A Texas based company in the logistics and supply chain sector consumes services from different shipping companies such as UPS, DHL, Fedex and 30+ other companies, as part of its business.
An operator consulted, via an internal system, cases that already had integrations and cases that didn’t, using each provider’s portals. Three types of services were consumed by users, based on criteria such as geographical location of the pickup and delivery points, shipping types, package weight, dimensions, etc. These services were:
- Shipping quotation to optimize costs by choosing the most convenient provider for each case.
- Scheduling a shipment and asking for it to be picked up once the shipper is selected.
- Tracking shipments.
This task used to be carried out manually based on the previously mentioned criteria. Given the number of suppliers, it was significantly demanding.
The client asked Allata to help them simplify and automate this supplier selection process.
To implement the solution, the Allata team first carried out an analysis of APIs availability for each provider. Based on the pre-existing system, where an operator loaded the shipping data by hand, a unique request and response model was generated for each type of service that was required to be consumed:
- Scheduling a shipment
- Tracking of a shipment
We developed a unique internal API that provides these three services and translates a single request-or-response model into one where users can automatically invoke API calls from different providers.
The high-level architecture of the solution is the following:
The solution provided by Allata allowed the customer to optimize delivery times, shipping costs and efficiently manage their workload. It also helped them integrate new suppliers to the system quickly and transparently. This way, the selection of the supplier to be used for certain offices was streamlined, standardizing the information obtained from each provider’s website, and automating queries. In addition, Allata provided a supplier monitoring system that enabled operators to quickly know if a specific portal is online or not through a dashboard.