Forwarder sees New Age value
A.J. Worldwide picks logistics solution based on dashboards.
Small freight forwarders wrestle all the time with a basic question: Is my technology allowing me to win and retain customers?
Secondarily, they ask: Is the technology allowing internal efficiency to occur?
As the role of third party logistics providers has evolved in the last decade to be managers of data as much as coordinators of freight movements, there is now a pre-requisite that these providers have technology that can keep pace with their customers’ needs.
Indeed, for forwarders, the most crucial decision is often what backbone enterprise system to choose.
For Vivek Vellore, president of A.J. Worldwide, the decision came down to a simple element: dashboards. After A.J. Worldwide conducted a system selection process, it decided to use New Age Software, a developer of logistics solutions, as its backbone system.
“We looked at a few options,” Vellore said. “The differences are not too much between these applications. One thing with New Age stood out — they have a very unique system of dashboards. It gives me a different perspective than someone tracking a shipment. I get to know in a summary what’s on schedule and what’s not, and performance reports. None of the other software had anything like that.”
Vellore said he appreciated the dashboards above other aspects of New Age’s system, because he comes from a non-IT perspective.
“I’m not a technical guy, so I didn’t do the technical evaluation, but we have a technical consultant, and he was impressed with the cost efficiency,” he said. “We didn’t see the dashboard concept with anybody else.”
A.J. Worldwide, which has been in business 19 years, made the decision to go with New Age in March and went live on the system in June. Vellore said an unexpected benefit was New Age’s support after implementation.
“The value we discovered later on was their go-live support and training,” he said. “We went live in June and had a New Age employee on site for six days. When there were some smaller issues, the employees came back to spend a couple days to fix those. And they didn’t ask for a dime for support.”
Another consideration was customization. As a small forwarder, A.J. Worldwide wasn’t looking for a totally customized solution, but Vellore said New Age’s willingness to tailor the system to suit its specific business requirements was another strong point.
“Everyone else was selling a standard package, which this is, but their attitude toward implementation was very different,” he said. “New Age had an accommodating approach to our business that standard American packages don’t. They look at it as a way to add more cost, and the more desperate you are, the more it costs.”
A.J. Worldwide was in the market for a new system because its previous system, from a Miami-based vendor called Magaya, didn’t provide the internal integration the forwarder needed.
“The decision to change was driven by the fact that Magaya didn’t have the backbone in terms of accounting and finance,” Vellore said. “We were importing the data into another system, and constantly looking for data in two different places. It was not a happy situation. The second reason was that (Magaya) only supports the logistics business. We are more diversified than that.”
Aside from its logistics business, A.J. Worldwide also provides international parcel and e-commerce fulfillment services.
“We liked that this was an ERP that could integrate all these businesses,” he said. “It gives us a solid backbone accounting platform.”
New Age was considered along with three other “serious” vendors because A.J. Worldwide has four partners in the Middle East that use New Age.
New Age has been ramping up its North America-based sales efforts this year after building a strong customer base in Asia and the Middle East.