEGACY now onboards customers 70 percent faster and reduces technology operating costs by 50 percent.
IT staffers spent way too much time configuring and supporting EDI solutions used for communications with customers and partners. The company constantly transfers data back and forth between customers’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and its warehouse management system (WMS).
“We consider data transfer the lifeblood of our business,” says Jim Heidegger, Vice President of Information Technology at LEGACY Supply Chain Services. “But EDI was complicated and costly, forcing us to charge extra for our services.”
New Paradigm for Efficiency in the Logistics Industry
That’s all changed now that LEGACY is strengthening its competitive advantage by replacing 16 on-premises EDI solutions with a single Microsoft Azure cloud-based alternative.
The company (LEGACY Supply Chain Services) uses Microsoft Azure Logic Apps to achieve enterprise-grade, hybrid application connectivity with customers and partners.
LEGACY worked with VNB Consulting Services, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to onboard its first customer. “By moving to Azure Logic Apps, we transformed how we automate EDI document workflows – without writing any code,” says Heidegger.
“Instead of manually administering complex, costly EDI solutions, we’re using Logic Apps workflows to onboard customers 70 percent faster and cut costs by 50 percent – a huge competitive advantage. In dynamic supply chain environments such as high-volume retail and consumer goods, electronics, and industrial manufacturing, real-time visibility, and speed-to-serve is paramount. We expect to win new customers in a market where most companies still use EDI.”
This is not the first time that LEGACY Supply Chain Services has turned to Azure to optimize operations. Three years ago, it migrated it’s Tier 1 WMS system to the Azure cloud platform.
“With our WMS hosted in Azure, instead of spending 16 weeks and USD140,000 in hardware and software to set up a customer’s on-premises environment, we can get the job done in two hours and it costs us USD1,600 a month,” says Heidegger.
Since deploying its Logic Apps workflows, LEGACY Supply Chain Services has also:
- Reduced transaction mapping and implementation costs by 80 to 90 percent.
- Accelerated its time to implement and deploy new EDI documents by 75 percent.
- Increased customer satisfaction with fewer testing requirements and more flexible service options.
- Improved cash flow with the Azure consumption-based cost model.
- Gained better insight into customer costs, communications, and solution performance monitoring with Azure built-in security and operations management services.
- Simplified enterprise integration and the storage and management of artifacts used in B2B communications with Enterprise Integration Pack integration accounts.
Adds Value to Customer Service
LEGACY is also using its new Logic Apps solution to resolve a compliance issue with one of the largest retailers in the world – adding value to a long-standing distribution and dedicated transportation client relationship.
It had difficulty fulfilling big-box retailer EDI requirements because it had inherited an inefficient EDI solution along with the contract.
“Now we’re introducing a revised EDI document workflow, including a mobile app that we developed for truck drivers,” says Heidegger. “When they drop off or pick up loads, they touch a button in the app, which alerts Logic Apps to create the EDI document and automatically sends it to the big-box Retailer. We’ll go from taking more than 45 minutes to alerting our customer in real time.”
Extensible Cloud Platform
LEGACY sees Azure as an extensible platform that provides the scalability and flexibility that it needs to expand its business.
The company is scaling its Logic Apps solution to its entire network of more than 30 warehousing and distribution and dedicated fleet operations in the high-volume and high-speed retail, consumer packaged goods, and manufacturing industries.
“We’re trusting our business-critical data flows to Azure based on the rock-solid experience we’ve had with Microsoft,” concludes Heidegger. “And as part of our digital transformation, we expect new Azure services will continue to help us differentiate LEGACY in the market.”
Source: Microsoft ‘Customer Stories’
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